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After you have been involved in an auto collision one of the initial steps to complete before you can undergo repairs is to reach out to your insurance carrier to place a claim. Often times your insurance provider will recommend local auto body repair shops they partner with to provide you with an estimate for your vehicle’s repairs. While this may seem helpful at the time, you have the right under California Law, to choose the collision repair shop of your preference.
Insurance companies are not allowed to steer their customers or require that you take your business to a particular auto collision repair facility. Although they can “recommend” auto body shops, the insurance adjusters CANNOT REQUIRE you to use a specific repair facility or to select from a list of their “preferred” shops, in their Direct Repair Program. If you feel your insurance company is steering you or requiring you to take your vehicle to a body shop in their Direct Repair Program you can report the adjuster to your state insurance commissioner, and rightfully so.
As noted from the California Department of Insurance, you, the consumer, have the right to use any licensed repair facility that you choose. You cannot be forced to take your vehicle to any particular auto collision repair facility. You may choose your own place, but then there may be consequences that you may not like, as explained below. See California Department of Insurance.
For more information we are sharing Section 2695.85. of California laws surrounding the Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights
(a) Every insurer that issues automobile liability or collision insurance policies shall provide the named insured(s) with an Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights either at the time of application for an automobile insurance policy, at the time a policy is issued, or following an accident or loss that is reported to the insurer. If the insurer provides the insured with an electronic copy of a policy, the bill of rights may also be transmitted electronically. If the insurer provides the bill of rights following an accident or loss, the insurer shall also provide the bill of rights to the particular insured filing the insurance claim. If the insurer provides the bill of rights at the time of application or policy issuance, all named insureds that have not previously received the bill of rights shall be provided with a copy upon renewal of the policy.
(b) The requirements set forth in subsection 2695.85(a), above, shall apply to all automobile liability and collision insurance policies issued in California including commercial automobile, private passenger automobile, and motorcycle insurance policies.
(c) The Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights shall be a separate standardized document and plainly printed in no less than ten-point type. An insurer may distribute the form using its own letterhead, but the language of the Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights shall be developed by the California Department of Insurance and shall read as follows:
AUTO BODY REPAIR CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS
A CONSUMER IS ENTITLED TO:
COMPLAINTS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU OF AUTOMOTIVE
Complaints concerning the repair of a vehicle by an auto body repair shop should be directed to:
Toll Free (866) 799-3811
Bureau of Automotive Repair
10949 North Mather Blvd.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
The Bureau of Automotive Repair can also accept complaints over its web site at: www.autorepair.ca.gov
COMPLAINTS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE CALIFORNIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Any concerns regarding how an auto insurance claim is being handled should be submitted to the California Department of Insurance at:
(800) 927-4357 or (213) 897-8921
California Department of Insurance
Consumer Services Division
300 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
The California Department of Insurance can also accept complaints over its web site at: www.insurance.ca.gov
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 790.10, 1874.85, 1874.87 of the California Insurance Code. Reference: Sections 790.03(c), 790.03(h)(3), and 1874.87 of the California Insurance Code; Sections 9884.8, 9884.9 of the California Business and Professions Code; and California Code of Regulations, Title 10, Chapter 5, Subchapter 7.5, Section 2695.8(j).
For insurance claims assistance and exceptional collision repair service, turn to the professional team at Romero’s Tri-Valley Auto Body, family-owned and operated since 1990!
Romero’s Tri-Valley Auto Body offers complete collision and restoration repair for all makes and models of vehicles, both foreign and domestic. Our technicians are highly trained and certified to ensure that your car is in the best hands. If you are need of collision repair service or would like more information, call 925.443.8548, Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm.