KNOW YOUR RIGHTS STEERING IS ILLEGAL!IT’S YOUR CHOICE WHO FIXES YOUR CAR – NOT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY!! INSURANCE COMPANY SHOPS WORK FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANY WE WORK FOR YOU ALL OUR WORK IS GUARANTEED STEERING IS ILLEGAL! You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice. Don’t give up your right to a proper repair. You lose when you give up your right to choose! What Are My Rights With My Insurance Company? Use Any Shop Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car? Yes. In order to expedite your claim, select the repair shop; leave your automobile there; and notify your insurance agent or company. This applies regardless of whether your vehicle is leased, financed or you own it outright. Do I need to get three estimates? No. You do not have to obtain more than one estimate. You only need one estimate, from the shop of your choice. All insurance companies owe to return your damaged vehicle to pre-loss condition as related to appearance, function and value. You are not required to bring your vehicle to the insurance company. If they intend to see the damage, they must come to you. You may also leave the vehicle at the repair shop. The insurer has 6 business days after you report a loss to them within which to inspect the vehicle, or they forfeit their rights to see the damage. If you are offered a check, take it! Do not sign any releases; you are not required to sign under any law. If you deposit the check, write upon it, “Open for additional damage, all rights reserved”. You do not have to drive a damaged vehicle if any safety item is affected. You can be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle. Towing is an expense covered under all insurance claims. You are entitled to two tows per loss. The first tow is allowed to safely secure the vehicle from further loss; the second tow, to a repair shop of your choice. You do not have to accept non-original or counterfeit parts to repair your vehicle; remember the buzzwords here: “Pre-loss condition and value”. Remember, a collision shop that’s on an “Insurer’s program or list” got there because they cut a deal for cheapest parts and obeys insurer cost-cutting directives. These “deals” may not be in your best interests. Do not get an estimate from a shop you would not let repair your vehicle. It is your right to consult an attorney at any time throughout a claim. You may have additional rights that he/she may advise you on. You have the right to access all the provisions of your policy that apply to your loss. Imitation Parts Insurance companies cannot force us to use imitation parts. Make sure only Original Equipment Manufacturers’ parts are used in the repair of your vehicle. Imitation parts are not always as good as the original, and we believe our customers should be assured of a top quality repair. After all, you pay premiums month after month just to have the assurance that your car will always be protected. Using substandard parts can put the condition of the car in jeopardy. OEM Parts Get Real when it comes to Parts! The insurance appraiser’s opinion of what constitutes a proper repair may include; “parts from sources other than your vehicle’s manufacturer or non-original parts.” It may also include the specification of parts from a junk- yard. Insurance companies can put a spin on anything. They may try to convince you that these parts are as good or just like the parts on your car. That using these parts makes economic and environmental sense. It makes sense economically for them not you! We don’t take the responsibility of returning your vehicle to pre-accident condition lightly. Bottom line: The insurer is responsible to restore the damaged vehicle to a specific condition. Assuming a vehicle is relatively new, had original parts in place, a factory warranty remaining in effect prior to the loss, the mere idea of installing a non-original parts would be in conflict with the warranty provisions. Not only will the inferior, lighter, un-crash tested, un-sponsored counterfeit, non-original parts not fit the vehicle properly, they would violate the policy provisions of returning the vehicle to pre-accident condition. If “close” is good enough for you then it is your prerogative to accept aftermarket parts. The same holds true for parts specified from a junkyard. No one can be certain how much damage was sustained by a part that has been retrieved from a salvage vehicle that was involved in an accident that was severe enough to consider the vehicle a total loss. No vehicle manufacturer will warranty a part installed on a vehicle that has been retrieved from a junkyard. Ford, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo and almost every other vehicle maker has issued statements that state that non-original or salvage parts from a junk yard will void the warranty to that part and any connecting or attaching component or system. Given these facts the parts are not equal to new OEM parts, period! Remember that our goal is to return your vehicle to pre-loss conditions. We are not asked to re-engineer the vehicle. As you can see from our expanded explanation, Insurer and shops differ in the proposed repair process. Our staff is trained and is knowledgeable in handling the process and associated pitfalls so that our mutual goals are addressed. Regardless of the insurer-specified repair, you will be informed of the details by us, involving repair, as the process continues. Once a method of repair and the specified process is outlined, we order the parts as agreed or directed by you. Since a major part of the damage diagnostics have been done, necessary parts identified are ready to order. Generally, it takes 5-7 working days to obtain parts for standard vehicles. While waiting for parts to arrive, work will continue on preliminary repair or structural work. It may be started in anticipation of fit-testing of the new parts. Manufacture Position Statements for Repairs We follow manufacture position statements to repair your car to the specs of your vehicle manufacture. Vehicles now a days are highly sophisticated technical machines. We depend on the safety features and expect it to respond as the manufacture intended it to in the event of another accident. We research each repair with what the manufacture states how it should be repaired. This is needed because the manufactures change the repair processes. For instance how a quarter panel is replaced on a 2010 Honda Accord 6 years ago may have changed. Manufactures are constantly changing their repair standards for more safety as they find them. Diminished Value What is Diminished Value? Diminished value is the loss in a vehicle’s market value due to accident damage and repair. Three things affect diminished value:
Inherent diminished value: the automatic loss in vehicle market value from an accident.
Repair-related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to substandard-quality repairs.
Insurance-related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to insurance claims practices.
Who is Entitled to Diminished Value? You are–if your vehicle has been in an accident, you have lost money. This loss is owed to you for up to two years after your loss. Who Pays Diminished Value? Either your insurance company or the person responsible for the accident and their insurance company. You are owed compensation for diminished value by law even if your vehicle has been repaired correctly.