Q: Can I take my car to the repair shop of my choice?
A: You have the legal right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. When reporting your claim, immediately let your insurer know which shop you’d like to repair your vehicle. Your insurer should not attempt to influence your decision regarding where to have your vehicle repaired and is obligated to cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made.
Q: Does my insurance company have the right to inspect my vehicle?
A: Yes, they have a right to inspect your vehicle, but are not required to do so. If your company chooses to perform an inspection, they can require you to travel a reasonable distance to complete their inspection. However, they cannot require you to drive your vehicle to one of their own “drive-in” claim centers. Rather, an adjuster of the insurance company’s choosing may perform the inspection.
Q: Am I responsible for obtaining more than one estimate?
A: Your insurance company may require more than one estimate before settling your claim. Multiple estimates help insurers determine the extent of your loss and prevent fraudulent claims. However, if the insurer requests more than two, they must pay for each additional estimate. Also, your insurance company cannot require 'unreasonable travel' for you to obtain an estimate or for the company to inspect your vehicle.
Q: Can the repair shop I select adjust its estimates and charges to absorb the deductible required by my insurance company?
A: No. The repair shop cannot change the cost of repairs to help you pay your deductible. Misrepresenting the cost of repairs constitutes fraud.
Q: Can I have my vehicle repaired with original equipment parts … and will the insurance company pay for them?
Q: If I do not agree with my insurance company about the amount of damage, is there something I can do?
Q: What is the difference between “betterment” and "depreciation"? Can my insurance company reduce my settlement based on either?
Q: What do I do if the company gives me a 'comparative negligence' assignment?
Q: How do Minnesota’s No-Fault laws apply?
Q: Do I have the right to a rental car?
Q: How is the 'fair market value' of my totaled vehicle determined?
Q: Can I buy back my totaled vehicle?
Q: Should I use my own insurance?
Q: Will having an accident make my insurance rates increase, even if the accident was not my fault?
Q: What if my claim is denied?
Q: What if I cannot resolve a problem with my insurance company?
Q: What if my insurance company tells me that I have to have my vehicle repaired at one of their preferred shops?
Q: How many estimates do I need to provide to my insurance company?
Q: How long will my repairs take?
Definition of terms used
Appraisal clause- A clause in all auto insurance policies that provides a special appraisal procedure
you can use to settle a disagreement between yourself (the insured) and the insurance
company over the amount of loss. This procedure allows both parties to choose an
appraiser to re-evaluate the damages. If the two appraisers don’t agree, a third
party (called the “umpire”) makes the final determination.
Comparative negligence- the amount or percentage of negligence (responsibilty or fault) assigned to one
or more of the parties in an accident.
Team (CRT)- Staff at the Department of
Commerce, which responds to consumers questions and complaints about insurance matters.
CRT staff can help resolve disputes between consumers and insurance companies when
amount the policyholder agrees to pay, per claim or per accident, toward the total
amount of an insured loss. You must pay the deductible amount before the insurance
company pays any benefits.
Commerce- The state department that licenses and regulates insurance companies,
agents and adjusters.
No-fault laws- No-fault coverage only applies to medical costs, wage loss, or other costs related
to injuries sustained in the accident.
Preferred provider- A service provider, such as an automotive repair shop, that has agreed to provide
repairs and administer claims under terms established by an insurance company.
process by which one insured company seeks reimbursement from another company or
individual for a claim it ahs already paid.
additional charge added to your premium for accumulated traffic violations or accidents.
The charge varies from company to company and is typically assessed for a defined
periods, such as 36 months from the date of the violation or accident.
Some facts listed were provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce