I just want the body shop and the insurer to play nice!
September 29, 2017 7:06 PM   Subscribe

I was in a car accident and made the (unwise) decision to go through the other driver's insurance for repairs. Now it feels like I'm caught in between a battle between the body shop and the insurance company about things like whether to use OEM parts in the repair and whether the company's adjuster needs to actually visit the shop to approve the supplement (what the shop is demanding). The latest escalation is the insurance company threatening to cancel my rental car in a few days (before the repairs are finished) if the shop doesn't yield to them. What recourse do I have in getting all of this resolved in a fair and timely fashion? I really just want my car to be like it was 5 minutes before the accident.

Other information that may be helpful:
My car is low mileage and in excellent condition, but it's over 8 years old so it's not seen as having much value.
The damage seems to be pretty straightforward and nothing in the realm of "totalled"; they are wrangling over one replacement part and cosmetic finish, I think.
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Call your insurance to deal with their insurance.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:13 PM on September 29, 2017 [7 favorites]

Yup. Call your insurance. That's what you pay them for, and they'll hear about the accident anyway so if it's going to affect your rates they might as well earn it.
posted by bilabial at 7:19 PM on September 29, 2017

Hello! Auto insurance professional here, but not YAIP. More information about the dispute over the parts would be helpful to be able to give specific advice. I'm assuming the shop is insisting on using OEM parts and the insurance company wants to use available after market parts because your vehicle's year warrants them, yes? They key here is why the shop wants to use OEM.

-Is the shop insisting on ONLY OEM or just for some parts?
-Has the shop been insisting on OEM from the beginning or did they originally try after market and it didn't work for some reason? What is that reason?
-Why does the shop want the insurance company to go back to reinspect?
-Is it because the shop found additional damage and they want it included in the estimate? Are they trying to show the adjuster that the after market parts attempted don't work for some reason?
-Or it just to get to have the adjuster rehash a dispute that has already been addressed and the shop just didn't like the answer?
-In terms of the rental: has the shop been working on the vehicle as appropriate, or did they have a dispute with the adjuster and then push it to the back burner so nothing is being done while the rental charges mount?

The answers to these questions will help determine which (or if both) the shop and/or the insurance company have messed up here. If it's all the shop being unreasonable, and the insurance company did not refer you to the shop, then they are well within their rights to cut the rental as they do not owe for delays caused by you or a shop they did not refer you to.

If, on the other hand, the insurance company has delayed or mis-handled the repairs, they should pay the additional rental so that you don't suffer for their mistake.

I'll look back at this thread later and if you have replied with more detail I'll let you know what I think! Best of luck, I'm sorry you are in this position!
posted by argylekneesocks at 6:05 AM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Some additional info about the cosmetic finish dispute might also be helpful Sometimes shops insist on additional operations to fix refinish issues caused by their poor quality control in the paint booth. If that's the case, the insurance company rightly doesn't want to reward the shop with extra money to fix issues they could have prevented by doing it right the first time.

Without more info it's impossible to say.
posted by argylekneesocks at 6:15 AM on September 30, 2017

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