Miller Brothers Auto Repair works with ALL car insurance companies including Geico Insurance.
When it comes to auto insurance claims, disagreements between insurance companies and repair shops regarding repair costs are quite common. If your insurance company refuses to pay the quoted price from the auto shop, they will usually enter into negotiations with the mechanic to find a resolution.
Occasionally, a dispute may arise between an insurance company and an auto shop over the cost of repairing a vehicle. For instance, while a repair shop may provide a quote of $2500, the insurance company might argue that the repairs should only cost $1500.
So, what happens when an insurance company declines to pay the quoted price from the repair shop? How can you convince your insurance company to accept the repair shop’s estimate? In this article, we will provide you with all the essential information about disputed estimates and car insurance, as the cost of car repairs and insurance often intertwine.
Frequent Disagreements between Auto Insurance Companies and Repair Shops
Let’s establish the fact that it’s not uncommon for car insurance companies and repair shops to have differing opinions about repair costs.
Car insurance companies aim to pay the minimum amount required by law for your claim. They strive to have the repairs performed at the lowest possible cost while fulfilling the terms of your insurance policy.
This approach often leads to disputes. The insurance company might claim that the repairs should only cost a certain amount, while the auto body shop insists that the repairs exceed that estimation.
Such disagreements are not unusual and, in fact, occur in most insurance claims, according to industry experts. Car insurance companies and collision shops frequently differ in their cost assessments.
Reasons for Disagreements between Car Insurance Companies and Repair Shops
The disparities in price estimates between car insurance companies and repair shops can be attributed to various factors. Repairing a car can be a complex process, which contributes to the disagreement. Here are some common reasons behind such disputes:
Fixing or Replacing Parts: The insurance company might suggest fixing certain parts of your vehicle, while the repair shop insists on replacing them. This discrepancy often leads to conflicts.
Type of Replacement Parts: Some insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of original manufacturer parts and instead suggest cheaper aftermarket alternatives.
Repair Duration: A auto repair shop might estimate that fixing a dent on your car’s body will take four hours, but the insurance company disagrees, claiming it should only take two hours. This disparity leads to a disagreement over the number of labor hours the insurance company should compensate.
Labor Rate: The insurance company may have a predetermined per-hour cost for car repairs, and if a repair shop charges more than that, it creates a mismatch in the estimate.
Other Errors or Disagreements: Mistakes can occur on both sides. The repair shop might mistakenly attempt to fix something that doesn’t require repair, while the insurance company might wrongfully refuse coverage for something they are legally obligated to cover. These errors and omissions can further contribute to price disputes.
Resolving Disagreements between Insurance Companies and Repair Shops
When an insurance company and a repair shop have conflicting quotes, they usually engage in a negotiation process.
The insurance company is legally obligated to cover the cost of restoring your vehicle to its pre-loss condition, as specified in your insurance contract. They negotiate with the repair shop to ensure a fair resolution, confirming that the repairs align with industry standards and that the mechanic isn’t inflating costs or addressing pre-existing damages.
Typically, these disagreements are resolved promptly. The insurance company and repair shop engage in back-and-forth discussions, sometimes involving the policyholder, while in other cases, you may not be directly involved in the process.
What to Do If Your Insurance Company Declines the Estimated Price
In rare instances where the negotiation process fails and your insurance company refuses to pay the estimated price provided by your chosen repair shop, you have a few options available:
Pay the Difference: You can choose to proceed with the original repair shop you selected and pay the price difference out of pocket. This means you would be responsible for covering the additional amount that the insurance company is unwilling to pay.
Select an Alternative Repair Shop: Your insurance company may suggest other local auto shops that are willing to perform the repairs at the estimated price they are willing to cover. Choosing one of these recommended shops can help you avoid paying any additional expenses out of pocket.
Pursue Arbitration: Another option is to initiate the arbitration process with your insurance company. Insurance contracts often include an arbitration clause that allows you to challenge the insurance company’s estimate. If your insurance company refuses to cover the estimated repair costs and remains unyielding, you may consider starting the arbitration process.
It’s important to note that disagreements between insurance companies and collision shops regarding repair costs are not uncommon. In such cases, negotiation is typically the first step towards finding a resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached, you have the choice of seeking alternative repair options, paying the difference yourself, or pursuing arbitration with your insurance company.
Remember to carefully review your insurance policy and consult with your insurance provider to understand the specific procedures and options available to you in case of a dispute over repair costs.
Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair and Body Shop works with all insurance carriers and will work with them to get your car restored back to it’s original condition. Call us when your car needs repair after an auto accident.
Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair and Body Shop
7123 Tazewell Pike
Corryton, TN 37721