At Haury’s, we are standing by to help you with your insurance claim. If you are having a difficult time dealing with an insurer or feel like you are being unfairly treated, give us a call. We have plenty of experience in dealing with all sorts of claims and can offer non-legal advice for your assistance.
Below is an assortment of frequently asked questions on how consumers can better manage their repair experience in dealing with insurance companies. If you would like additional information on insurance, including information on diminished value and total losses, check out the “Insurance Info” menu above.
(This information in not intended to be used as legal advice. For legal advice, ALWAYS consult with an attorney.)
- You, the vehicle owner, have the right to choose where your vehicle is repaired, not the Insurance Company. WAC 284.30.390 says the insurer must make a good faith effort to honor your chosen repair shop and cannot deny your choice. No insurance company can interfere with that right. You DO NOT have to go to the insurance company’s shop or claims center for an estimate or repairs. Come directly to Haury’s for repairs and we’ll help you take care of it.
- You do not have to accept the insurance company “estimate” of damages as final payment. If you disagree with your insurance company, you may dispute the claim. 99.9 % of insurance initial “estimates” do not cover the cost to properly repair your vehicle.
- Conduct all communication with the insurance company IN WRITING ONLY, and insist that they do the same. This eliminates the “I thought they said…” syndrome and gives you documentation of all statements and claims made by the insurer. Insurers can make misleading (or in some cases blatantly false) statements in person or over the telephone; however, they will not put these in writing. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Email is a great way to handle this. Let the insurer know that you are unable to receive phone calls during work hours and insist that they send you an email/fax instead.
- Do not take financial advice from any party that has an interest in how much money you receive.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and nobody would object to any business earning a legitimate profit; however, these profits should not be borne on the backs of consumers through underpayment of claims. DO NOT rely on the insurance company for sound advice, as their objective is to minimize their losses.
- If your Insurance Company refuses to pay for the actual cost of proper repairs or attempts to “lowball” your claim, consider using “The Insurance Fair Conduct Act.” From RCW 48.30.015 Unreasonable denial of a claim for coverage or payment of benefits: “Any first party claimant to a policy of insurance who is unreasonably denied a claim for coverage or payment of benefits by an insurer may bring an action in the superior court of this state to recover the actual damages sustained, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, as set forth in subsection (3) of this section.”
- A Third Party insurance company does not have the authority to artificially limit or control your claim – the liability for your damage actually rests with the at-fault party. In a third party claim (where the other party was at-fault), their insurance company is technically not the party that owes for your damages. Your damages are owed by the negligent (at-fault) party. Their insurance company is interceding in an effort to limit what they and their policyholder can get away with paying. Generally, their insurer does not care about you. If you are not satisfied with the at-fault party’s insurance company’s handling of your claim, you have other avenues you can pursue. These avenues include pursuing your claim through your own carrier and/or litigation (small claims court is a simple and inexpensive way to handle this – kind of a “Judge Judy” type of environment) … By the way: If pursuing your vehicle damage claim through your own insurer results in future premium increases on your own policy, such premium increases are a legitimate form of damage for which the at-fault party would be liable … just like Diminished Value and rental car charges.
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