When a collision repair shop decides not to collect all or part of a customer’s deductible, it’s simply making a business decision to benefit the customer for bringing them business. In today’s industry as it relates to auto body repair, the margins are already razor thin so a shop may not even be able to afford to reduce or remove the deductible. However, it is completely legal for them to do so. So, don’t be deterred from choosing a collision repair shop of your choice that benefits you the vehicle owner.
Know Your Rights and Save Your Deductible!
Presently, vehicle owners may have been told that a body shop not charging you your deductible goes against the rules of law. Some insurance companies prance about claiming body shops are breaking the law by waiving a vehicle owner’s deductible.
You as a vehicle owner deserve to know your rights to protect yourself from any deceptive practices from insurance companies. In this case, this information spread by insurance companies is simply false. It varies from state to state, so we at East Collision Inc urge you to check your local laws, but essentially the body shop has the right to waive the deductible for you, the vehicle owner.
In New York state, this is supported even by law, NY CLS Ins § 3411(i). Which reads “Payment of a physical damage claim shall not be conditioned upon the repair of the automobile, provided, however, the insured shall replace any inflatable restraint system (airbag), as defined in subparagraph (b) of S 184.108.40.206 of standard 208 of part 571 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations, that inflated and deployed, or that was stolen, which is included in a physical damage or theft claim. The insurer may request that the automobile be made available for inspection whether or not the automobile is repaired. The results of such inspection may form a basis for determining the value of the automobile in the event of a subsequent loss. If the automobile is repaired the insurer shall request the repair invoice and shall require the insured and the automobile repairer to certify, under penalties of perjury, whether the applicable deductible has been paid to the automobile repairer, whether any repairs have been made and whether the repairs did not include all items allowed by the insurer.”
Once more, the repair shop has no obligation to collect the insured’s deductible.
Many years ago, often times the insurer wrote a check which was did not represent the true repair costs and would make it their goal to tire out the patience of the repair shop and the vehicle owner by repeated supplements on the vehicle. Back then, the insured vehicle owner would be given a check on the “visible damage” and told to look for a body shop who could fix the vehicle or told to send the invoice from the body shop for what the insured paid out to the shop. It definitely wasn’t the most efficient process. This allowed the insurance company to break payments into many supplements rather then do a proper estimate and issue one check.
Today, the insurance company feels as if they can control the narrative of how the repair is performed and what parts are used but they have no right as that business is between the body shop and the vehicle owner primarily. So again, understand you as a vehicle owner have the right to go to a body shop which will waive your deductible.