I got into an accident and wanted to take my car for repairs to my regular body shop. The insurance company is telling me that I will have to pay a 20% deductible if I repair outside of their network. Is this legal? Is there any law I can cite to tell them that I can repair anywhere I want? I thought I could. Thanks!!!
Is this your insurance company or the other parties insurance. Ask the insurance company what there support is for the requirement. You can contact the California Dept. of Insurance for their assistance in this regard.
They can waive your deductible as an incentive for using one of their network shops. Perfectly legal. However, make sure your deductible actually is 20%
Ask them to quote, in writing, the policy language upon which they rely. The conduct you describe appears to violate The Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations Section 2695.8 (e), which states:
(e) No insurer shall:
(1) require that an automobile be repaired at a specific repair shop; or,
(2) suggest or recommend that an automobile be repaired at a specific repair shop, unless all of the requirements set forth in California Insurance Code Section 758.5 have been met.
(3) require a claimant to travel an unreasonable distance either to inspect a replacement automobile, to conduct an inspection of the vehicle, to obtain a repair estimate or to have the automobile repaired at a specific repair shop.
Requiring that you pay 20% more to go outside of their network appears to be a suggestion in violation of subpart (2).
A complaint to the Insurance Commissioner might be in order. https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/101-help/
I am not your attorney and don't know anything about your problem. Do not rely on my response other than as information used to hire an actual attorney.
Read your policy. If its in there, you should be able to find it. I have heard of similar provisions, so I would not be surprised. However, the accident was not your fault and the other party has insurance, the deductible will not matter because your insurance company will recover it and refund it to you when it subrogates.
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