Every week we get several calls from consumers who have questions about getting their automobile property damage repaired after an accident. Most are not aware of their legal rights.
Here is the California Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights that should help answer most of your questions. Phone numbers and links are also provided. If you still have questions, feel free to call.
A Consumer is entitled to:
1. Select the auto body repair shop to repair auto body damage covered by the insurance company. An insurance company shall not require the repairs to be done at a specific auto body repair shop.
2. An itemized written estimate for auto body repairs and upon completion of repairs, a detailed invoice. The estimate and the invoice must include an itemized list of parts and labor along with the total price for the work performed. The estimate and invoice must also identify all parts as new, used, aftermarket, reconditioned or rebuilt.
3. Be informed about coverage for towing and storage services.
4. Be informed about the extent of coverage if any, for a replacement rental vehicle while a damaged vehicle is being repaired.
5. Be informed of where to report suspected fraud or other complaints and concerns about auto body repairs.
6. Seek and obtain an independent repair estimate directly from a registered auto body repair shop for repair of a damaged vehicle, even when pursuing an insurance claim for repairing the vehicle.
Complaints within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Automotive Repair
Complaints concerning the repair of a vehicle by an auto body repair shop should be directed to:
Toll Free (866) 799-3811
California Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair
10240 Systems Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95827
Complaints are also accepted at the Bureau of Automotive Repair web site.
Complaints within the jurisdiction of the California Insurance Commissioner
Any concerns regarding how an auto insurance claim is being handled should be submitted to the California Department of Insurance at:
(800) 927-HELP or (213) 897-8921
California Department of Insurance
Consumer Services Division
300 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Complaints are also accepted at the California Department of Insurance web site.
And here?s one of our prior blog post with written instructions and a video?