California Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill of Rights
Doing a great job on your auto body repair work has kept us going for 36 years. Staying compliant with the law and highest industry standards to ensure vehicle safety and customer satisfaction year after year has kept our clients coming back year after year. The children of the parents that we helped years ago, now have children! Da-Les Auto Body also maintains a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and clean record with the Bureau of Automotive Repair. We think it’s important that our clients know and understand that they do have rights under the law, and that the law gives them choices. Because of this, we want to make sure all our clients are aware of the California Auto Body Consumer Bill of Rights.
This act, passed in California in August of 2009, clearly states what auto body consumers can and should expect when having insurance-covered work done on their vehicle. Specifically, A.B.1179, which is the legal designation of the bill, spells out what insurers are required by law to tell consumers when they sign up for a new policy or in the aftermath of an accident. If your insurance company didn’t do this, then you should be aware that your insurer is in violation of the law and your rights. We take our role in getting your vehicle back on the road in great condition seriously, and feel it’s worth a little extra time to ensure you’re fully educated on your rights when it comes to auto body repairs.
The law specifies the following items:
You and you alone have the right to choose where to take your car for repairs. The insurer is prohibited by law from directing or requiring you to take your vehicle to “their” shop.
You have the right to be made aware of what kind of parts go into your car. Whether the parts used are Original Equipment Manufacturer, after-market, or used parts, it’s our responsibility to make sure you know what we used on your vehicle, where, and why.
You have the right to be informed of coverage options such as towing and rental car coverage while your vehicle is undergoing the repair process by your insurer at the time such services become necessary.
Your insurer is obligated to make sure you have the toll-free numbers and Internet addresses to report suspected fraud or problems or complaints about a particular body shop to the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs.
Even if you are pursuing an insurance claim for vehicle repairs, you have the right to obtain an independent estimate of damages and associated repair expenses from a registered auto body shop. Neither your insurer nor anyone else can prevent you from getting such an estimate, and you don’t have to take their word for it.
As a member of the California Autobody Association and the Collision Repair Association of California, Da-Les Auto Body is pleased to have helped back this important consumer protection legislation. In its original form, the law stipulated only that an insurer’s estimate of damages was not the same thing as a written estimate of repair costs. The new wording builds in a greater degree of protection for consumers and helps keep insurers accountable to their clients.
The executive director of the Collision Repair Association, Allen Wood, said, “One benefit to this bill is that the CRA was able to demonstrate to lawmakers how some insurers try to convince the claimant to accept an insurer’s damage assessment as a settlement without obtaining a more accurate estimate of repairs from an automotive repair dealer. We are pleased that the State Legislature gave this measure its overwhelming support.”
At Da-Les, we believe an informed client is the best kind of client. If you know and understand exactly what your rights are, you’ll have a better handle on your options and what your insurer can and can’t expect of you. Keeping you apprised of your rights and options will generally reduce or eliminate potential misunderstandings and make you a lot happier with our services in the long run. Our primary goal is safety, quality, and customer service.