Thousands of consumers rely on auto repair shops to help them get their vehicles back up to par, but some consumers do not realize that they have the right to choose which shop to go to. Apparently, according to a Connecticut Attorney General, there are a number of auto insurers displaying questionable behavior, requiring consumers to go to particular body repair locations that auto insurers deem acceptable. In opposition to the notion, the regional manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has said that these claims are not accurate.
So what should consumers do? The simplest answer is that consumers are not obligated under any law to go to a certain car repair service; it is your right as a consumer to make that decision. However, the recent challenge against insurer practices raises the question of whether or not laws have in fact been violated, and for how long these violations have been taking place. Essentially, consumers may have been fooled into believing that the decision is not within their power. One of the accusations being made against insurance companies is that they are not adhering to a 1963 consent decree.
Connecticut’s Attorney General stated, “Almost 50 years later, insurer steering is still a scourge…this outpouring of complaints shows that problematic practices persist.”
As the federal government works with state officials to look deeper into the matters surrounding these possible deceptive business practices, it can’t hurt for consumers to be suspicious of suggestions pertaining to body shop referrals made by their insurer. When getting your vehicle repaired, no matter what a shop’s reputation, it is important to do your research and be aware of common forms of car repair fraud in California so that you don’t become a victim of it.
The Law Offices of Howard D. Silver has devoted many years to protecting the rights of consumers in relation to auto repair fraud, deceptive business practices, and various matters pertaining to the California lemon law. In their extensive understanding of what is required of auto shops and dealers, they can help ensure that any fraud committed against you is accounted for. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation with a skilled California auto repair fraud lawyer at the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver.
Source article: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2009/09/02/103478.htm