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Auto Body Repair Insurance in Ohio: Know Your Rights

Your Rights


Do I have the right to select the auto body repair shop that will repair my car?

Yes.

In order to expedite your claim, we suggest you:

(a) select the repair shop,
(b) leave your automobile there, and
(c) notify your insurance agent or company.

Do not drive a collision damaged vehicle even if your insurer tells you it is ok to do so.

Do I need to get three estimates?


No.

Ohio law requires only one estimate.

Must I notify my insurance company before repairs?


Only the “insured” must notify their insurance company, not claimants.

Who pays the repair bills?


You must arrange for payment.

Your insurance policy states the insurance company will pay you less any deductibles or depreciation.

Who is responsible for repairs?


The shop.

That’s why it is important that you select a repair facility that is properly trained and equipped to restore your automobile to its pre-accident condition.

If there is a problem with the repair job, whom should I contact?


First, the manager of the shop.

If your problem is still not resolved, contact your insurance company claims manager.

If my insurance company fails to process my claim or pay the amount agreed upon, what can I do?


First contact your insurance agent,

then talk to the Branch or Regional Claims Manager of the insurance company. If that fails, then contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 614-644-2658.

What is Diminished Value?


Diminished value is the loss in a vehicle’s market value due to accident damage and repair.

Three things affect diminished value:

Inherent diminished value: the automatic loss in vehicle market value from an accident.

Repair related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to substandard quality repairs.

Insurance related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to insurance claims practices.

Who is Entitled to Diminished Value?


You are —

if your vehicle has been in an accident, you have lost money. This loss is owed to you for up to two years.

Who Pays Diminished Value?


Either your insurance company or the person responsible for the accident and their insurance company. You are owed compensation for diminished value by law even if your vehicle has been repaired correctly.
Based on our experience, we have identified some common pitfalls many consumers face when having their vehicle repaired.


Number One

Most people have little or no idea what their insurance policy really says. They think they have “full coverage” and “their insurance company will take care of everything”. They come to us to have their vehicle repaired and are shocked to find out they don’t have rental car coverage. Then, after checking further, they discover the policy gives their insurance company permission to use NON-FACTORY parts, unless there is a satisfaction issue. You’ll want to avoid this pitfall.

We encourage you to get that policy out and read it until you know what you pay for every time you make your payment. Call your agent and have him or her review it with you. Feel free to contact us with your questions. There’s a real good chance we’ve seen your insurance company in action. There are many solid insurance companies and agents out there with excellent products. Make sure you really have the “full coverage” you think you have. We can recommend a good insurer to you.

Number Two

Most people are not prepared to make decisions they’re forced to make when their vehicle is damaged. We have people call us and say: “I just wrecked my car. What do I have to do to get it fixed”? If you have avoided pitfall number one, some of these decisions will be easy to make. Other decisions can be thought through in advance. Sit down with your spouse, a close friend, or us and Three-C and ask: “If I was involved In a collision, what would be some of the decisions I might need to make, and how would I make them?”

Please feel free to contact one of our claims centers or e-mail us with any questions you have so you will be better prepared. We’ll be glad to answer them and help you avoid this pitfall.

Number Three

You have just been involved in an accident. You have avoided pitfalls 1 and 2. The next pitfall to avoid is thinking since the insurance company is “paying the bill” they should make the decisions. People forget it’s their money the insurance company is using to pay for the repairs. They faithfully make their premium payments counting on the insurance company to be there for them. And then, they want to tell you how you spend it. It’s you money. It’s your car. You make the decisions. Insurers are highly skilled in limiting the money they pay out in claim costs. This can affect you if you follow the program they attempt to push you into.

Again, know what your policy really says. Make sure you haven’t signed anything that limits the decisions you need to make in order to protect the investment you’ve made in your vehicle. Contact us if you would like to know which Insurance companies let you make decisions and which ones think they should decide for you.


FAQs

Is Bob Juniper a real person or an advertising gimmick?


Yes, Bob is a real person and the owner of Three-C Body Shops.

He comes in to work every day and does a few hours’ work in the shop. Then by noon or so, he switches over to running the company. And it is very true that he does not like insurance companies.

Is Jade Juniper really Bob's daughter or is it a voice talent playing that role?


Jade is the daughter of Bob and Mary Juniper.
As of 2012 she is in the seventh grade and is twelve years old. She did her first radio commercial when she was two years old; her part was four words in that spot. Many times, Bob picks her up after school and the go together to voice and produce the radio commercials. Bob generally writes the radio spots and Jade frequently adds ideas or changes her parts to reflect her own way of thinking.

Do I really need to go to an auto body repair shop on the insurance company's 'preferred list'?

Are you kidding?

No! No way! It’s the biggest con in the business. Have you been listening to our radio spots? Wow, that question got me fired up!