Your Repair Rights
Okay…it’s not quite our great country’s sacred Bill of Rights, but it is pretty darn important to know what rights you have in Florida when it comes to having your car repaired.
If we are spending our own hard earned money on car repairs, we do not think twice about choosing our own highly reputable repair shop. However, it seems that once someone else is responsible for paying the repair bill, we quickly forget our legal rights and allow all of the repair decisions to be made for us!
Smart Consumers Know Their Repair Rights!
After an automobile accident, it is not uncommon to be led blindly and with complete trust by an insurance company through the claim and collision repair process. This can often turn out to be more traumatic and stressful then the actual accident was. Here at Fenders Collision USA, we believe that you should have someone with you throughout this process that has the experience and knowledge that equals or exceeds that of the insurance carrier’s representatives.
You Choose Your Repair Shop!
In Florida, the insurance company responsible for payment can not require you to use a specific repair shop, especially if you are claiming against the at-fault party’s insurance. However, this may not be the impression that you receive when you file your claim for damages. Often, you will be led to believe that you have to take your vehicle to one of their “network” or “approved” repair shops. Just remember that this is simply not true. The hallmarks of a free market society is that the consumer makes the choice on what is best for the consumer and not for the business. Remember…you are the customer!
Aftermarket And Used Parts?…What?
You may ask just what allows an Insurance Company the ability to use non-original equipment aftermarket crash parts and or recycled parts on a vehicle during the repair of collision damage? The Insurance Company’s responsibility in the majority of insurance policies is to make the person filing the claim “financially whole” or, in more common language, return their vehicle to same condition that it was immediately prior to the accident.
Florida Statute 501-33 states that in all instances where non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts are used in preparing an estimate for repairs, the written estimate prepared by the insurer or the repair facility, or both, shall clearly identify each such part.
These parts only include the “non-mechanical” sheet metal or plastic parts that are on the exterior of the vehicle. It is very important to review your insurance policy when filing a claim for damages. Please note that if you are claiming against another driver’s policy that you are not under contract with that carrier and, therefore, not bound by the same policy language. When filing against the other at-fault driver’s insurance, the repairs to your vehicle are covered under the liability section of their policy.
Recycled or Used Parts…
The use of recycled parts allows the Insurance Company to meet it’s obligations as it returns the vehicle to a “pre-loss condition”. However, the parts must be documented as coming from the same model year or newer as your vehicle and must be in a similar condition or better. For example, if your vehicle is 2009 Toyota Camry and needs a passenger side front fender, then the recycled replacement fender must come from a 2009 or newer Toyota Camry.
Fenders Collision USA supports the use of quality recycled parts…we reduce, reuse, and recycle!
Fort Walton Beach – Destin – Navarre – Gulf Breeze – Niceville – Crestview Sandestin – Miramar Beach – 30A
Fenders Collision USA
700 Edge Street
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Mon – Thur: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 12:00pm