Autobody Repair Rights in Nebraska
Do I have the right to select the autobody repair shop?
Yes. Select the autobody repair shop of your choice and notify your insurance company of the claim.
Do I need to get three estimates for my autobody repair?
No. Notify your insurance company or agent. Your adjuster may inspect the damage. If possible, get a copy of the adjuster’s estimate and take the vehicle to a shop of your choice. In some areas insurance companies can pay claims directly. If an insurance agent asks you to obtain two estimates, ask if they intend to pay your claim directly. If so, obtain two estimates as soon as possible. This will help you settle your claim.
If the agent is not responsible for paying your claim, contact your insurance adjuster. Generally claims are handled by the insurance company’s claims department, not by individual agents. (avoid getting estimates from shops where you do not intend to get your vehicle repaired).
Must I notify my insurance company before my autobody repairs?
Yes. Insurance policies require that you notify the company or your agent. You will be asked to make a report as well as make the damaged vehicle available for inspection.
Who pays the autobody repair bill?
You, the customer, must pay the autobody repair shop. You may be reimbursed by insurance for this expense less any applicable deductibles or betterment allowances.
Who is responsible for completing the autobody repairs?
The collision repair shop. Select a autobody repair facility that is properly staffed with trained professionals and equipped to restore your automobile to its pre-accident condition.
What if there is a problem with the autobody repair?
First, contact the manager of the autobody repair shop. If the problem is still not resolved, you may wish to contact the Office of Consumer Protection. If the problem remains unresolved you may wish to contact your local Better Business Bureau or the District Attorney. You might also consider a small claims court action.
What if my insurance company fails to process my claim or pay the amount agreed upon?
Contact your insurance agent. Then speak to the insurance company’s regional claims manager. If that tails, contact the Nebraska Department of Insurance (402) 471-4607.
You can help
Having your automobile damaged in an accident is an inconvenience but you can minimize this situation. Your claim cannot be accurately established nor can your vehicle be repaired if it is in a towing yard or being driven. Select a autobody repair shop and drive, or tow your vehicle there as soon as possible
If you write
If writing to the Nebraska Department of Insurance, include your name, address, city and telephone number as well as the name of your insurance company, your policy or claim number and a brief description of your problem. Attach copies of estimates, invoices and other relevant material.
What if your insurance company and the autobody repair shop of your choice cannot agree on the cost to have your vehicle repaired?
Most insurance policies provide for a damage appraisal. When the insurance company and the customer fail to agree, either party may demand a loss appraisal. This demand can be made within 60 days after the claim has been filed.
Each party selects a competent and disinterested umpire and submits their findings to him. A majority decision between the umpire and the two appraisers settles the amount of the loss.
Contacts for insurance-autobody repair problems
Nebraska Department of Insurance
Consumer Affairs Division
941 “O” Street, Ste. 400
Lincoln, NE 68508-3639
The “Insured Motorists’ Rights in Nebraska” – courtesy of…
Nebraska Auto Body Association
P.O. Box 6785
Omaha, NE 68106
Nebraska Auto Body Association