Vehicle Collision Insurance Information in Redmond, Washington

INSURANCE CLAIMS

(This information in not intended to be used as legal advice. For legal advice, ALWAYS consult with an attorney.)

You, the vehicle owner, have the right to choose where your vehicle is repaired, not the Insurance Company. WAC 284.30.390 says the insurer must make a good faith effort to honor your chosen repair shop and cannot deny your choice. No insurance company can interfere with that right.

You DO NOT have to go to the insurance company's shop or claims center for an estimate or repairs. Come to us for repairs and we'll help you take care of it.

You do not have to accept the insurance company “estimate” of damages as final payment. If you disagree with your insurance company, you may dispute the claim. 99.9 % of insurance initial “estimates” do not cover the cost to properly repair your vehicle.

Conduct all communication with the insurance company IN WRITING ONLY, and insist that they do the same. This eliminates the “I thought they said…” syndrome and gives you documentation of all statements and claims made by the insurer. Insurers can make misleading (or in some cases blatantly false) statements in person or over the telephone; however, they will not put these in writing. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Email is a great way to handle this. Let the insurer know that you are unable to receive phone calls during work hours and insist that they send you an email/fax instead.

Do not take financial advice from any party that has an interest in how much money you receive.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and nobody would object to any business earning a legitimate profit; however, these profits should not be borne on the backs of consumers through underpayment of claims. DO NOT rely on the insurance company for sound advice, as their objective is to minimize their losses.

If your Insurance Company refuses to pay for the actual cost of proper repairs or attempts to “lowball” your claim, consider using “The Insurance Fair Conduct Act.” From RCW 48.30.015 Unreasonable denial of a claim for coverage or payment of benefits: “Any first party claimant to a policy of insurance who is unreasonably denied a claim for coverage or payment of benefits by an insurer may bring an action in the superior court of this state to recover the actual damages sustained, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation costs, as set forth in subsection (3) of this section.”


Insurance information for Accurate Auto Body Inc.

INSURANCE REGULATIONS

Below is a sampling of important regulations in Washington State law relating to dealings between you and your insurance company. For more information on Washington state policy on these matters, visit the Office of the Insurance Commissioner's website at http://insurance.wa.gov.

WAC 284.30.330 – Specific unfair claims settlement practices defined.

The following are hereby defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance, specifically applicable to the settlement of claims:
(1) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions.
(2) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies.
(3) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies.
(4) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation.
(5) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed.
(6) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear. In particular, this includes an obligation to effectuate prompt payment of property damage claims to innocent third parties in clear liability situations. If two or more insurers are involved, they should arrange to make such payment, leaving to themselves the burden of apportioning it.
(7) Compelling insureds to institute or submit to litigation, arbitration, or appraisal to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in such actions or proceedings.
(8) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application.
(9) Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which the payments are being made.
(10) Asserting to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration.
(11) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring subsequent submissions which contain substantially the same information.
(12) Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage.
(13) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.
(14) Unfairly discriminating against claimants because they are represented by a public adjuster.
(15) Failure to expeditiously honor drafts given in settlement of claims. A failure to honor a draft within three working days of notice of receipt by the payor bank will constitute a violation of this provision. Dishonor of any such draft for valid reasons related to the settlement of the claim will not constitute a violation of this provision.
(16) Failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the processing and payment of claims once the obligation to pay has been established. Except as to those instances where the time for payment is governed by statute or rule or is set forth in an applicable contract, procedures which are not designed to deliver a check or draft to the payee in payment of a settled claim within fifteen business days after receipt by the insurer or its attorney of properly executed releases or other settlement documents are not acceptable. Where the insurer is obligated to furnish an appropriate release or settlement document to an insured or claimant, it shall do so within twenty working days after a settlement has been reached.
(17) Delaying appraisals or adding to their cost under insurance policy appraisal provisions through the use of appraisers from outside of the loss area. The use of appraisers from outside the loss area is appropriate only where the unique nature of the loss or a lack of competent local appraisers make the use of out-of-area appraisers necessary.
(18) Failing to make a good faith effort to settle a claim before exercising a contract right to an appraisal.
(19) Negotiating or settling a claim directly with any claimant known to be represented by an attorney without the attorney's knowledge and consent. This does not prohibit routine inquiries to an insured claimant to identify the claimant or to obtain details concerning the claim.