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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    2

    Default Insurance Company Estimates Repairs as a Fraction of the Cost of the Owner's Quote

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Maryland

    I've read a few articles here and have a better understanding of the subject, but still would appreciate another set of eyes to review my case, so here goes ...

    My vehicle $80k new, six months old, 6k miles on odo. I was proceeding thru parking lot (my hometown), t-boned by out-of-state driver backing out into side (rear door and quarter panel of my aluminum-skinned vehicle). Long-story-short, at-fault driver's insurance agreed 100% liable for damage so thought I was doing well until I took car to body-shop of my choice (Audi Aluminum/Steel hybrid certified). The ins company adjuster came out and put $4k on the damage, shop wants $18k to repair. I went to my ins co to deal with it and their adjuster came back $5k. The car was "blueprinted" by the shop so now in many pieces. There would be dismantling and storage expense to move it to another shop. I have spoken to several other Audi aluminum-cert shops in area, sent them pix, etc. and they are all saying the shop's price is in the ballpark, but would have to see the car so both ins companies low-balling the estimate, imho.

    My insurance company has an Audi-cert shop "they work with," but my experience with that shop is absolutely horrible so I will not consider them, though I may get away with zero cost out-of-pocket. I expect this sort of treatment, but the insurance estimates and my shop are so far apart, not sure what to do. I could pay for the repair and then sue the at-fault driver locally? Is that probably my best course of action? My question to my insurer is why do you sell coverage and charge a premium for a car you are not willing to repair properly? I have asked if they will move the car to any other Audi-cert facility and think they can have it repaired at the cost they are quoting, but giving me the correct and quality repair for the vehicle. I've yet to get an answer to that.

    I have to get my policy out to see if there is a review/mediation/arbitration, etc. clause to see if I could hire an independent appraiser or is that a given? I also think I could contact the MD Insurance Commission, but not sure they would take any action on such a trivial matter?

    Appreciate any follow-up questions re. details I've left out and certainly any input as to what I should consider as my next move. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Insurance Company Estimates Repairs as a Fraction of the Cost of the Owner's Quot

    There has to be an explanation for a discrepancy of that magnitude. What is it that you're asking the shop to do that neither your insurance company nor the at-fault driver's insurance company is willing to pay for?

    You have the option of suing the at-fault driver and, if that driver concedes fault, the trial would be limited to damages -- but without facts, we're not positioned to tell you whether the court would find your position persuasive, that what two insurance adjusters (operating independently) found to be a $4,000 - $5,000 repair is in fact an $18,000 repair.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Insurance Company Estimates Repairs as a Fraction of the Cost of the Owner's Quot

    Thank you for your reply. I agree that something is not right about the situation. I am not asking the shop to do anything but repair the car. There is nothing special about it other than possibly being relatively new. I've stated the facts as I know them. What other info should I offer? The shop has questioned the most recent appraiser as to why the estimate is so low and waiting for that explanation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,953

    Default Re: Insurance Company Estimates Repairs as a Fraction of the Cost of the Owner's Quot

    Quote Quoting KT88
    View Post

    I have to get my policy out
    Well, what are you waiting for? Is it locked up in Al Capone's vault or something. You should have been reading it long before coming here.

    to see if there is a review/mediation/arbitration, etc. clause to see if I could hire an independent appraiser or is that a given?
    There is an Appraisal clause. Read it.

    I also think I could contact the MD Insurance Commission, but not sure they would take any action on such a trivial matter?
    Couldn't hurt. But don't count on it helping you any time soon. The process involves you filing a written complaint, could take a month for the Department to get to it on the queue, then a letter goes to upper management of the insurance company and trickles down to the claims people where it is looked into and a written response is sent to the Department likely saying we aren't doing anything wrong. The Department reviews it after another month on the queue and then sends you a written response with its determination.

    Appreciate any follow-up questions re. details I've left out and certainly any input as to what I should consider as my next move. Thanks!
    Read the Appraisal provision of the policy. That's your next step. Invoke it in writing to your claim rep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    94,449

    Default Re: Insurance Company Estimates Repairs as a Fraction of the Cost of the Owner's Quot

    Take the insurance company's estimates to your body shop and ask them to explain the difference. It's reasonable to infer that a $13,000-$14,000 discrepancy involves more than a preference for OEM parts and a higher labor cost.

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