Minnesota Insurance Practices
Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating. Minnesota laws very carefully regulate insurance companies AND auto body repair shops to protect consumers. The following is information that you, as a consumer, should be aware of.
According to Minnesota statute 72A.201, subd. 6, the vehicle owner may select ANY repair facility he or she wants. It is COMPLETELY the consumer's choice. At the time a claim is reported, the insurer must provide the following advisory to the insured or claimant:
"Minnesota law gives you the right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. Your policy will cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made. Have you selected a repair shop or would you like a referral?"
After an insured has indicated that they have selected a repair shop, the insurance company must cease all efforts to influence the insured's choice of repair shop.
Your insurance rates CAN NOT increase based on your choice of repair shop and Collision and Color guarantees that you WILL NOT incur any additional costs in conjunction with your claim above and beyond your deductable. If the insurance company's preliminary estimate is inadequate for a proper repair, Collision and Color will work with the adjuster to obtain compensation for the additional repairs required. Again, you WILL NOT be held responsible for these "additional costs".
According to Minnesota statute 72B.092, subd.1, the insurance company cannot require you to have your vehicle inspected at a "drive-in" claim center or any other similar facility solely under the control of the insurance company. Collision and Color will arrange for your appraiser to inspect your vehicle at our facility.
Finally, there is NO law that requires you to obtain two or three estimates. If your insurance company requests this, it's a matter of the particular company's policy. If you already know who you'll select to repair your vehicle, tell the insurance company right away. Never submit an estimate from a shop that you wouldn't have repair your vehicle.
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