Know Your RIghts To Choose An Auto Body
1) When the insurance company says that I can have my vehicle repaired at an insurance company approved or referral repair facility, do I need to use the insurance company’s facility?
R.I.G.L. §27-29-4(15) Rhode Island Law deems it an Unfair Claims Practice for an insurance company to “require that repairs be made to an automobile at a specified auto body repair shop, or to interfere with the insured’s or claimant’s free choice of repair facility.” You have the right to choose your repair facility. Once you tell the insurance company of your choice, they may not discuss your choice or attempt to change your mind.
2) Can I ask my insurance company to repair my vehicle with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts?
R.I.G.L. §27-10.2-2(b) “No insurance company may require the use of aftermarket parts when negotiating repairs with any repairer unless the repairer has written consent from the owner to install aftermarket parts.”
An insurance company may not require aftermarket parts if your vehicle is less than 30 months old (from date of manufacture). You are entitled to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. Ex. If you have a Honda, your vehicle will be repaired with Honda parts.
3) If I have comprehensive or collision insurance, will the insurance company pay for the rental car of my choice?
R.I.G.L. §27-29-4(18) No insurance company shall interfere with consumer’s freedom to choose a rental agency. No insurance company may require an insured to pay a rental company when the insured has signed a direction to pay.
If the accident is not your fault and the other party’s insurance company has accepted responsibility, you are entitled to a vehicle comparable to your own while your vehicle is undergoing repairs. Ex. If you have an SUV you are entitled to an SUV. However, if you have a Range Rover, the insurance company can provide you
With an Explorer or equal SUV; they are not required to provide an identical vehicle.
4) If the accident is not my fault, do I still need to use my insurance coverage to pay for the claim?
DBR Regulation 73 §6D: “Where liability and damages are reasonably clear, the Insurer shall not recommend that a Third Party Claimant make a claim under his or her own Policy.” If the accident is not your fault the other party’s insurance company cannot tell you to use your own coverage.
5) My vehicle was declared a total loss. Is my insurance company required to give me the replacement cost?
DBR Regulation 73 §7A(2) “ insurers shall use as guide, the average retail values indicated by the NADA official Used Car Guide, or some service substantially similar.”
You are entitled to the actual retail value of your vehicle. You are entitled to a tax credit letter if the insurance company does not pay 7% Rhode Island tax in the settlement. You are also entitled to a $25 DMV Registration fee.