Insurance Claim FAQ’s
For most people, the accident and insurance claim process is a first. No one is ever expecting an accident, so for those who feel a little lost, here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help guide you. Know your rights.
No! It is your property, and by law, you have the right to choose where your vehicle is repaired. You are not required to get an estimate or repairs at the insurance companies “preferred shop”.
WAC 284-30-390 Acts or practices considered unfair in the settlement of motor vehicle claims.
In addition to the unfair claims settlement practices specified in this regulation, the following acts or practices of the insurer 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 motor vehicle claims.
(1) Failing to make a good faith effort to communicate with the repair facility chosen by the claimant.
(2) Arbitrarily denying a claimant’s estimate for repairs.
No, not if the insurance company follows the rules, acts in good faith and equally considers your interests. This statement is a strategy to steer you to an insurance “preferred” shop where they see the insurance company as the referral source and may use non-factory parts and generic repair methodology. Many insurers give bonuses to adjusters for “meeting the numbers”. An Insurance “estimate” is just how an insurer “negotiates” a claim.
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 of the insurer in the business of insurance, specifically applicable to the settlement of claims:
(1) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions.
(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 promptly pay property damage claims to innocent third parties in clear liability situations.
If you disagree with your insurance company’s final settlement offer, you have the right to dispute it. This includes the “Right to Appraisal Clause” in your insurance policy for disagreements in the settlement amount. Review your insurance policy for details or reach out to us for help.