The named defendants in the lawsuits are insurance companies Nationwide (3), GEICO (2) and Allstate (1). The lawsuits include claims for Breach of Contract, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and Bad Faith. The amounts sought for recovery in the lawsuits range from $1,178.77 to $5,749.64.
“These claims stem from the insurers continual refusal to pay for factory correct repairs according to manufacturer repair specifications and guidelines” said Bradshaw. “Not all insurers are bad, what we’re finding is that many of these companies are doing the right thing and paying for manufacturer correct repairs. There is however a select group of insurance companies that show complete disregard for manufacturer specified repairs, procedures and safety checks on a consistent basis. Unfortunately those insurers put us in the position of performing the operations for free, making the customer responsible for the additional costs or resorting to legal action.”
“As always, our main concern is that our customer’s vehicles are repaired safely, as close as humanly possible to their pre-accident condition. The costs involved in having the proper equipment, training, facilities and staff to repair today’s vehicles continues to escalate. But the reimbursement rates have moved very little in the past several years. I think the problem is many times an insurer is attempting to base payment on the lowest cost in the market and not the cost of proper repairs in the market. Based on our conversations with other shop owners around the country, this is a situation I believe is occurring nationwide. I remain hopeful that someday these actions will no longer be necessary as all insurers will choose to do right by their customers.”
While no trial dates have been set, the lawsuits are expected to take place during the first half of 2014.