Open Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Question 1: My car's body is damaged, is it a total loss?
Answer 1: No, a car is only a total loss when the price of repairs exceeds the value of the car.
Question 2: How many estimates do I need for my insurance company?
Answer 2: There is no law stating how many estimates an insurance company requires.
Question 3: How long do your repairs take?
Answer 3: Most repairs take 3 to 4 days from the time we receive the vehicle. The length of time it takes to repair a vehicle is dependent upon the extent of the damage.
Question 4: What is the difference between rebuilt and remanufactured?
Answer 4: Rebuilding is the process of restoring a part to its original state before failure. Remanufacturing is the process of replacing all the components of a part to make it like its new condition.
Insurance Commissioner Office (OCI)
P.O. Box 7873
Madison, WI 53707
Fax: (608) 266-9935
Do I have the right to select the shop of my choice to repair my car?
Yes. Insurance policies require that you notify the company or your agent as soon as possible after an accident, make a damage report and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected.
Do I need to get more than one estimate?
No. Only one damage report is necessary from the repair shop of your choice. However, the insurance company will usually want to have their own adjuster inspect the damage. If your insurance company has a drive-in claim service and your vehicle is safe to drive, you should call them for an appointment, take your car there, make sure you receive a copy of the insurance adjuster's estimate, and then take the estimate and your vehicle to the shop of your choice. If your vehicle is not safe to drive, simply have it towed to the repair shop of your choice. When you notify your insurance company about the accident, tell them that the vehicle is not drivable and where it can be inspected
What do I do if the repair shop I choose and my insurance company disagree about how my car should be repaired or what the repairs should cost?
In special circumstances, if the repair shop's adjuster's estimate, you can negotiate an agreement with the insurance company under which they will pay less that the full amount of the repair costs and you will assume responsibility for paying the difference. If you and your insurance company can't agree on a fair settlement of your claim, most insurance policies provide for an appraisal process. When you and your insurance company fail to agree, either party may demand an appraisal of loss within 60 days after the claim has been filed. Each party may then select a competent appraiser to represent them, and the two appraisers will select a disinterested umpire. If the two appraisers do not agree, they submit their findings to the umpire. The umpire's decision sets the amount the insurance company must pay.
Who is responsible for the quality of the repairs?
The repair shop is responsible for the quality of the repairs. That’s why it is important for you to select a repair shop with a properly-trained staff of technicians and the equipment necessary to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
Who is responsible for paying the repair bill?
The vehicle owner must arrange for payment of the repair bill. Your insurance states the insurer will reimburse you for the cost of the repairs less any deductibles or depreciation. You can instruct your insurance company to pay the repair shop directly, but make sure that the payment is in the hands of the repair shop when you pick up your car.
Who do I contact if there is a problem with the repair job?
First get in touch with the manager of the shop. If your shop cannot solve your problem, you should contact your insurance company's claims manager. If the problem is still not resolved, you may ultimately want to contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection or your local Better Business Bureau.
What can I do if I have a problem with the way my insurance company is processing or settling my claim?
As a citizen, you have the right to contact the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner's office, the agency charged with regulating and disciplining the insurance industry. The Commissioner’s office cannot by itself resolve damage, coverage or liability disputes, but it can obtain written explanations from insurance companies regarding their positions. Having a written explanation may be useful to you if you have to resort to litigation to resolve a dispute with an insurance company.
How will I know if my insurance company is intending to have replacement (aftermarket) parts used in the repair of my vehicle?
The insurer is required, by law, to notify the insured if "non original manufacturer replacement parts" (aftermarket) are intended to be used in the repair of the vehicle. Notice shall be in shall be in writing but a verbal statement is allowed if it is followed by a written notice within three days.
Some terms use to identify “Non original manufacturer replacement parts" are A/M, aftermarket, quality replacement part, QRP, CAPA, PXN (Parts Exchange New), competitive part and economy part. Aftermarket parts are not manufactured nor warranted by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP)
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708