“Until insurance companies have to play by the same rules as all other industries, collision repairers and vehicle owners will continue to have conflict with them. How can insurers’ exemption from antitrust laws be changed or eliminated? – Mike Hogan, body shop manager, Tulley Buick, Nashua, N.H.
Recent concern has developed in the aftermath of Avery v. State Farm that a DRP agreement attempts to shift liability from the insurance company to the shop in the event of a lawsuit brought by an unsatisfied consumer – or, worse yet, an entire class of unsatisfied consumers. Is this concern valid? Are shops becoming scapegoats?
The Snider vs. State Farm verdict got the attention of repairers, insurers, consumers … and many, many lawyers — who didn’t waste any time filing copycat lawsuits. But with the spotlight now on insurance companies, should shops also be concerned?
As consumers across the country file diminished value (DV) claims against insurers and hire lawyers to file DV class-action suits, repairers need to learn what the law says about DV — and if and when the scales of justice will be tipped against them.
When it comes to violating antitrust laws, insurance companies aren’t always the villains. Learn when it’s OK to speak out and join forces with industry members — and when it’s better to just zip your lips.
Before shop owners condemn the practices of insurers, they need to take a long, hard look at themselves. Committing fraud is dishonest, immoral and illegal – yet many continue to do it.