Eddie Quintela, owner of Collision Concepts Inc. in Delray Beach, Fla., has written a letter to GEICO to voice his objection over the insurer deducting 10 percent of the cost of domestic OE parts written on estimates, thereby leaving the insured with the cost which Quintela says can be as high as $300 to $500.
Quintela, whose shop grosses $2.2 million in yearly sales and has many DRPs (but not with GEICO),
said it’s an issue that has been ongoing in Palm Beach County and is disturbing because he claims that nowhere in GEICO’s auto policies does it state they will do this.
“I have yet to see where this additional deduction is spelled out or listed in your automobile policy,” Quintela wrote in his letter. “What’s even more troubling is that it’s also applied to claimants’ estimates where a Geico insured is at fault, thus placing an expense on a claimant who had no fault at all.”
Quintela claims that one GEICO representative responded that the insurer’s position on this matter will not change and they will continue to have their insureds pay additional monies.
“How can an insured in Palm Beach County not be made whole after a loss, but an insured in Polk County can?” Quintela said in his letter. “How can an insured who drives a foreign-made vehicle not be deducted 10 percent for OEM parts, but one who drives a vehicle made in the U.S. be made to pay 10 percent of their parts? My customers who own and insure American vehicles are infuriated when I have to explain that they owe additional monies on top of their deductibles because they drive domestic vehicles.”
Quintela states in the letter that he took one such claim to court and was awarded the 10 percent and attorney’s fees. According to Quintela, GEICO asked for a stay of judgment and another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2012.
“I cannot see how that makes a sound business decision by your local management,” wrote Quintela. “It not only shows poor customer service on your company’s part towards their own insureds, but it deteriorates relationships between your company and the hundreds of collision repair facilities here in South Florida.”