What Are the Rules/Laws When It Comes to Insurers Refusing to Pay Rental Coverage? - BodyShop Business

What Are the Rules/Laws When It Comes to Insurers Refusing to Pay Rental Coverage?

What are the rules/laws when it comes to insurers not wanting to pay for rental coverage for their insureds? I'm getting frustrated with the adjuster calling my customers first if there is an issue or concern.

What are the rules/laws when it comes to insurers not wanting to pay for rental coverage for their insureds? What needs to be done? The adjuster always gives me a hard time every time I have to deal directly with her. I don’t know if it has to do with me being a 33-year-old female business owner or what, but I’m getting very frustrated with her constantly calling my customers instead of calling me if there is an issue or concern.
First, I cannot and do not offer or provide legal advice. Should you feel the need to seek legal counsel, I strongly encourage that you do so from an attorney licensed in your state who is familiar with contract, corporate and statutory law.

Second, the policy contract between the insurer and your customer is the controlling document that generally sets the promises and expectations between the insurer and their policyholder. You as a repairer should learn to read contract wording and become familiar with reading between the lines and understanding just how a ‘may’ here and a ‘shall’  there and other minor words can make a world of difference in what the policy affords…and doesn’t. This, of course, can be extremely useful to you in conducting business as a business owner and helping your customers to better understand what rights they may have. Just make sure to not provide any suggestions or recommendations that could be construed as legal counsel to your customers…unless, of course, you’re an attorney or licensed claims adjuster.
Third, I strongly encourage our coaching/consulting clients to become intimately familiar with the state laws, regulations, statutes, ordinances, etc., which govern their business, as well as those that govern the insurance industry when it comes to fair (and unfair) claims practices within their states.
The problem you and many other repairers across the country face is the lack of respect by the insurance claims community. As I’ve stated many times, insurers make it their business to know your industry and consumer behavior better than you know yourself. They thrive on information that enables them to control both repairs and consumers during the claims process. Merely being morally right or on solid ethical ground has little to do with claims handling. The honest, ethical repairer who wants to do the right thing for the right reasons often finds themselves powerless to help their customers and feels abused by the insurer. Sound familiar? This is most often simply due to your customer not having the knowledge to protect themselves, the repairer not having the knowledge to effectively help their customer and the insurer knowing it!
As stated in one of my prior ‘Ask The Expert’ responses, you need to remove the big red ‘S’ off your chest, hang up your cape and step from in front of the customer to their side as their expert, not their protector, on collision repair-related matters. You need to take the position as the humble repairer who has the expertise to provide a proper and thorough repair and who knows a thing or two about policy contracts.
You state: ‘I’m getting very frustrated with her constantly calling my customers instead of calling me if there is an issue or concern.’ You need to understand and accept that the claims representative doesn’t owe you a call when it comes to coverage issues, denials or concessions. They legally owe (contractually and by state statute) their policyholder, who just happens to be your customer. By law, they owe you, the repairer, nothing. Conversely, you, the repairer, owe the insurer nothing. Your responsibilities are to your customer as outlined by your repair contract with them.
Understand that it is your customer, in this case the insured, who holds the cards dealt them in their policy contract. Once they know what their rights are, they can protect them and avoid forfeiting them as many consumers often do. What does the policy call for under rental allowance? Does it have a dollar limit, a monetary limit, a daily allowance? Does it specify what term or timeframe rental is allowed? Or perhaps there are no such restrictions as applied to repairs under the collision portion of their policy.

If you want to help your customers, help them understand their rights, who owes them, and how to protect and assert their rights. Other than providing the highest quality repair, this will be the best and possibly the most important service you can provide to your customer and to your company.

Note: You may also want to reach out to your state industry association for more information.  

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