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State Farm Claims Department Email – Last month, State Farm told the Kansas Department of Insurance that third-party claimants should obtain an estimate from an Election Service repairer, but the claimant “is not obligated to use that repairer.”
The Illinois attorney general also announced on Wednesday that third-party plaintiffs have been asked to seek estimates from State Farm’s direct repair program network.
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“It’s taken off in the Chicago area as well,” said attorney Patrick McGuire, whose practice includes collision repairers. (Note: Nothing in this article is intended as legal advice. Please consult with qualified counsel in your state.)
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Beyond the obvious steering issues, such incidents seem to impose liability on non-contractual third-party claimants. Unlike first-party motorists, who have a contractual relationship with an insurer, third-parties typically do not sell any rights.
It’s bad enough that an unreasonable demand for a third-party claimant to suffer the inconvenience of an estimate in an unwanted shop is bad enough. However, such an initiative can become more difficult if insurance representatives or third-party claimants mistakenly believe that the actual repair should be within the scope of the DRP. This, of course, will deal with shop-choice laws across the country.
“When discussing a claimant’s desire to repair a vehicle, we offer the Selective Service Program if we have Service Repairers in the claimant’s geographic location,” wrote an April 15 letter to the Kansas Department of Insurance. response to a common complaint. “We send them to these repairers to get an initial estimate for the repairs. Once we have this estimate, we issue a payment. The customer is under no obligation to use this repair. Customers can use their claim settlement fees however they want, including deciding where to get their car repaired. …
“If the customer dropped off their vehicle at the chosen repairer, we would work directly with the repairer to achieve the agreed upon repair amount.”
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“As stated earlier, there are no specific laws that address your concerns about repair shops,” Karen Wallace, consumer assistance supervisor for the Kansas Department of Insurance, wrote in an April 24 letter to Tony Adams, vice president of the Kansas Automobile Association. Adams sent a general survey of potential law changes that led to State Farm’s response.
“The response shows that State Farm wants people to use the specialty stores for evaluation, but there is no requirement to use those stores for repairs,” Wallace continued.
We asked State Farm several questions about reports of changes in third-party claims in Kansas, Illinois and North Carolina:
These include State Farm’s official policy for third-party claimants, a source for explaining the new requirement, state applications to modify the treatment of third-party claimants, why State Farm can impose third-party claims, and how claims are handled when a third-party claimant carries a first-party State Farm policy.
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“Thank you for your request,” Tammy Estes, State Farm’s senior public affairs specialist, wrote on April 28. “We have nothing to share with RDN.”
Adams said he’s faced inquiries from CABA members about third-party behavior at State Farm, and the same could happen at his store.
Adams said a State Farm representative said a longtime Weaver customer — a third-party claimant — had to bring his vehicle to a DRP shop for repairs. Eventually, Adams’ shop requested a State Farm inspector, who immediately confirmed that the consumer was eligible to have the vehicle repaired anywhere, Adams said. The weaver kept the keys.
Adams says he chalked it up to a simple mistake under the arm, but is the incident something wider?
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In Illinois, “there is no liability to the third-party plaintiff,” McGuire said. According to McGuire, they can even repair the car and have the bill in hand before taking the case to the first-party plaintiff.
According to McGuire, an insurer filing as a third-party claimant does not have to use the terms of their original contract. Whether the consumer can choose to claim the loss as a first-party or third-party claimant.
But while filing a first-party claim in a general loss situation can benefit the victim, “it’s a rare case where you’re better off as the first party,” according to McGuire.
A third-party claimant probably doesn’t have to pick up the vehicle to get an estimate, “even if they share the same insurance company,” where the insurer chooses, Eversman said.
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He said the claimant would be a third-party adverse party, and “the insurer has no right to pursue any action against the third party” unless the language in the original settlement contract called for the customer to sacrifice the third-party rights as well.
Erica Eversman, an attorney for Transportation Information Services, said she was not familiar with the Kansas law, but doubted the insurance commissioner would allow such a requirement in a carrier’s policy.
Allowing the insurer to participate in the repair process can avoid the need for a third-party claimant to sue the policyholder for full recovery. That doesn’t mean the insurer has the right to control the process, Eversman said.
“As a general principle,” Eversman said, third parties do not owe a “period” duty to insurers. It is “inappropriate” for an insurer to exercise such control, he said.
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State Farm said Friday that the Illinois complaint and operator training for adjusters, selection of service shops and outsourcing evaluations (eg, AI and first batch tables.
“Some states have laws that prevent an insurer from requiring a first or third-party claimant to go an unreasonable distance or create other guidelines to inspect vehicles,” APCIA vice president of automotive and policy Bob Passmore said in a statement. “However, in most cases, the claimant and the insurer can work together to find the most efficient and effective way to investigate the vehicle, assess the damage and get the claim paid.”
Eversman said insurers can undervalue claims and commit insurance fraud. He suggested that if the insurer used the shop as an agent, the repairer “could be liable for insurance fraud and underestimation of claims”.
Eversman pointed to the problem of using a third party with a potential interest to write an estimate “for the benefit of the insurance company,” which may write a higher estimate after the store handles the claim. It’s “the whole game” of the DRP repairman who writes the estimate, he said.
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He said it was an “incredible conflict of interest” to buy a store for outsourcing when the “obvious goal” was to renovate the store.
Eversman said that if the DRP shop does a “good initial repair analysis without destructive activity,” it’s done without unnecessary disassembly to properly determine the scope of the claim. It should be understood – “in writing, in bold” – this is “the most accurate estimate ever created” without breaking it down.
“That would be a different story,” Eversman said. But that may not get the store off the hook or eliminate interest issues, he said.
We suggested that if the insurer’s appraisal shop were to remove components, the scenario would turn into a repair and risk violating shop-choice law, and Eversman agreed.
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We asked the Kansas Department of Insurance if it has taken any further action or directed State Farm on this issue. We also felt that the third-party claimant’s duty to obtain an estimate where State Farm desired it was insufficient.
“While users may agree to share their personal information with whomever they choose, we do not comment on specific cases,” the agency’s Lee Modesitt said in an April 29 email. The general complaints process is to work with the insurance company as well. and insureds upon receiving a complaint to collect all relevant information from participants and ensure that it is handled in accordance with Kansas rules and regulations. “
Since they could not discuss a specific complaint, we asked about Kansas’ common law and statutes regarding third-party plaintiffs.
For temporary damages to real property, Kansas courts will refer to PIK Civ. 4th 171.21, which states,
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“When the damage to immovable property is temporary and of such a nature that the property can be restored to its original condition, the amount of the damage shall be the cost of repairs necessary to restore it to its original condition, and an appropriate amount for compensation.
Are made in due diligence during the repair, but not to exceed its fair and reasonable market value prior to the injury. “
This is consistent with the purpose of torts, which is to restore the injured person to health, while at the same time avoiding the storm for the injured person. Depreciation of operating costs is a mechanical determination of the loss in those factors
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