CLAIMANTS BILL OF RIGHTS IN WISCONSIN
Do I have the right to select the shop of my choice to repair my vehicle?
Yes, you do. Insurance policies do require you to notify them or your agent as soon as possible after an accident to make a damage report, and to let them know where the damaged vehicle may be inspected.
Do I need to get more than one estimate?
No. Only one estimate is necessary from the repair shop of your choice. However, some insurance companies will want to have their own adjuster to inspect the damage. Make sure to get a copy of the insurance adjusters estimate, and then take the estimate and vehicle to the repair shop of your choice.
If your vehicle is not safe to drive, have it towed to the repair shop of your choice. When you notify your insurance company about the accident, let them know where the vehicle is located.
What do I do if the repair shop and my insurance company disagree about how my car should be repaired or what the repairs should cost?
In most cases the repair shop and the adjuster will negotiate an agreement with the insurance company, which they pay less than 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. Either party may demand an appraisal of loss within 60 days after the claim has been filed.
Who is responsible for the quality of the repairs?
The shop is. That is why it is very important you select a repair shop that is qualified to get your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition.
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 you if “non - original manufacturer replacement parts” (aftermarket) are going to be used in the repair of the vehicle. The notice shall be in writing, but a verbal statement is allowed if it is followed by a written notice within three days. Aftermarket parts are not manufactured nor warranted by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Who is responsible for paying the repair bill?
You are. The vehicle owner must arrange for payment of the repair bill. 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 the vehicle.
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 the damage, coverage or liability disputes, but they can obtain written explanations from insurance companies regarding their positions. A written explanation may be useful to you if you have to resort to litigation to resolve your dispute with your insurance company.
Who do I contact if there is a problem with the repair?
The manager of the repair shop. If your shop cannot solve your problem, you should contact your insurance company’s claims manager. If they can’t solve your problem, you can contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection or your local Better Business Bureau.
Who do I contact if I have any further problems?
For Insurance-Related Problems: Insurance Commissioner Office (OCI) Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection P.O. Box 7873 Madison, WI 53707 (800)236-8517 For Auto Repair - Related Problems: Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection PO Box 8911 Madison, WI 53708 Ph. (608) 224-5012