Frequently Asked Questions
General and State Specific Observations:

1) How do I choose a repair facility?

Some simple questions and common sense will separate the wheat from the chaff. How long has the facility been in business? What is their reputation in the community? Are they properly equipped to properly perform collision repairs ( i.e. Do they have frame machines, three-dimensional measuring system, M.I.G. welding equipment, computerized color mixing station, down draft spray booth, refinish baking ability, etc.). Do not hesitate to ask such questions, reputable facilities will be flattered by your interest and will likely provide answers to questions you did not even consider to ask.

2) Must I obtain more than one estimate?

No, Connecticut Law does not require you to get more than one estimate. It is recommended that you get an estimate from the repair facility of your choice so that the auto damage claim can be efficiently processed.

3) What is Direct Repair Program (DRP)?

Many large insurance carriers have Direct Repair Programs (a.k.a. DRP s) in which agreements are entered into with repair facilities for collision work. In general, the insurer will refer collisions work to a repair shop and the shop will prepare a repair estimates using the insurance carriers estimate guidelines. Often, these agreements provide for parts discounts and limit labor rates to the insurance company as a prerequisite to participation in the program

4) Must I go to the repair facility suggested by the insurance company?

No. Connecticut law protects your choice of repair facility. Insurance companies are prohibited from mandating or otherwise “steering” you to a particular facility. Place your interest first, always consider factors such as those give under FAQ 1 when choosing a repair facility.

5) How do I get my claim initiated?

A simple question that brings up a number of considerations. Generally, the owner / operator of the vehicle is responsible for initiating the damage claim. Initiating the claim will vary as to whether one is filing the claim under their own insurance policy or a third party claim against another party. Most insurance cards will have the contact phone number for the claims department printed on them. If you are making a third party claim, you will need the name and policy number of the other party (generally that will be provided in the police accident memorandum or report). The contact phone number for many insurers can usually be obtained by contacting your state’s Insurance Department. If you have an insurance agent, you may contact your agent for guidance.

6) I made a third party claim, but the insurance company has not yet accepted liability.

Insurance companies generally have a “reasonable time” to investigate a claim. Many will require your statement of the circumstances surrounding the claim, a copy of the police report when applicable, and contact with the other involved parties. This can be problem if your vehicle is not drivable, especially if you do not have collision and rental vehicle coverage on your own policy.

7) You feel the insurance company is ignoring you or treating you unfairly.

You can contact your State’s Insurance Department, most of which have a Consumer Affairs division (Connecticut Web site . The scope of authority of such departments are often limited, and you should check with your State’s agency as to what power they do have to resolve your problems. Sometimes, consumer interest organizations may be able to assist and you always have the option of engaging legal representation when you feel it appropriate.

Give us a call with any other questions you may have