A body shop in North Carolina has filed six lawsuits on behalf of their customers against insurance companies for their refusal to cover the costs of necessary vehicle repairs. The complaint alleges breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices and bad faith. The amounts requested in each lawsuit vary, but all are for less than $6,000.
The heart of the problem, according to the owner of the body shop, is that these insurance companies are not paying either customers or the body shop enough to handle repairs to vehicles appropriately. While there are less expensive ways to handle vehicle repairs, they often do not meet the standards of the vehicle manufacturer and will fail to meet safety checks. It is believed that these insurance companies are providing payouts based on the least expensive options available, whatever they may be.
The body shop owner stated that the cost of repairing vehicles to manufacturer specifications has gone up in the last few years, but payments for these repairs are not keeping up with the increasing expenses. As a result, customers are being required to pay for the additional costs out of their own pocket or the shop is having to do the work without being paid for it.
While few business owners want to becoming involved in a legal action, in some cases it is necessary to be able to run their business. If the insurance companies in question are not providing reimbursement for the customers or the body shop, it is hampering the shop’s ability to operate. A lawyer with experience in business litigation may be able to help a client determine an appropriate measure of recovery.
Source: Body Shop Business, “North Carolina Body Shop Files Six Lawsuits Against Multiple Insurance Companies“, December 30, 2013