Insurance Auto Repair Shop or Mine

Can MetLife prevent me from getting my car repaired at a shop of my choosing in California. They want me to use their shop. MetLife wrote an estimate of $9000 for a $17000 valued Scion XB 2008 and wants to fix it at their shop. I believe it is totaled. Can I get another shop to repair it and is MetLife required to pay for it.

Asked on July 4, 2009 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In general insurance companies will allow a person to have repairs done at a shop they choose however sometimes they require a few estimates to ensure the price is fair and reasonable. I am not admitted in CA so I an unable to comment on whether there are specific rules and regulations which apply to your situation but in general I would guess that the insurance company cannot force you to use a certain repair shop...unless in your contract it specifically states that the insurer can choose the repair shop or some other similar provision or there is a caveat in CA law to which I cannot comment.

I would advise reading over the terms and conditions that you received with your coverage. See if this type of situation is discussed. if so that is what you must go by. if not than try to speak to the insurance company get an explanation of why they are proceeding as they are. If you are still not happy with this than consult with a local attorney, show then your policy tell them of the history of your dealing with the insurer and see if there is anything you can do. You may also want to research car values because unfortunately oftentimes insurance coverage is less than actual value of a car. Good luck and feel free to post additional questions here.


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