Can Infinity Insurance require I pay a 20% co-pay when choosing my own body shop?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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Insurance Question from Stockton, CA

Asked on 12/14/2011

Can Infinity Insurance require I pay a 20% co-pay when choosing my own body shop? Hi, my sister has car insurance with Infinity Insurance and recently had an accident. She took her car to a body shop recommended by our father's friend to have the repairs made. Infinity agreed to the claim, but is now requiring that she pay a 20% co-pay in addition to her $500 deductible if she wishes to have the repairs done at the body shop of her choice rather than an Infinity repair facility. I have yet to review her insurance policy paperwork, but the rep claims that this information was part of the disclosure they give during the phone call. Is this legal, or is it steering?Thanks!

Answer given on December 15, 2011

Never heard of an insurance company requiring you to pay 20% co-pay on a repair just because you did not have a car repaired at one of their preferred body shops.  I would contact a lawyer in this instance and ask if your state allows a car owner to choose where they can have their car repaired.  Explain to the lawyer your circumstances and get his advice.  If you need to find an attorney in your area, click here.   

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