A Georgia state court has just recently ordered State Farm to pay their policyholder $40,508 after a jury found the insurer had breached its contract and acted in bad faith. Are you kidding?!! This is awesome!
This suit is the result of the insurer’s denials and underpayment of approximately $4,000 in the costs for repairs being performed by a collision repair facility there in Savannah, GA. The shop itself was called in as a witness for the prosecution in this case. The judgment included $5,508 for breach of contract, $5,000 as a bad faith penalty and an additional $30,000 in attorney’s fees leading to the verdict of $40,508.
The shop owner, in this case that was called as a witness, says that they will work with all insurers but their first responsibility is to the customer. Like the rest of the collision repair industry, their concern was that the vehicle was repaired properly and thoroughly. After all, it is the responsibility of the repairer to ensure that their services are professional because we have a moral obligation to the customer entrusting us with their property. When a customer is treated unfairly, then we have to be willing to stand up for them and against those that are harming them. We need to do all that we can to help make them whole.
Insurance companies and collision repair services should be working hand in hand to ensure that the customer and their needs come first. Perhaps the most proactive way to secure this is to educate the customers on their rights. Let them know why the insurance companies are leading their policy holders towards DRP’s. If you are unsure, it is because they want to control parts, labor and cycle times to increase their profitability and reduce the need to pay extra for rentals.