AG offers guidance for dealing with insurance, auto repair compa - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

AG offers guidance for dealing with insurance, auto repair companies

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has published a guide for consumers outlining what they should expect from their insurance companies and auto body repair shops. (Photo source: WLOX) The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has published a guide for consumers outlining what they should expect from their insurance companies and auto body repair shops. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Having a good mechanic you trust is invaluable. But not everyone is so lucky. That's why the Mississippi Attorney General's Office has published a guide for consumers outlining what they should expect from their insurance companies and auto body repair shops. 

The Consumer’s Guide to Insurance and Auto Body Repair even addresses how to choose a shop and the different types of repair costs and warranties.

Attorney General Jim Hood said his office wanted to cut through the confusion many people have over the technology and new materials used in vehicles these days. 

"What’s created more complaints that we’ve received are all the new metals and technology that goes into cars now, plastics," Hood explained. "These body shops have to have different tools to weld different type metals. Even for a specific vehicle, they have to have the tools and then they have to train their people and then get the certifications in order to do a proper repair and that’s the term of art that’s in our state law."

Hood said it's the duty of the insurance company to pay for a proper repair and for the body shop to do a proper repair. But that doesn't always happen. 

"Where problems creep up is that the body shop may not have gotten these certifications and tools and training. And they may be able to offer to do the repair at a lower price and really not be qualified to do the repair. And it may not be properly done," Hood said. 

"The insurance companies just want to pay the least amount. And it’s not necessarily the least amount, but a proper repair. And that’s where the rub is. Especially if it’s not your insurance company, but someone else hit you. And so that’s created complaints in our office," Hood said. "Hopefully, this guide will help guide consumers through what to do once you have an accident, what questions to ask at the body shops that you take your vehicle to, and what to expect from the process."

One of the biggest things pointed out in the manual is that the consumer has the right to choose the body shop. 

"You can’t steer someone to a body shop to just try to get them to do it cheaper. It’s the right of the person who owns the vehicle to get the vehicle repaired at the facility they like. Now, maybe they can’t just go to the most expensive and it not be a proper repair, but that’s one of those things that has to be negotiated and hopefully this guide will help," Hood said 

Click here for a copy of the Consumer Guide to Insurance and Auto Body Repair.

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