In recent years, the amount people pay for their auto insurance coverage has repeatedly come up as a major concern, especially thanks to rising rates that can be attributed to many factors. Another issue that has arisen, though, is the fact that some companies might be advising auto body shops to keep costs down on repairs, which have led some to become so concerned that they filed a lawsuit. This issue could have a major impact on the cost of auto insurance going forward, and for this reason, it might be wise for agents to let their customers know why they pay what they do for their plans, and what impact such a case might have down the road.
A lawsuit comprising some 500 garages in 36 different states has been filed, and the state governments of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are involved as well, according to a report from CNN. Their argument is that insurance companies steer auto repair shops to make less expensive – but also more potentially problematic – fixes when claims are filed.
“It involves people from Maine to Mississippi to California,” John Eaves, the lead attorney for the body shops involved in the lawsuit, told the news network. “Every state in the Union has experienced the same sort of struggle here between the body shops trying to do the work the right way, and the insurance companies trying to cut corners and force them to use unsafe parts and unsafe methods on their cars.”
Riskier for drivers?
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has also spoken out against the practice, specifically through the lens of the potential for increased harm to drivers whose cars get the less expensive repair work done, the report said. He believes this may constitute a safety risk not only for them, but other people as well, and has consequently asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the practice too.
The more insurance agents can do to help people understand the ins and outs of their coverage, and what they’re paying for, the better off they might be when an occasional rate increase comes along. This is because consumers who have a good ongoing relationship with their agents tend to be happier with their coverage even if they do have to pay more, and that, in turn, leads to higher rates of retention and customer satisfaction.