Online Auto Insurance: W.Va. Suit Highlights Repair Issue
12/22/2011

A suit filed by the West Virginia attorney general should be having consumers researching their rights before the next time they take their cars in for repair.

Online PR News – 22-December-2011 – – Last week’s announcement that the West Virginia attorney general is suing Liberty Mutual and a body shop for its repair practices highlights the need for consumers to know their rights before taking their cars into the shop, according to Online Auto Insurance.

According to the office of West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw, Liberty Mutual and a West Virginia body shop allegedly employed a repair policy that violated a state law mandating what types of parts can be used to repair vehicles.

State law in West Virginia says that smaller and top rated auto insurance companies alike cannot require policyholders to use non-OEM or aftermarket parts—those made by someone other than the original manufacturer—in repairs if they are being done within three years of its manufacture date.

In addition, body shops must use parts that were made by the original manufacturer in repairs, unless the car owner gives them permission otherwise.

But the attorney general says these two parties used “junkyard parts” to repair vehicles without notification or the policyholders’ consent, which crosses a legal line.

Source: http://www.wvago.gov/press.cfm?ID=597&fx=more

Though the issue may seem insignificant to policyholders outside of West Virginia, the majority of states have similar consumer protections in place, and they could be worth researching before taking a vehicle in for repairs.

According to the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research, more than half of states require repair estimates to include notification if aftermarket parts are going to be used, and at least six require the customer’s consent before using or requiring the use of aftermarket parts.

To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/companies/ratings/ where visitors will find informative resource pages and a quote-comparison generator that can help shoppers find the best rates for a policy quickly.

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