Can an insurance company in VA insists on using dent filler to repair significant damage on 14 month old car, 15k miles?

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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: Feb 2, 2012

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Insurance Question from Centreville, VA

Asked on 02/02/2012

Can an insurance company in VA insists on using dent filler to repair significant damage on 14 month old car, 15k miles? My car was hit along the right side damaging the front fender, front and rear passenger doors, the side-view mirror and rear bumper. The insurance company filled the dents on the fender and rear door and replace the "skin" of the front door. I demanded new parts and no filler but they refused. Now the skinned door is not aligned and there are blisters in the paint. The claim filed against other driver's insurance company who admitted the other driver was totally at fault. They received traffic tickets. Can they refuse to align door and fix the blisters? Can they refuse to use new parts?

Answer given on February 02, 2012

Auto insurance companies will not always replace an entire door for damages that may not result in significant damage to the door. Often times in the insurance contract there is a clause saying the company has the right to choose to repair, and it may also say they do not have to use original manufacturer parts (OEM) but aftermarket parts. However, if the repairs done are not adequate, or if deficiencies appear within a reasonable period of time, you should be able to make them fix the problems incurred by the inadequate repairs. You should call the adjuster and explain what is happening to the car. They should be willing to have the car fixed correctly. You should also ask your repair person to talk to the adjuster too, to support your requests. If the adjuster refuses, ask to speak to a supervisor to see if they will be more cooperative due to the poor repair job.

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