Bill of Rights

California Motorist Bill of Rights

The average motorist is involved in a collision no more than once every four years. This leaves a lot of folks unfamiliar with the complicated process of getting their car repaired. We’ve provided answers to these frequently asked questions in an effort to help you make educated decisions in your own best interest. If you have questions that aren’t listed here, please contact us and one of our expert staff will
be glad to help.

Do I have the right to take my car to the repair shop of my choice?

ABSOLUTELY YES – Only you may select the repair facility. You have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you go to a particular shop.

Do I need to contact more than one shop for an estimate?

NO – Only one estimate from the shop of your choice is required of you. Obtaining any additional estimates is the obligation of the insurance company. Again, you have the right to choose which shop will repair your vehicle and at no additional cost to you. Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your car repaired. You can do this, or you may simply leave your car at our shop and ask that the insurance company inspect the car here.

Do I have the right to genuine, original equipment parts?

YES – Unless you agreed to imitation parts when you obtained your policy, you have the right to demand factory original replacement parts.

If my insurance company does not agree with the amount of the loss, do I have any recourse?

YES – When the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, both parties are entitled to arbitration. A typical arbitration clause would explain that when the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, either party may demand an independent appraisal within 60 days of the date of loss. The insured and the insurer must each select a competent appraiser, and the appraisers in turn must select a competent and disinterested umpire. Should there be a disagreement as to the amount between the appraisers, they must submit their differences to the umpire.

How can I handle the insurance process with the least amount of hassle?

Your best bet is to select the shop of your choice to do the repairs and assign them the right to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. A reputable shop will put your best interests first and will improve your chances of negotiating a fair settlement. Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. If you’re not sure why one estimate is different from another you’ve received, please ask us.

Where can I turn if I am unhappy with the repairs done by the shop?

Your first effort should be to resolve any problems directly with the shop that did the repairs. Involving the insurance company or another shop may only escalate the problem and increase the difficulty in getting it resolved. If your efforts at getting things resolved directly come up short, consider giving the Bureau of Automotive Repair a call. They have people on staff who will quickly go to work at getting the issues resolved.

Bureau of Automotive Repair
(800) 952-5210
Monday – Friday

State of California
Department of Insurance
600 S. Commonwealth
Los Angeles, CA 90005

State of California
Department of Insurance
1407 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

State of California
Department of Insurance
700 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814