Question: Do I have to use the repair facility designated by the insurance company?
Answer: No. However, if you use a repair facility other than those authorized by the insurance carrier, you may have to pay the difference in cost between the charges of your chosen repair facility and the repair facility authorized by the insurance company. See, O.C.G.A. Sec. 33-34-6.
Question: Is an insurance company allowed to pay for only “After Market Crash Parts” for the repair of my vehicle?
Answer: Yes. However, the insurance company must specifically identify each after market part uses in its repair estimate and attach a disclosure statement indicating after market parts were used in its estimate.
Question: Is there a requirement that I utilize the “After Market Crash Parts” for the repair of my vehicle?
Answer: No. However, you are financially responsible for the difference in the cost of the original manufactured part and the “After Market Crash Part” which the insurance company has identified in its estimate of repair costs.
Question: What is the difference in a First Party property damage claim and a Third Party property damage claim.
Answer: A first party property damage claim is asserted by a person against their own insurance policy. A person asserting this claim is seeking to exercise his or her rights under their own automobile insurance policy for the payment of repairs or replacement of their vehicle. A third party property damage claim is asserted by a person involved in an accident against the insurance company for the driver who is at-fault in the accident. A person asserting a third-party property damage claim is seeking to have the insurance company for the at-fault driver pay for the repair or replacement of their vehicle.
Question: If the other driver was ticketed by the police officer investigating the accident, is his or her insurance company required to pay for the repair or replacement of the non-ticketed driver’s vehicle without a lawsuit being filed.
Answer: No. An insurance company for a driver who is ticketed has the right to investigate the accident and decide whether or not to voluntarily pay for the repair or replacement of the other driver’s vehicle.
Question: What remedies and/or alternatives does the non-ticketed driver have if the insurance company for the ticketed driver refuses to pay for the repair or replacement of his or her vehicle?
Answer: Two basic alternatives exist for the non-ticketed driver. First, he or she may assert a first party property damage claim with their own automobile insurance company if they have collision coverage. His or her insurance company will then process the property damage claim and pay for the repair or replacement of the vehicle. The insurance company will then likely seek to recover the cost of the repair or replacement of the vehicle through an arbitration proceeding with the insurance company for the ticketed driver. Second, if the non-ticketed driver does not have collision coverage, his or her only other alternative is to file a lawsuit seeking to recover the cost for the repair or replacement of the vehicle.
Question: If the insurance company for the non-ticketed driver successfully recovers the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle through arbitration with the insurance company for the ticketed driver, is the non-ticketed driver entitled to receive a refund of his or her deductible?
Answer: Yes. However, in the event the insurance company for the non-ticketed driver does not fully recover the cost of repair or replacement of the vehicle, the non-tickets driver will receive a pro-rated portion of their deductible