I am hoping someone can help me – I have already lost $1,100 and am afraid it could be much more. Here’s the deal: I got into a car accident. My insurance coverage has a $500 deductible and a short-term car rental. I took it to this body shop that had great reviews and a great reputation in town (I had just moved here and am not from here.) FYI, it turned out this place is under new management now but continues to use the name of the former owner and people don’t even realize it’s a new guy.
So basically, this place has my car and has been dragging their feet. A job that the insurance adjuster said should take 5 days has now taken 4 weeks. They have taken so long, that my insurance company’s rental car coverage ended and I had to keep paying out of pocket for a rental. I have paid $600 in car renting alone already. I’ve told the body shop this – they don’t seem to care. The body shop made it clear they expected to find hidden damage and would need to do extra work beyond the estimate my insurance company’s adjuster agreed to. The problem is, the guy is CLAIMING the car could be ready in 4 days. I asked him if he got additional work approved by the insurance company and he said he just needed to send them the paper work. But I contacted my insurance company and they said an adjuster hasn’t looked at it – they said if additional work is needed, the body shop will have the adjuster come back to look at it and the adjuster will send its findings directly to the insurance company, but that hasn’t happened. No one has looked at my car. The body shop is lying to me. So:
either they have gone ahead and done extra work that my insurance company hasn’t even agreed to pay for (and may not) or they are lying to me and aren’t even close to done and are planning to work on my car for several more weeks.
even if the car was done in a few days, I wouldn’t yet have payment for the car authorized by my insurance company and unless I used my own money, I’d have to pay more to rent a car until the check from the insurance company arrives.
I am scared I am getting scammed and screwed. They already have my car. What are my rights? What can I do? Is this behavior suspicious or will it be OK? I don’t know if the fact that I’m an out-of-towner (yankee in the south) and a young female without any guys to help me are playing a part. I’m so scared I’m gonna lose another $1,100, if not more. Please help if you can! Thank you.