|Question: My insurance company paid the bill for some body work done on my car after an accident, but I'm unhappy with the repair work. Is it too late to complain?|
If you're dissatisfied with the repair work done on your car, the first thing to do is speak with the manager of the repair shop. Explain what your complaint is and what you'd like done to resolve your problem. A reputable establishment will stand by its work and ensure that the job is done right. Also, the laws in some states hold registered auto repair and body shops legally responsible for the safety and road-readiness of their work.
If the repair shop refuses to cooperate, don't sign anything indicating that you're satisfied with the work. Contact your insurance agent or your insurer's claims department. They may be able to intervene directly and work something out with the repair shop. This is especially true if the shop is a preferred establishment recommended by the insurance company. If you have your repairs done at such a shop, the repair and claims-paying process may be sped up. Some insurers guarantee the quality of the work performed by preferred shops.
If neither the repair shop nor your insurance company is of any help, contact your state insurance commissioner's office and ask for assistance in resolving your complaint, perhaps through arbitration. Finally, if all these avenues fail, you may need to go to small-claims court or hire an attorney.