Unfair Claims Practices Act: New RI Law Helps Drivers Ensure Quality Parts Are Used For Car Repairs

 Rhode Island recently enacted important laws to help drivers after car accidents with their rental and car repair/total loss needs. This is my last of four blogs on this notable car accident legal news!

Unfair Claims Practices Act Protects You

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As discussed in my past blogs, several new 2023 Rhode Island laws should help minimize decades of abuse by large auto insurers such as Progressive, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and Allstate.  These for-profit, massive companies are always looking out for their own financial interests, not yours!  In fact, when it comes to getting your car repaired after a Rhode Island car accident, these companies terrorize consumers like you, and any remaining independent auto body shops in the state.  In fact, the insurance industry has destroyed many of these mom-and-pop shops over the years, trying to persuade consumers to use their own body shops or collision centers where they can control keeping prices down with substandard service and parts.

Luckily, the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island has been active in highlighting such abuses.  Today, I would like to draw your attention to a part of these new laws.

 Maybe you’ve heard through the grapevine about the recent changes to Rhode Island’s Unfair Claims Practices Act.  Maybe you’ve even heard that they’ll help you as an injured victim in a car accident.  But how?  At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we fight for the best outcomes for Rhode Island motor vehicle accident clients.  To do so, we must rely on and abide by relevant Rhode Island state laws, including the Unfair Claims Practices Act.  So, in today’s blog, I want to break down how three major changes to the Unfair Claims Practices Act help us help you!

RI Car Accident? Insurance Companies Must Now Acknowledge and Compensate Repair Shops for Needed Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) and Paint Manufacturer Procedures (R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4(a)(22)).

Unfair Claims Practices Act Protects You

After sustaining an injury in a car accident, your health comes first. After that, your car’s health matters too. Call us now to discuss your case, free of charge!

As of June 26, 2023, the state will penalize any insurance company operating in Rhode Island that fails to pay for your vehicle’s OEM parts and original paint.  This means that this law forces insurance companies to pay for top-of-the-line repairs to your vehicle. Any vehicle warranties you have cover OEM parts, i.e., the original manufacturer’s parts your car was built with.  Additionally, OEM parts tend to be higher quality than aftermarket parts and will therefore work to extend your vehicle’s life.  As your representative, we will ensure that insurance companies pay for the necessary, top-of-the-line repairs as part of the negotiation process.

Insurance Companies Must Promptly Respond to and Appraise Your Vehicle Within Three Business Days After Receiving an Appraisal Request from the Repair Shop ((R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4(a)(26)).

Changes to the Unfair Claims Practices Act seek to speed up your vehicle’s appraisal process.  This helps us make ensure that the car insurance company acts quickly and in good faith to get you back on the road.  If while your vehicle in the shop and the insurance company fails to appraise your car after three days, the insurance company forfeits its inspection rights.  Meaning, the insurance company will no longer be able to dispute whether or not your car was damaged in the accident and the severity of the damage.

Insurance Companies Must Extend Your Rental Vehicle Coverage Proportionally in Relation to the Delay the Claims Process Causes You ((R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-9.1-4(a)(27));

Insurance companies are known to draw out insurance claim processes to wear you down into taking a lower payout.  Sometimes, even when lawyers are involved, clients just need some kind of payout to get along with their lives.  This amendment allows us to ensure that you’re back to business as usual with a rental car.  Additionally, it incentives insurance companies to negotiate with us quickly and fairly to get you the best payout possible.

Rhode Island state law is constantly changing and you shouldn’t feel burdened to learn everything about motor vehicle accidents.  Leave it to us to research, interpret, and leverage what we already know to get you the best payout possible.  After your motor vehicle accident injury, call us for a free case review and we’ll answer any outstanding questions about the claims process!

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At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people.  Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  We can even help on cases in other states as well.  We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results.  Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case.  Feel free to text or call us at 401-777-7777, or fill out our free and confidential online form.  We are here to serve and help you!

Working with Bottaro Injury Lawyers, Legal Assistant Bianca