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Rear ended, have insurance question

Discussion in 'Model S' started by johnnyS, May 16, 2018.

  1. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    I was rear ended while stopped at a traffic signal in my model S a couple of weeks ago. My S is a 2016 90D. Unfortunately I have experience with Tesla body shops since this car was hit last fall while parked and my previous S was hit when my wife was driving. The person that rear ended me did not have insurance evidence to present to the CHP and local sheriff officers. While trying to flee the scene a CHP motorcycle officer stopped him and since it was on a surface street the CHP called in the local sheriffs. So far it appears he is an uninsured driver even though the car he was driving is a 2017 Toyota Camry. We have a sheriff report that places full responsibility on the Camry driver.

    Since I have had the car serviced before at European Motors, a Tesla approved body shop in Costa Mesa, I dropped off my car there. They have moved to a large building next door to the Costa Mesa service center. My insurance is State Farm which we have had for decades. State Farm has authorized approximately $12,500 for repairs. European Motors quoted us another $4800 for labor on top of State Farm's estimate. Apparently State Farm will only pay a low labor rate. The body shop says State Farm is the only carrier that will not pay their labor rate.

    I had a friendly conversation with a representative from State Farm claims today. He asked me if I can verify that other carriers are paying their labor costs--or course I cannot at this point--this is where I need your help. I explain that the shop needs special training for the their technicians before Tesla will sell them parts and aluminum cars are more difficult fix, hence require greater skill and training. It sounds like their may be some negotiating room in my discussion.

    So please reply with information regarding your experience with insurance approving the labor rates for Tesla body work.
    Thank you!
     
  2. GatorGuy

    GatorGuy Member

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    Rather than you justify the labor costs, tell them to find a Tesla certified shop to do the repairs at.
     
    • Like x 2
  3. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Weee!

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    I was rear-ended in December. The girl had Geico. I took my car to the only Tesla approved body shop in town. Geico wrote an estimate that was 1/3 of what the body shop wrote. The body shop and Geico negotiated the labor rates way down. The body shop told me that they charge higher rates for Tesla repairs due to the stringent training and certification that Tesla made them go through. In my case, no aluminum was damaged, so the body shop was willing to negotiate. The body shop told me, had there been any aluminum damage, they would not have negotiated with Geico.
     
  4. appleguru

    appleguru Member

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    Regardless of what they tell you, in my experience, the insurance companies will pay the full labor rate.

    As the poster above reccommended, you can ask them to find a cheaper authorized body shop... but even if you don’t, in my experience, when you submit the full bill they will pay.
     
  5. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    @GatorGuy is right - it's the insurance's problem to fix your car back to the manufacturer's specifications. If they don't like the estimate, it's on them to find a shop that will do the work for less and still meet manufacturer's specifications, which is not really possible unless you are a Tesla certified shop. I wouldn't get involved in justifying rates either, not my job.
     
  6. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

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    I don't understand this aluminum repair problem. It's not unique to Tesla, lots of cars use aluminum. The hood on my 2013 Ford Fusion is aluminum. The hood on a 2018 Honda Clarity is aluminum.
     
  7. drklain

    drklain Member

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    It's the fact the Tesla body is aluminum (vice steel). Totally different method to bend, straighten or weld aluminum. Most cars are varying kinds of steel and don't need the exotic techniques...
     
  8. Malbrough

    Malbrough Member

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    Exactly. This is what insurance is for. If they give any flack, call the state insurance commisioner.
     
  9. ChristinaEvo

    ChristinaEvo Member

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    No one is going to fix an aluminum hood, they are going to replace the part and be done with it.

    When F150s switched to all aluminium they had a ton of problems fixing them and still do. Aluminum cannot be fixed using traditional bodywork that steel cars use. Even though most steel cars rarely get actual body work done in collisions, it's a lot easier to weld a steel replacement panel than it is to TIG weld an aluminum part.
     
  10. dbldwn02

    dbldwn02 Member

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    Be careful about quarter panels. They're STUPID expensive to replace. Not too bad to repair. I was "bumped" by a ski-resort van in a parking lot. Took it to Stuttgart Auto Body and they're quoting $9500 to replace the quarter panel and bumper. Insurance estimate came in at $2300 so this has been a fun fight. That was 3 months ago. Lol.
     

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  11. demundus

    demundus Active Member

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    Aluminum labor rates are negotiated and built into the estimation software. They'd find the same rates, generally speaking, with Ford f150s etc.

    OP: It is NOT ON YOU to do this legwork at all. It is on the insurance company to return you to OEM-whole. If they do not want to pay that certified shop's labor rate, they are free to tow it anywhere in the nation they feel they can get a better deal at a certified shop. Do not let them F with you on this. Kindly inform the adjuster that you are not equipped to provide that kind of information, but if SF has issue with the labor rate they can talk to the body shop or find another Tesla certified repair shop to fix the car.

    PERIOD.
     
  12. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Fyi, aluminium hourly rate was clearly posted and less than twice of regular hourly rate at Service King in Bellevue, WA (a Tesla certified structural shop).
     
  13. demundus

    demundus Active Member

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    With Tesla, since they are their own special beast... the labor rates come down from on-high. Each shop however, can put in their rates, even at a master corporate level. For an insurance company to be arguing is stupid, they know exactly how this works, they know the labor rates before the car even got in a wreck lol

    source: built the software
     
  14. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    This could be just a lazy adjuster not wanting to do the legwork of finding comparables for his or her report, so pushing the research on the OP. Or maybe they hope the OP will get tired of it, settle for less money and duct-tape his own car in order to pocket a couple of grand?
     
  15. AZWilcatGirl

    AZWilcatGirl New Member

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    You should submit the estimate from the repair shop of choice to the adjuster. If he/she is unwilling to cover the cost of the repairs, the onus is on them to provide you with a suitable alternative.

    It is important to note, though, that State Farm and many other insurance carriers, are not required to use OEM parts on your vehicle. They are also not required to give you a comparable vehicle (another Tesla or equal-cost luxury vehicle), while yours is being repaired.

    Make certain you have the adjuster deal with the billing and repairs process once the adjuster has agreed to things so that you are my left doing the leg work or having to pay additional money for approving items that are not covered. The claims process is already difficult enough, don’t give yourself an undue stress trying to do the adjuster’s job.
     
  16. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    Sounds like you're getting the runaround. Per California law you have the right to choose the body shop for repairs. They can't force you to go somewhere else, and it's on them to make you whole. Any negotiation should be taking place between the adjuster and the body shop, not you.

    If you don't get anywhere quick by telling them to shove off and fix the car per the terms of your policy and state law, call the state insurance commissioner hotline.
     
  17. trm2

    trm2 Member

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    You have the right to use any shop of your choice. State Farm, as someone else said above, knows the labor rates. They have a right to pay usual and customary rates. Any reputable shop will charge rates that State Farm will pay.
     
  18. cpsss

    cpsss Member

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    a bit off topic. I recently had some bad experience with State Farm. Beside argue with them, I am going to fire them. Maybe others are worse but I will see.
     
  19. City Racer

    City Racer Member

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    #19 City Racer, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    $9500 for that job is ridiculous. We have a similar damage on the quarter panel, and the quote is $3342. This is in the San Francisco Bay Area. The panel does not need to be replaced. It can be repaired it. If they don't know how to straighten out such minor damage, tell them to get trained.
    Damage1.jpeg
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Rates are higher because of the training required and equipment. I was told that training for one shop is -two weeks per employee.

    Special welding and bonding training is required.

    Special evacuation equipment is required. Aluminum dust can be explosive.

    Safety with high voltage electricity

    Separate work areas are necessary so repairs are not contaminated with iron particles.

    Because of the above every shop should not be repairing Tesla vehicles.
     

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