I am a auto body shop, I have a total loss vehicle here. Adjustor came to shop gave us an estimate, along with labor and storage charges. We started work on vehicle with customer and insurance permission. In the course of repair, we had to call insurance company for a supplement, when they came the adjustor deemed it a total loss. This was after parts were ordered, painted and some put on vehicle. Now the insurance company os refusing to pay for the parts that they told me where to buy them. Is this legal. Thank you Erin
closed as off-topic by Nij, A. K., Tim Lymington, jimsug♦ Feb 10 at 10:37
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions that clearly ask for specific legal advice are off-topic. For more information, see Policy for questions that clearly ask for specific legal advice." – Nij, A. K., Tim Lymington, jimsug
You presumably have a repair contract with the vehicle owner, and the owner is getting the cost of repair covered by their insurance. If the owner authorized the work, they are liable for what they agreed to. Based on that authorization, you probably did some work and ordered some parts, and if the insurance company wants to back out, the owner would still be liable for that work (the owner may have to sue the insurance company: but they owe you). But it is also unlikely that you gave a firm bid, instead you said "we need to do this, here's the estimated cost", and it turns out to be substantially more. At this point, you need to get authorization from the owner (as required by state law, in all 50 states AFAIK), when you go over that percentage (10% is a common figure).
At this point, the owner can say "No, it's not worth it to me" and that caps his liability to the authorized limit. If you anticipated approval and bought parts or did unauthorized labor but then were turned down on the extension, that is very unfortunate for you. Whether or not the insurance company has any direct say in this (in dealing with you) depends on whether the insurance company is the actual customer (who is your contract with?). How firm was your initial bid; who is your contract with; who is turning you down. This is or is not legal, depending on what the specific facts are. If a party says "Go buy those parts", they can't then say "Oops, I changed my mind". If your contract is exclusively with the owner, a third party (such as an insurance company) does not have the authority to modify the contract. So you need to figure out who your contract is with, and only talk to that party.