Originally created 01/05/03

Policyholders need more control



I would like to respond to the article in the Nov. 16 Business section titled "Group brings up insurance issues." It concerned insurance and the collision repair industry.

In the article, Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine states body shops are vendors to insurance companies. This statement fails to include the policyholder, nor does it point out that they (the insurance company) are vendors for the consumer, who ultimately buys and pays for their service.

The insurance company does not choose the type of automobile, nor the cost of the automobile, and they should not sit as the party with the choice, regarding the repair of the consumer's automobile when it is damaged.

When a home is repaired, after insurance covers damage, should the insurance company have the right to decide who does the work, then require the contractor to work for a discounted hourly rate, pocketing the savings?

While the consumer's benefits are notably less regarding repairs, they continue to pay higher premiums with no discount for accepting the work of the insurance company-recommended contractor.

The consumer is the individual who has the right to choose what company will write their policy, as well as how and where their coverage is spent.

Would you want to go to a doctor whom the insurance company selected because the company gets a discount? Wouldn't you wonder how many corners the doctor has "cut" to make up for that discounted service? It is the same when taking your automobile to a collision "doctor."

Is it really beneficial for the collision repairer to be looked at as a third party that is left out of the claims process?

Bill White Jr., Edgefield, S.C. (Editor's note: The writer is the owner of White's Auto Repair in Edgefield, S.C.)