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Chasidy Rae Sisk

chasidy

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance writer from New Castle, DE, who writes on a variety of topics.


She can be reached at crsisk@gmail.com.

 

 

Thursday, 21 May 2020 18:57

Most Insurers Reimbursing for COVID Clean Up Most of the Time

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In Montana, repair shops shared experiences with Safeco refusing to pay, but repairers from New York, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma said all insurers are paying for COVID sanitization.

 

Collision repairers from all over the country have been told COVID cleanup is not eligible for payment because it’s not part of the loss, though the frequency of that has reduced drastically since the beginning of May.

 

Still, Citizens told a repairer COVID cleanup is not part of the loss, and American Family Insurance insisted the process is the cost of doing business during these times. A Farmers adjuster reportedly said, “The grocery store sanitizes, and I don’t get charged to shop there.”

 

After an independent adjuster for Ameriprise agreed to pay the sanitization line item, the insurer informed the shop "the COVID-19 charge is not something that we will be paying at this time, as it is a business decision for shops to stay open to complete repairs and cleaning of the vehicle. It is not directly related to the loss and will not be covered."

 

Issues have been identified with a variety of insurers, yet the refusals are not consistent across regions even within the same insurance company.

 

While an estimator from Ohio reported pushback from Grange and Progressive, a Michigan shop owner has received payment from Progressive, as have several others. Travelers, Pekin Insurance and Farmers have also pushed back on shops in certain regions.

 

“Most insurers are paying us," said Terry Peterson of South Toyota in Dallas, TX. "For the ones that don’t, we require an email from them stating that they won’t and whether it’s their position or their company’s position. I don’t know if it has changed their minds or not, but I wanted to be able to share their response with the customer.”

 

GEICO was one of the last major insurers to agree to COVID cleanup, though multiple repairers have reported struggles with the insurer regarding this line item. A body shop in Denver, CO, shared a response from April 2 where the insurer’s adjuster wrote on the supplement, “Disinfecting vehicle is recommended at all times and falls under the cost of doing business.” This was followed up with an email that specified, “Disinfect for COVID-19 is not a covered operation.”

 

“GEICO gives the biggest pushback. After speaking with a GEICO field supervisor, their decision is not paying to sanitize vehicles for COVID-19 because ‘it’s not part of the claim and you chose to stay open’. I asked for a statement in writing that they decline paying,” a Florida collision repair professional said. “Once the dust settles, the companies that did pay will get great ratings and advertising. We need to let the country know what the others put us through by not paying; it’ll cost them big time.”

 

An increasing number of repairers have confirmed they are now consistently receiving COVID cleanup payment from GEICO.


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