"They also tried to make us use aftermarket parts, but the third-party claimant wanted his car returned back to OEM. It was a huge waste of time to receive what we should have gotten from the start."
Marshall built his case by consulting I-CAR and providing supporting documentation.
"I told the people at Farmer's that they didn't follow two insurance regulations, but that didn't change anything,” he said. “Department regulations are being treated by the insurers like they never existed and they're obviously not enforced. Both parties ignore emails and phone calls and the idea is to wear you down and give up, but they got the wrong guy. The insurance companies aren't worried at all about CA-DOI, and they lean on each other to make sure nothing happens."
Marshall has had to explain CA-DOI regulations to both the department and insurers more than a few times, he said.
"On several occasions, I have had to explain a CA-DOI regulation to someone from an insurance company, and I can tell they're completely unfamiliar with what I'm talking about. If they don't even know the regulations, how can they possibly be enforced?” he said.
Marshall isn't satisfied with his most recent decision because he knows there will be more cases just like it right around the corner.
"The CA-DOI is supposed to be here to protect the consumer, and that's the whole purpose of the regulations, obviously," he said. "Shops often get caught in the middle, but in the end all we want to do is perform a good repair and be fairly compensated for it. Their policies say ‘pre-accident condition,’ but then the insurers wrestle with us when we try to do that. I'm tired of fighting with them, but I guess it's necessary if you're a body shop trying to do business in California."
The real loser in all of this is the consumer due to the lack of enforcement by the CA-DOI, Marshall said.
"We expect the insurance companies to cut costs and save money, but if they're going to ask us to take shortcuts that result in unsafe vehicles out on the road, that's wrong,” he said.