Consumer Rights

Illinois Motorist Rights for Collision Repair

We want you to be informed about your rights as a motorist in Illinois when it comes to collision repair. Here’s a simplified guide to help you understand your rights and responsibilities. Please note that this guide is not a substitute for legal advice, and we recommend consulting with a lawyer for specific legal guidance.

No, you’re not obligated to get more than one estimate. It’s your choice as the vehicle owner.

No, you’re not required to use any specific repair shop. Some insurance companies may only cover damages equal to the estimate from their preferred shops, but remember, you have the right to choose your repair shop.

Yes, your insurance policy requires you to notify your insurance company and make a claim report. Once the report is made, you can leave your vehicle at your chosen repair facility and inform the insurance company where it can be inspected.

The repair shop is primarily responsible for the quality and safety of your vehicle’s repair. In some cases, your insurance company may also bear some responsibility. Choose a repair facility that’s well-equipped and trained to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.

Look for referrals from satisfied customers, evidence of employee training and certification, and the shop’s commitment to quality. In Illinois, all vehicle repairers and rebuilders must have a state repairer’s license posted, as required by the Secretary of State.

No, only the vehicle owner can authorize repairs. Illinois law requires written estimates before repairs begin.

You are responsible for payment. Your insurance policy states that your insurance company will pay for the damages, less the deductible amount. You can instruct your insurance company to pay directly to the repair shop, but full payment must be arranged before you pick up your vehicle.

Most insurance policies have an appraisal clause. If there’s a disagreement, either party can demand an appraisal of loss within 60 days after the claim has been filed. A mediator can help resolve disagreements between the two appraisers.

Yes, but their authority is limited. They can’t determine negligence or establish the value of a loss or injury.

“Collision” coverage pertains to damage to your own vehicle, while “liability” coverage pertains to claims for damages others make against you. The limitations in the “collision” portion of the policy don’t apply to claims made under the “liability” portion.

If your vehicle is damaged due to someone else’s fault, that person’s insurance company generally can’t be held directly responsible for the quality or safety of repairs done on your car. The standard measure of damages is the “reasonable” cost of necessary repairs. Choose a repair facility that understands its obligations to you and be cautious of anyone suggesting cheaper repair alternatives. Remember, as the owner, you have the right to choose the repair methods best suited to restore your vehicle.

In a “third-party” situation, you’re generally entitled to reimbursement for the cost of renting a similar vehicle for the time reasonably required to repair or replace your damaged vehicle. If the at-fault party’s insurance company pays a flat rental amount per day, week, or month, they must inform you where you can obtain a similar vehicle for the amount of the payment. For additional information, consult your attorney or refer to 50111, Admin.Code sec. 919.80 (d)(2).

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