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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 14. Insurance
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance
Chapter 400. Rules Governing Unfair Claim Settlement Practices
1/22/2020

14VAC5-400-80. Claims Settlement Standards Applicable to Automobile Insurance.

A. Where liability is reasonably clear, an insurer shall not recommend that a third party claimant make a claim under its own policy solely to avoid paying a claim under the insured's policy.

B. An insurer shall not require a claimant to travel unreasonably either to inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate, or to have the automobile repaired at a specific repair shop.

C. An insurer shall include the insured's deductible, if any, in subrogation demands. Subrogation recoveries shall be shared on a proportionate basis with the insured, unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered. No deduction for expenses can be made from the deductible recovery unless an outside attorney is retained to collect such recovery. The deduction may then be for only a pro rata share of the allocated loss adjustment expense.

D. When an insurer prepares an estimate of the cost of automobile repairs, the estimate shall be an amount for which the damage may reasonably be expected to be satisfactorily repaired. The insurer shall give a copy of the estimate to the claimant and may furnish to the claimant the names of one or more conveniently located qualified repair shops. A total loss valuation shall be provided to the claimant upon request.

E. When the amount claimed is reduced because of betterment or depreciation, all information for such reduction shall be contained in the claim file. Such deductions shall be itemized and specified as to dollar amount and shall be appropriate for the amount of deductions.

F. When an insurer elects to repair and the automobile is repaired in a repair shop designated by the insurer as a repair shop that will repair the automobile for the amount offered by the insurer, the insurer shall cause the damaged automobile to be restored to its condition prior to the loss at no additional cost to the claimant other than as stated in the policy and within a reasonable period of time.

G. An insurer shall provide reasonable notice to a claimant prior to termination of payment for automobile storage charges. The insurer shall provide reasonable time for the claimant to remove the automobile from storage prior to the termination of payment.

H. If towing is a result of a covered loss, unless the insurer has provided a claimant with the names of specific towing companies prior to the claimant's use of another towing company, the insurer shall pay all reasonable towing charges irrespective of the towing company used by the claimant.

I. Prior to termination of payment for transportation or rental reimbursement expenses, the insurer shall provide reasonable time for the claimant to receive payment for automobile repairs. In the event of a total loss, the insurer shall provide reasonable time for a claimant to receive payment for a replacement automobile.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13, 38.2-223, and 38.2-510 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Regulation 12, Case No. 19961, § 9, eff. September 15, 1978; amended, Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. January 1, 2018.

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