Mo. Shop Files Lawsuit Against GEICO
June 22, 2018—Brad Buck, owner of The Collision Company in Kirksville, Mo., filed a lawsuit against GEICO insurance and went to court this week.
Buck said he filed the lawsuit in January 2018, after the shop faced a $10,000 deficit from an estimate that GEICO would not pay.
Last November, a customer's vehicle had been rear-ended by a GEICO insured and GEICO sent an adjuster to perform an estimate on the vehicle. Buck said the GEICO estimate came out to approximately $3,000.
The customer brought a copy of the estimate with her when she dropped the vehicle off and signed the shop's initial paperwork to start the repair process.
After the vehicle went through the shop's disassembly process, the damage report from the shop outlined repairs would cost roughly $13,000. The shop submitted the damage report along with photos, a "Notification of Repairs" document, a "Notice of Deficiency in Insurance Appraisal" document and other supporting documents from the OEM.
After the GEICO adjuster came back to the store to reinspect the vehicle with his supervisor, they briefly inspected the vehicle and then left an estimate for roughly $3,000 and a check. Buck looked into legal action. He said the customer was in a rental car for a few weeks and eventually the insurance company stopped paying for rental car coverage despite the vehicle repairs not being done. So, Buck filed suit against the insurance company.
The lawsuit went to court on Thursday after GEICO said it would not settle over concerns the shop would take more legal action in the future. The trial took place in the Associate Circuit Court for Adair County.
Buck said he has filed other suits against GEICO and other insurance companies but has previously been able to settle outside of court.
A collision repair shop manager, Brett Billington, testified at the trial in support of GEICO. Billington is location manager of Schaefer Autobody Centers in Colombia, Miss., which is a preferred GEICO repair shop, Buck said.
FenderBender has reached out to Billington and GEICO and will update the story accordingly.