geico’s refusal to cover tesla body shop rates leaves owner without a car until december

A Tesla owner in Phoenix Arizona, Jeff, shared more details about his recent struggles with getting his car repaired. Teslarati recently reported on a story shared by Wham Baam TeslaCam who connected Jeff with us. There have been some updates to Jeff’s story since his submission to the popular YouTube channel. Jeff’s story will air this Sunday on Wham Baam TeslaCam.

Jeff and his wife were driving home from work when an ambulance crossing the road suddenly came up from behind a school bus. Jeff stopped his car but the vehicle behind him didn’t stop.

“She bumped us. We have State Farm insurance and she had Geico insurance. The ambulance was going to an accident that was right there so there was an officer that witnessed the accident. And she came over, took the report, and made sure we were okay.”

That following Monday when Jeff got off work, he called the body shop and set up the appointment.

“I went through Tesla and there are seven body shops here in Arizona that are authorized Tesla body shops outside of the Tesla locations. So I went over there and I was talking with them and they gave me the estimate.”

The estimate was over $2,000 and it could be even higher than that.

Why local Tesla body shops aren’t accepting Geico

“And then he said, ‘Do you have Geico insurance?’ And I said, no I have State Farm but Geico will be picking up the tab on this one. And he said, ‘Well, I have to tell you upfront. If you want to file it through State Farm, we’ll repair your car. But if you file it through Geico, we won’t because Geico won’t pay our rates. So we’re tired of fighting them.’”

Jeff told me that when he asked them how bad it was, he was told that there’s a significant rate difference between the labor rate that Geico will allow for and the compensation for the parts that Tesla charges for.

“I asked him what my choices were and he said, ‘You can use State Farm, you can pay cash, or you can find another repair center but I’ve got to tell you all of us who are authorized Tesla repair centers in the Valley have banded together because we’re trying to fight Geico. None of us will take Geico insurance.”

Geico’s Proposed Solution

There has been some somewhat good news for Jeff since he submitted his story to Wham Baam TeslaCam. He’s been working with a Geico adjuster who is helping him through the process.

“He said, ‘you go ahead and file it through State Farm and you don’t have to pay your deductible. As soon as you file your claim over there and put your car in and ask for your deductible, they’re going to contact me and I’m going to forward the deductible. We’re 100% at fault for the accident.”

The Geico agent told Jeff that the company would take care of the deductible and the car repairs. However, this hasn’t been done yet and Jeff won’t be able to get his car repairs until December 12th due ot the Tesla-certified shops being booked until then.

“He explained to us how the process worked. It’s subrogation. They are going to subrogate the payments that come out of our pockets during the process. If they go through State Farm, which they have to pay back, then they have to pay the rates the shop charges because that’s what State Farm is going to charge them. And if not, I guess I could go through as an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist at State Farm but then that’s a ding on me.”

Teslarati previously reached out to Geico for a comment but hasn’t heard back. If they respond, we’ll update you.

Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission. 

Your feedback is important. If you have any comments, or concerns, or see a typo, you can email me at johnna@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter at @JohnnaCrider1.

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