Action 9: Checking if body shops have insurance coverage

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - Body shops are not required to have insurance, and some customers are learning that the hard way.

A massive body shop fire ruined customers’ vehicles at R&J Auto Solutions, including Gregory Stokes’ truck.

“It was a great truck, it was a $12,000 value truck,” Stokes said.

Part of the truck melted, Stokes told Action 9 reporter Jason Stoogenke. The truck had electrical damage. Stokes said there was also soot inside and outside of the vehicle.

“You guys had a special report on, and I said ‘That’s where I took my truck,’” said Stokes.

Stokes assumed the shop had insurance that would cover the costs of repairing his truck. It is not clear if R&J carried any, and Stokes said his insurer has not been able to find out either.

“They can’t get in contact with anybody,” Stokes said. “You’re the only guy that’s really concerned about it.”

North Carolina does not require body shops to carry coverage, but many states still do. There is a coverage policy called Garage Keepers for the situation Stokes went through.

It is best to go through your own insurance company if a body shop does not have coverage. That’s what Stokes did, but he still feels the wrong side is paying.

“I don’t think it’s fair, you know, I don’t think it’s fair,” Stokes said.

He could sue the shop for the money, but that would cost him additional time and money with no guarantee of winning.

Check to see if your body shop carries insurance. If you see a sign that says it is not responsible for property left on the premises it most likely does not.