(a) The Commissioner shall consider as prima facie violative of G.S. 58-63-15(11) the failure by an insurance company to adhere to the procedures in this Rule concerning repair estimates on covered motor vehicle damage claims when the failure is so frequent as to indicate a general business practice.

(b) For the purposes of this Rule, the following terms shall mean:

(1)           "Digital Inspection" means an inspection of a damaged motor vehicle conducted by using digital photographs, videos, or other digital evidence through an electronic processing system authorized by an insurer.

(2)           "Licensed Motor Vehicle Damage Appraiser" means an individual who is licensed as a motor vehicle damage appraiser pursuant to Article 33 of Chapter 58 of the N.C. General Statutes or is licensed in another state whose licensing requirements are substantially similar to or exceed those established under that Article.

(3)           "Physical Inspection" means an inspection of a damaged motor vehicle conducted in person by an insurer's representative.

(c) When a motor vehicle is damaged, and the claim is either covered by an insurer for a first-party claim or liability is established for a third-party claim, the insurer shall adhere to the following procedures concerning repair estimates:

(1)           If the insurer requires the claimant to obtain more than two estimates of property damage, any cost of the additional estimate(s) shall be paid by the insurer.

(2)           An insurer shall perform a physical or digital inspection of the damaged vehicle within 10 business days of receipt of the claim. If the insurer cannot perform the inspection in the timeframe, the insurer shall provide the claimant with a verbal or written explanation of the reason the inspection has not occurred. The reason for the delay shall be documented in writing within the claim file.

(3)           No insurer shall refuse to perform a physical inspection of the damaged vehicle if requested by the claimant.

(4)           The insurer may satisfy the inspection requirements of this Rule by having a licensed motor vehicle damage appraiser conduct the inspection of the damaged vehicle.

(5)           An insurer shall provide a verbal or written explanation to the claimant if there is any delay in responding to a request for a supplemental inspection. The reason for the delay shall be documented in writing in the claim file.

(6)           An insurer shall, upon request, provide copies of the original estimate and all supplemental estimates to the claimant.

(7)           When the insurer elects to have the damaged vehicle repaired, the insurer shall, upon request of the claimant, furnish the claimant with a copy of its estimate. This estimate shall contain the name and address of the insurer and, if the estimate was prepared by someone other than the insurer, the name and address of the person preparing the estimate. If there is a dispute concerning pre-existing damage to the vehicle that the insurer does not intend to have repaired, the extent of such damage shall be stated in the estimate.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 58‑2‑40; 58‑63‑65;

Eff. December 15, 1979;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1993; April 1, 1989;

Readopted Eff. October 1, 2020.