If the car's windshield needs to be replaced due to a stone chip or other damage, a deductible is usually required for comprehensive insurance policyholders. The repair shop may not simply waive or discount this amount to the customer, as this makes both parties liable to prosecution!
Possibly the one or other car owner is annoyed, if he is asked in addition to the annoyance over a stone impact also still from his insurance to the payment. However, this is not the exception, but the rule, because the vast majority of all motorists have partial and fully comprehensive insurance contracts, which include a more or less high deductible in the event of a window replacement.
The rules are clear
A garage repairing the damage has its hands tied in this context: It must always claim the deductible in full. A company that does not comply with this rule is guilty of unfair competition. The regulations are intended to prevent customers from being persuaded to choose a repair shop that is more expensive for the insurance company because it gives them advantages.
But that's not all: if a discount is granted and the insurance company is not informed, the workshop and the policyholder are also committing fraud. They then deprive the insurance company of its contractual right to the deductible due to their insurance conditions.
A lawsuit can be expected in the case of discounting
This is how the legal situation is also judged by the courts. An example of this is a ruling by the Passau Local Court (AG) (file number 9 Cs 35 Js 4140/13). In this case, a car glazier had waived the customer's deductible, but reported to the insurance company that he had received it in full. According to the judges, both committed fraud to the detriment of the insurance company. In addition, they are also liable for damages to the insurance company.
Indirect discounting must also be urgently warned against in this context. The Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Cologne had dealt with such a case in another proceeding (Ref. 6 U 93/12) to deal with. In this particular case, a repair shop and a comprehensive insurance policyholder had entered into a contract after the windshield had been replaced that allegedly required the customer to advertise the repair shop with a sticker. In return, he should receive a remuneration in the amount of the deductible. However, the court found that the real purpose of this contract was merely to deprive the insurance company of its deductible, and ruled accordingly.
Whether a deductible is due for a windshield replacement is by no means decided by the workshop. Instead, this is stipulated in the comprehensive insurance contract between the insurance company and the car owner. It is necessary to explicitly warn against discounts on these costs, because both the insurers and the courts react sensitively to them for good reason. If discounts are nevertheless granted, repairers and their customers face charges of fraud.
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