|The Right to Choose.
That is the crux of the issue in auto body repair as insurance companies try to control the care of your vehicle the way they control your personal healthcare. It is your right to choose your own collision repair facility and to have the insurance company pay for safe and proper repairs to your vehicle so it retains its value and meets important safety standards.
However, insurance companies often do not volunteer information about those rights or what is at stake in the selection of a repair facility. Instead when you report a collision and need information about how to get your vehicle repaired efficiently and effectively, the insurance representative is likely to tell you about referral shops or preferred shops or merely provide a list of licensed auto repair shops in the state. That’s not much help.
does the shop actually work for – you or the insurance
Insurance appraisers work for the insurance company. Independent collision repair facilities work for you. They are looking out for your best interest. They will negotiate directly with the insurance company for the proper repairs so that your vehicle is safe for you and your family. Independent collision repairers look out for your interests and will serve as your advocate in the repair process.
Preferred or referral repair shops represent the insurance company in both negotiations and the repair of the vehicle. They contract with insurance companies regarding the repairs, the costs and the repair procedures. The insurance company sets the rules and the repair shop simply follows them to keep the insurance company's costs down. But the cost reduction has to come from somewhere. It may affect the quality and thoroughness of the repair service and/or the quality and condition of the parts used. You have paid your insurance premiums with the expectation of receiving safe and proper repairs – not cheap repairs.
kind of parts will be used to repair your vehicle?
They are not covered under your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty and there are no provisions for recalls based on the safety or performance of these parts. Consumer Reports reported on the results of its extensive study of non-OEM parts in its cover story in the February 1999 issue.
Your insurance company may attempt to use imitation parts to save money on your vehicle’s repairs. Independent repair facilities will help you negotiate with your insurance company for the appropriate original equipment manufacturer’s parts to maintain the integrity and value of your vehicle.
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Ensure Your Safety and the Safety of Your Family. Ensure the Value of Your Vehicle.
To help you protect your safety and investment, we have provided answers to frequently asked questions about your rights and what is at stake as insurance companies try to control the care of your vehicle the way they control your personal health care. Call our toll free hotline at 1-877-294-3368.