Since there are lots of options, how does someone go about choosing a body shop? Well, because those involved in a automobile accident will be talking with their insurance provider representative, in most cases they will patronize the store advised by their own insurance broker.
Insurance agents are quick to suggest a car body shop when a customer needs a bit of vehicle repairs resulting from an auto crash. But it might turn out very badly for your client if he takes his car to the store his insurance company agent has advised. Allow Me to explain:
When your insurance company representative steers you in a repair shop, it’s going to be a shop within his company’s “direct repair program.” The program consists of an arrangement between the insurance firm and the repair shop. Under the arrangement, the shop must fix the cars of customers sent by the insurance company. Subsequently, the insurance company must point their clients to the member body shop.
Furthermore, the auto body repair shop must estimate the purchase price of vehicle repairs using aftermarket automobile parts. But there is still more – if a litigation result because of insufficient vehicle repairs, the body shop is under agreement to indemnify the insurance firm and keep liability.
However, you may be thinking “So why would I care if the body shop fixes my car using aftermarket parts?” Just what exactly does this mean to me?” The answer is “LOTS!”
They are more inclined to fail, resulting in added repair work being needed, and in a worst case scenario, can mean that the “repaired” car is dangerous to drive!
Given that there are legal issues involved if auto repairs are done in a substandard manner, for what possible reason would a body shop willingly enter into the insurance company’s direct repair program to start with? The answer is simple: they don’t want to be forced out of business! Because it’s a matter of the survival of their business. After all, if the vast majority of body work is sent by insurance representative referrals, what does that mean for those repair shops who won’t “sign on the dotted line”?
Suppose you need repairs and choose to patronize a body shop outside the company’s “network”? Your insurance firm may well play “dirty tricks” to convince you that you made the wrong choice. Perhaps they will hesitate at paying for repairs – or maybe drag their feet about sending out an adjustor to check out your vehicle.
Does this result in a hassle for you? Sure. But it’s well worth it when the only other choice is to go to their “favorite” body shop and have to endure the potential results.
In conclusion, when you’re in need of an auto body shop, know your rights! If the shop your agent recommends is using aftermarket auto parts, find another shop. And if your insurance representative says “They won’t agree with our appraiser”, “We can’t work with this shop”, or “We won’t guarantee the fix when you go there” be aware that these and other similar statements are misleading at best, and at worst, outright falsehoods!