Know Your Rights
How Do I Choose A Collision Repair Facility?
As the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident or submitting an insurance claim, you have the right to choose the shop where you wish to have your vehicle repaired. No law requires you to get more than one estimate, nor are you obligated to have your vehicle repaired at the “cheapest” shop or one “preferred” by the insurance company. You should select a repair facility based on their skill, service, knowledge, reputation and guarantee of their workmanship.
Remember, the body shop is fixing YOUR vehicle for YOU. If you’re making an insurance claim, the insurer pays the bill, but most states prohibit the insurer from requiring you to use a particular shop — that means, ultimately, no matter what you hear, THE BODY SHOP IS YOUR CHOICE.
What Is A DRP Body Shop?
Direct Repair Program (DRP) is another name for an insurance company’s listing of shops, such as: State Farm’s “Service First”, Allstate’s “PRO”, Progressive’s “Total Pro or Concierge”, etc. DRP repair facilities have been solicited by the insurance company which sends customers their way in exchange for discounted repairs, such as lower labor rates or parts discounts. The consumer is not required or obligated to use a DRP repair facility.
Automotive Specialties made a decision many years ago to decline any DRP contracts which allows us to work WITH all insurance companies but work FOR our customer.
Must I Notify My Insurance Company Before Repairs?
Yes, insurance policies require that you notify the company and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected. The insurance company may wish to send an adjustor of their choice to inspect the vehicle or review the shop’s estimate prior to repair.
Who Pays The Repair Bill?
You must arrange for payment. Your insurance policy states the insurance company will pay for repairs less any deductibles or depreciation.
What If Repair Costs Exceed The Original Estimate?
Often times in the collision repair process additional damages are found resulting in more labor and parts needed to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition. Parts sometimes come in at higher prices than quoted. These additional charges are called a supplement and will be covered by the insurance company with supporting paperwork from the repair facility.
If There Is A Problem With The Repair Job, Who Should You Contact?
First, contact the manager of the repair shop. If your problem is not resolved, contact your insurance company claims manager.
The Importance of Airbags
Accidents happen, and when they do, many questions come up about the repair process. At Automotive Specialties, we understand that our customers have many questions and concerns regarding collision repair. That’s why we want to take this opportunity to debunk some of the most common myths.
Myth #1: You must choose the repair shop your insurance company suggests
You have every right to decide where you take your car for repairs – regardless of what insurance companies may suggest. Steering or forcing drivers into specific repair shops against their will violates the law and should not be tolerated. Don’t let anyone push you away from the best shop for you!
Myth #2: You must take your car to a dealership for repair
It’s a common belief that the dealership is the only place to go when your vehicle needs repairs. But while dealerships can perform repair work, they are often much more expensive than taking it to a local trust-worthy collision shop with mechanics who know their stuff and won’t try selling you unnecessary services – all at an affordable rate.
Myth #3: You can expect your insurance to cover all repair costs
It can be a surprise to learn that having insurance may mean only some of your repair costs are covered. Depending on the details of your policy, there could still be some out-of-pocket expenses when it comes time for repairs. To find out exactly what’s included in collision coverage and how much protection you’re getting, speak with an experienced agent today!
Myth #4: You need multiple estimates before your insurance company agrees to pay for repairs
Shopping around for the right collision repair shop can be an excellent investment if you want quality service. One estimate should suffice, but getting more won’t hurt in case comparing prices helps you find the perfect option and gives your insurance company peace of mind before they commit their money.
Myth #5: The insurance estimate is always accurate, and they are committed to the repair cost in the estimate and nothing more.
Despite what many people believe, an insurance company’s estimate isn’t always the final word. For example, if a repair shop feels that the original quote is too low to do quality work on your car or truck, they may be able to negotiate with their insurer for additional coverage. All you need is proof of precisely what’s in your policy, and you’ll get back out on the road – driving safe and sound!
By debunking these common myths about collision repair, we hope we have provided our customers with peace of mind regarding getting their vehicles repaired after an accident or other incident.
From fender benders to total body repair jobs, Automotive Specialties will be here for your vehicle in its time of need! Not only can our team of experienced technicians restore your bodywork, but we also offer towing services if a collision has left your vehicle stranded.
When an automotive disaster strikes, don’t panic! Call (630) 553-0397 or visit our website today to schedule an appointment.