Know your Rights
Top 10 Things To Know Before Having Your Car Repaired
• Your car is the second largest investment you are likely to make, preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired by professionals.
• You have the right to go to the repair shop of YOUR choice, your insurance company CANNOT require you to go to a particular shop.
• Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your car repaired. You can do this, or you may leave your car at OUR shop and ask that the insurance company to inspect the car here.
• Let us help you negotiate your claim with the insurance company.
• You are NOT required by law to obtain more than one estimate or appraisal.
• Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. If you’re not sure why one estimate is different from another you’ve received, please ask us.
• Never drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages.
• Choose a body shop that has uni-body repair equipment and certified (by I-CAR or ASE) technicians.
• Ask if the shop will be using genuine manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts.
• Ask if the shop offers a repair warranty.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
By law, you as the owner of the vehicle have the right to choose the shop of YOUR choice for repairs. Remember the insurance company is a business, their profits are higher by paying out less (basic business sense.)
The insurance company did not make the payments on your vehicle, does not drive your vehicle, does not carry their family in your vehicle, and basically has nothing to lose on the repair (except money.) You as the owner should choose a shop with which you can have a good relationship and who will look out for your welfare and safety. Most of all someone you can trust now and in the future should any additional damage resulting from the accident be discovered after delivery.
Your car is a substantial investment, be certain your investment is protected. Don’t give up your right to quality by allowing the insurance company to make your choices for you.
You do not need to get more than one estimate. If you have already decided on the shop you can trust your vehicle to, tell the insurance company who WILL be doing the repairs.
Common replies from SOME companies: “They may charge you more than we allow and you will have to pay the difference” Not so! If they are obligated to pay the bill, an agreement is reached before work begins, the customer is notified of the result, and the CUSTOMER must authorize repairs to begin. There are no surprise additional costs.
Another insurance reply when you choose someone other than their DRP (direct repair facility) or equivalent:” They don’t meet our criteria.” This statement makes us laugh, although it should anger you the consumer. “Meeting criteria” can mean the shop will not agree to the use of substandard parts, will not give insurance “discounts”, or will not repair items that should be replaced to protect the integrity of the customer’s vehicle.
A few insurance companies believe that their customers are stupid or blind. It can be said that a shop does not meet the insurance company’s criteria, when actually the shop surpasses any criteria the insurance company sets forth.
The best shop meets the customer’s criteria of: QUALITY WORK FOR A FAIR PRICE.