Following an auto accident, you’ll likely hear a lot of conflicting statements. You may have a different account of the event than others who were involved; you might hear differing pieces of advice from friends, and you may even get inconsistent statements between your insurance company and other service providers involved in your claims process. It’s something we encounter frequently at Medines.
A major source of pride for us is that we are not a “preferred provider” for any agency and are therefore accountable only to our customers. However, this also means that we frequently clash with insurers when we hear statements that are misleading to our mutual clients. Here are just a few that come up often:
Fiction: “Insurance won’t warranty or guarantee your repairs not done at a preferred shop.”
Fact: The collision center warranties their own work.
It is true that your insurance company will not warranty repairs done to your vehicle if you do not use one of their direct repair shops. However, what is misleading about this statement is that insurance never provides the warranty, even on work done within their network of body shops. Instead, it is the collision center who provides the guarantee, and this will be the case no matter their affiliation with insurance. Medines, for instance, has no affiliation with any insurer, and we provide a lifetime guarantee on all of our repairs.
Fiction: “That shop charges too much, and you may end up with some out-of-pocket expense.”
Fact: Your insurance provider is required by law to pay for the repairs necessary to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
The initial estimate from insurance is rarely adequate to fully cover all necessary repairs. In nearly every case, supplements will need to be written after technicians have been able to break down the vehicle and fully inspect the extent of the damage. However, once it is proven that these additional costs are needed in order to properly repair the car to its pre-loss condition, they are obligated to cover them, less the cost of your deductible.
Fiction: “That body shop takes too long to complete repairs.”
Fact: Delays at non-preferred body shops nearly always come on the part of the insurance company.
Insurance companies cannot legally require you to have your vehicle repaired at a particular shop. Instead, they get around this by misleading consumers into believing that the work will be completed faster at a direct repair shop. They may tell you that the adjuster can get to your car more quickly at these shops or that others simply take too long. In reality, the process at non-direct repair shops may take longer, because insurance companies typically begin with inadequate estimates and then extend the process of writing and approving the necessary supplements.
Fiction: “The collision center is charging for parts and work that aren’t needed.”
Fact: The collision center is pushing for the best parts to repair your vehicle.
Another common corner-cutting tactic employed by insurance agencies is to use recycled or refurbished parts in order to reduce costs. However, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are always preferable. Not only will they fit seamlessly in appearance, they are more structurally sound for your particular vehicle. You may even being paying a premium for your insurance to guarantee repairs with OEM parts!
Keep in mind, it is typically more expensive for your insurance company to have to cover repairs from a shop that is not in their pocket. Therefore, it is in their best interest to encourage you to choose one of their direct repair facilities. However, this is rarely in your best interest. They may resort to statements meant to mislead you and prey on the fact that few consumers are well-versed in the laws to regulate insurance. At Medines Collision Center, we have made it our job to not only expertly repair vehicles but to prevent our clients from being taken advantage of during a very difficult and vulnerable time. If you have been in an accident, contact us to learn more about your options and rights when it comes to your auto repair.