If you have ever been involved in an auto accident, you have most likely received a list of “preferred” auto body repair shops from your insurance company. While it may initially seem like the easiest route to use one of these direct-repair program (DRP) shops, it’s important to consider all of your options. Keep in mind that insurance companies and repair shops that develop this relationship have someone’s best interest in mind, but it may not be yours. More than likely, what you will get in return for your business are pre-negotiated rates and corner-cutting repairs.
There are a few factors that may steer you toward your insurance company’s “preferred” shop. For instance, you may be led to believe that you simply don’t have the choice to select another repair shop, that your repairs are not covered under warranty if taken elsewhere, or that your repairs will happen more quickly at a DRP shop. In the stressful time that follows an auto accident, it may seem like the logical choice to move forward with the recommended repair center. However, these statements are not necessarily true. Let’s take a look at each of these misconceptions.
- Warranty – Insurance companies often lead policyholders to believe that replacement parts will only be covered under warranty if you choose one of their direct-repair partners. However, this warranty is often unnecessary and should have no bearing on your final decision. Most manufacturers will guarantee their parts, and reputable shops will guarantee their work. Medines, for instance, offers lifetime written warranties for body work.
- Choice – Many major insurance agencies are guilty of “steering” clients. They lead them to believe that they only have the option to use one of their preferred shops for their auto body repairs. This is not only untrue, but in most cases, it is also illegal. You and only you will have the final say in where your car is repaired. Get recommendations; do your homework, and go with the shop you are most comfortable with.
- Speed – You may be told that claims adjusters can get to your vehicle more quickly or that your repairs will be completed faster at a DRP shop. In actuality, adjusters will still see your car in a timely manner, and any small differences in time and speed are often tied directly to the insurance company themselves. In the end, a quality repair and peace of mind are well worth any additional time.
Auto accidents can be stressful and confusing situations. Choosing a collision repair center that you are comfortable with and can fully trust will help alleviate your concerns. Don’t be swayed by your insurance company to choose a body repair shop you are not completely at ease with. The relationship developed between preferred repair shops and insurance companies is rarely one that benefits the consumer.
At Medines Collision Center, we are customer-focused and pride ourselves on bringing you the highest quality work available. We provide first-rate parts, materials, and labor. What your vehicle truly needs, not what your insurance company wants, will dictate your repairs. If you are in an accident, remember that you have a choice. Take control. Choose Medines.