How is My Auto Insurance Company "Steering" Me?

Posted by Chris Medine on Mar 20, 2019 10:57:26 AM

insurance steeringSteering and cars go hand-in-hand, but steering and your auto insurance provider should not.  While steering your vehicle can keep you on course, being steered by your insurer can lead you down a path of lower quality auto body repairs. 

What is Auto Insurance “Steering”?

When your car insurance company “steers” you, they are directing you toward a chosen body shop where they would prefer your repairs be completed.  These are known as Direct Repair Programs, or DRPs.  While you have the right to choose any collision center you would like, there are certain tactics that your insurer may use to encourage the choice of a DRP.  This may include claims that the work will be completed more quickly at a DRP or that they will not guarantee the work of a non-DRP shop.  These classic steering techniques are just a couple of those used to ensure you choose their preferred shop and save them money as a result.

What are Direct Repair Programs?

An auto body shop who participates as a DRP has entered into an agreement with insurance providers.  For the shop and insurance company, this relationship can be mutually beneficial to both businesses.  Insurance companies send the body shop business, and the body shop provides repairs within a negotiated budget.  In fact, the only party who does not stand to benefit from a DRP relationship is the consumer.

Why Do Car Insurance Companies “Steer” Clients?

Although DRP repairs often mean lower levels of quality and safety, insurers continue to maintain these relationships for one simple reason: profit.  By negotiating lower rates for parts and labor with a DRP participating shop, the company can be certain to keep their costs low and minimize the impact auto body repairs have on their bottom line.  Unfortunately, in order to meet these budget guidelines, collision centers will then turn to lower quality parts and hastily performed repairs.

How Does Auto Insurance “Steering” Hurt Clients?

You pay for car insurance and auto maintenance in an effort to keep your vehicle in good working order and to help ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.  When an insurer steers you to using a shop that they know values quantity over quality, they are taking away the reliability of your vehicle and impeding your own safety as a driver. 

Steering and the related consequences are perfect examples of why it is so important for drivers to exercise their right of choice.  Regardless of what your insurance company may say, you have the right to choose all of your providers, from towing company to body shop, following an accident.

In Baton Rouge, Medines Collision Center is the auto advisor you can trust.  We have decades of experience in auto body repair and insurance negotiations.  We are familiar with their many steering tactics and refuse to participate in any type of DRP.  Instead, we believe quality repairs and consumer education are the best gifts we can give our clients.  

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Topics: Insurance