There are many steering tactics used by insurance companies when it comes to post accident repair. Steering tactics are efforts used by the insurance company to get you to go where they want you to go. They do this because there are certain collision centers that have pre-arranged deals with the insurance company to keep their cost down at your expense. These shops are called direct repair shops, and from the moment you walk through their door, you should know that the insurance company is their customer, not you. So, the priorities of the insurance company will be more important to them than what you need done.
One steering tactic that stands out more than most is when they say that if you don’t use their preferred body shop, it will void your warranty. Naturally, this statement is frightening. When you hear it, you immediately think about added cost down the line if something else were to go wrong. But, it is important to remember that this tactic is bogus. It has no basis in fact. To show this, the first question you should ask when you hear it is, “how will repairs affect your vehicle warranty?”
What does my warranty cover?
Before you can know if your warranty will be voided, you should know what your warranty covers. Just about every new vehicle, and some previously owned ones, come with a “bumper to bumper” warranty. This sounds pretty inclusive, but those warranties cover factory defects on everything, not damage caused by an accident. So, if you are in an accident, that warranty basically becomes moot.
Has my warranty expired or already been voided?
This is an important question to ask. Most warranties on new vehicles only last three years or thirty-six thousand miles; whichever comes first. So, if your vehicle has exceeded these limits, threatening to void it is pointless. Also, many warranties come with fine print. The party providing the warranty often has benchmarks or a checklist you must live up to in order to maintain your vehicle and keep the warranty valid. If you have failed to keep these benchmarks current, there’s no guarantee they will honor the warranty.
Who is responsible for the warranty once repairs are made?
This is the most important question to consider after an accident. Necessary repairs are just that; necessary. What you are looking for with post-accident repair has less to do with the warranty you had before the accident, and everything to do with the warranty on the repairs afterwards. This is where their steering tactic falls apart because; it is the repair shop, not the insurance company, that provides the warranty on collision repairs. Furthermore, the party providing the warranty is the only one who can void that warranty. So, when the insurance company says your warranty can be voided, you should know that since they are not the ones providing it, they cannot be the ones to void it.
At Medines, we offer a lifetime written warranty for body work, a written warranty for refinish work, and a written warranty for corrosion protection. It goes without saying that your insurance company does not have the power to void any of these warranties. We stand by the work we do, and put you first.
When you are in an accident, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Your insurance company is already well-versed in getting you to do what is best for them. The more you know ahead of time, the more you will be able to take control of the situation and do what is best for you. If you have any questions about warranties, or post-accident repair, please contact our team at Medines Collision, and we will be happy to answer them to help you take control should the need arise.