If your car has been damaged in a car accident, that’s bad enough. You don’t need your insurance carrier telling you which auto body shop to go to. Insurance companies like to present matters in such a way that it seems their claimants can only go to their direct repair program (DRP) shops and dealerships.
That is simply not true and it’s even illegal. You can bring your car to any auto body repair shop of your choice, but be prepared to be steered to your carrier’s approved shops. Insurance companies will do this because they often get reduced prices. However, if lower prices mean cutting corners, it can sometimes reflect badly on your car.
Here are the usual lines delivered to claimants by insurance agents trying to send them to a company’s partner body shop.
1. That body shop is not in our network nor on our list, so we can’t vouch for the repair.
The fact is the insurance company isn’t the repair facility, so they can never actually vouch for any repair work done to your vehicle. The only guarantee you can get is the one the auto body shop gives you, and that should be a factor when you’re choosing where to take your car.
2. If you choose to go to that body shop, our adjuster will only be able to come out in a week. If you go to our approved body shop, we will get the adjuster out right away.
Insurance companies sometimes use this ploy of appearing very busy with the aim of discouraging you from going to body shops outside their DRP. Of course every car owner is impatient to get their car back as soon as possible so they can carry on with their daily activities.
Don’t buy this story. The truth is the company has to send the adjuster within 72 hours. They are required to conduct the appraisal in that timeframe. King Collision Center always does their best to have the adjuster out in less than 72 hours.
3. If you go to that body shop, you will have to cover the rental cost out of pocket.
Again, not true. Insurance companies usually have direct billing agreements with car rentals. They normally try to impose reimbursement on you or they try the “we’ll-send-you-a-check-in-the-mail” option. You are always advised to know your rights when it comes to making an insurance claim.
Another thing to be careful about is that it’s recommendable to pick your car up the day you’re notified the repair is done. This is because insurance companies generally cover the cost of a rental only while the vehicle is being repaired. If you don’t pick the vehicle up the same day, chances are you’ll be paying for any extra days you kept the rental vehicle.
4. If you go to a body shop outside our DRP, you must go to X for an estimate.
In order to steer you toward their preferred auto body shops, insurance companies will try to make it look like a hassle if you decide to choose the repair shop on your own. The reality is you can go to whichever shop you choose and get an estimate from them.
King Collision Center is a reputable and highly trusted auto body repair shop in Los Angeles. We pride ourselves on premium workmanship and top-notch customer care. Call us today to get a free estimate.