If you are involved in a vehicle accident, one of the first things you may wonder is, “do you have the ability to choose where your vehicle gets repaired at?”
One thing is certain – you deserve to have your vehicle repaired at a reputable shop, and you should be able to pick where the repairs take place. However, you can be sure that the insurance carrier will recommend a vehicle repair shop, so we want to discuss how you can handle this process when the time comes.
Going With the Body Shop Chosen by the Insurance Carrier
It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to recommend certain body shops for use in your area. Most auto insurers have contracts with body shops in their service areas. These types of arrangements typically offer benefits to the body shop and the insurance carriers. In exchange for referred business, the body shop will lower their material and labor costs and discount the parts. This is certainly beneficial for the insurance carrier, and the body shop gets the additional business.
These types of arrangements may also benefit you. If you decide to go with the body shop recommended by your insurance carrier, this typically means you will be back on the road faster because there will not be any additional approval processes and back and forth between you and the insurance carrier. Additionally, the reality is that a reputable insurance company is only going to work with body shops that have certain training and equipment requirements, and there will likely be a warranty on the repairs.
Making Your Own Choice for the Body Shop
There may certainly be situations where you want to use your own body shop and not a repair shop contracted by the insurance carrier. You have the right to make this choice. For example, you may have had a bad experience with the shop recommended by the insurance carrier and not want to use them again. You may also have a trusted auto repair shop that you have always used.
If you choose your own body shop, not one recommended by the insurer, you may very well get some pushback from the insurance claims representative. The claims adjuster may tell you that the body shop is not on their approved list in that they will not be able to handle your claim as effectively. They may also try and say that it could be weeks before an adjuster will be able to write an estimate for your vehicle if you choose the other shop.
Do not be intimidated by any tactics used by the insurance carrier to try and get you to use their recommended shop, particularly if you do not want to. If the body shop that you choose is reputable, they will repair your vehicle to the same standards as any repair shop chosen by the insurance carrier.
Shop Around for Estimates
You can certainly get multiple repair estimates from body shops in your area. This will be particularly beneficial if it looks like the total cost to repair your vehicle will rise above what the insurance policy is going to payout for the repairs. If you are involved in a crash, you should also reach out to a trusted Houston car accident attorney to learn whether your case qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit.