You are not required by law to use a repair contractor recommended by an insurance company. You can choose from their approved contractors or look for your own body shop or mechanic to repair your car. You don’t necessarily need special auto insurance to get compensation for mechanical and electrical repairs. Warranties and auto repair insurance cover both mechanical defects in the engine, transmission, and electronics, including a car’s computer.
Did you know that there is a difference between a body shop and an auto repair shop? Let’s see what each one is, when you need it, and how to find one you can trust. Good communication with your insurer is essential, as some auto insurance companies only cover repairs made by “preferred” or “approved” body shops. There are many messages recommending that car owners ask for multiple estimates for auto repair work.
The 2 body shops they recommended have the worst reviews for service, so I went to a place that my trusted 20 year old mechanic suggested. This owner took a look and said that it was definitely a total, not worth repairing and that there is no way I can sell it in its current state. The body shop must provide an initial estimate, whether it is an authorized store or not. However, if you choose a store recommended by your insurance company, the store can work directly with the insurance company to manage the additional costs incurred during repairs. This way, you don’t have to pay upfront for other things that may arise and then wait for your insurer to reimburse you for those costs. Repairing your car after an accident can be a frustrating experience and it is very rare for people to be really satisfied with the end result.
Your insurance company will have a great working relationship with its networked body shops, which means a much less stress-free experience for you. Some people feel that they prefer to take the money offered by the insurance company and not use it for car repairs after a car accident. If this is the case, you can take action in case you consider not having your vehicle repaired, as you are still entitled to compensation for damage to your car. If your car does not require specialized contact, there are several advantages to following the recommendation of your insurer. Their body shop will be familiar with your insurer’s claims process, which means you’ll have less to worry about cross-wires. And if you don’t already have your own favorite mechanic, the time you save researching body shops in your area counts for something.
Insurance agents and adjusters may say that the body shop you prefer is not in their network, on their recommended list, or in one of their partners. Some even threaten to limit the insurance coverage of work done by garages reading another store. Don’t waste your time getting a quote at every store in the city. Go to a reputable repair shop, which offers a warranty for their work, and let the experienced technicians make a detailed estimate.
You are free to get estimates from multiple providers, after which your insurance company will choose the one they want you to take your car with for repairs. You don’t need to go to a specific auto repair shop after an accident. However, if the person you choose cannot provide repair services efficiently and at a reasonable price, you will likely struggle to get approval from the insurance company. A reliable body shop offers a lifetime warranty for all repair work and spare parts. This will alleviate any concerns about what to do if you are not satisfied with how the damage was repaired.
You have rights as a consumer, including asking an auto repair shop for experience and references. Be sure to check if a garage has experience with your make and model. While it’s not technically necessary, it doesn’t hurt to do your own research. Luckily, there are thousands of blogs, forums, and other resources to help you with your homework. While it’s no guarantee that your research will solve all your problems, it helps establish a baseline for knowledge, which can only prepare you for future conversations. Listen to your insurance company’s suggestions about which mechanic or body shop to go to, but if you’re not happy with where they want you to go, they can’t force you.