Drivers have a lot of questions after experiencing an auto accident and will typically turn first to their insurance company for answers. Your insurance company can be invaluable when it comes to getting your vehicle repaired and back on the road. They may provide you with a list of preferred local auto body repair shops, mechanics, and other service providers.
If you’re in this position, you may have concerns about whether using these service providers is the best option. There might be other body shops that you prefer or a particular mechanic that you know and trust.
Is following your insurance company’s recommendation the right thing to do? We’ve put together some tips below to help you make the best decision.
Keep in Mind That A Recommendation is Only a Suggestion
First, it’s important to understand that you aren’t required to use the body shop recommended by your insurance company. Any recommendations they provide are only suggestions; you’re free to select your own service providers for car accident repair. You can choose to work with any service provider you like.
Working with a body shop or mechanic recommended by your insurance company has some advantages, however. For instance, if you dispute the work done by the body shop then your insurance company can be your advocate. If a dispute arises over the work done by a body shop you chose, then you have to deal with it on your own.
Understand the Repairs You’ll Be Receiving
The repair services that your insurance company pays for are intended to make your car whole again; that is, to return it to the same state it was in before the accident took place. This is the standard applied to any repair work done, no matter whether it was done at a shop recommended by your insurance company or not. Damage related to accidents might include:
- Scraped paint
- Vehicle body dents
- Broken windshield, mirrors, and windows
- Wheel and tire damage
- Broken taillights or headlamps
- Torn or dented bumpers
A mechanic that you have taken your vehicle to in the past may apply their prior knowledge to the work being done on your vehicle. Rightly or wrongly, they may believe that some damage was pre-existing. If there is damage that you believe was caused by the accident that the mechanic asserts was not, then you have to handle this dispute on your own. The insurance company will not pay for repairs that are unrelated to damage done by accident. You might be stuck paying out of pocket for work that does not count toward the deductible amount.
Keep All Communication Between Insurance Company and Service Provider
Your insurance company will recommend car accident repair service providers that they have an established relationship with. Those shops have a proven track record of providing accurate and dependable work. This professional history creates strong lines of communication between the service provider and the insurance company. A mechanic or body shop employee will simply forward the bill to the correct adjuster once the deductible has been met. The insurance company can take a more involved role if any dispute does arise. You will have an ally in this situation. This streamlined communication and simple billing process can result in you getting your vehicle back faster and with fewer concerns over out of pocket costs.
Which is the Better Option?
The choice of whether or not to select the body shop recommended by your insurance company is up to you. If you want, you can have an independent service provider look at your vehicle and create an estimate that you can use when selecting an auto body shop. This can provide you with the information you need to make the right decision.
Generally speaking, taking your vehicle to a body shop or mechanic recommended by your insurance company will result in a faster turn-around time. This is because the communication process is easier since the service provider knows exactly who to talk to in order to get the bills paid.
On the other hand, people who prefer a more hands-on approach to car repair may wish to shop around to find a more competitively priced service provider. An estimate drawn up by an independent auto body provider can be very helpful when deciding which service provider to select.
If you have concerns about the repair process, speak with your insurance adjustor or the agent who is handling your case. They can provide you with more information specific to your accident. Badell’s Collision is a nationally recognized I-Car Gold Glass Business, so feel free to call and speak to the friendly staff at either of our locations in Aston or Malvern, PA. We’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.