If you’re in a car accident, one of the first things you’ll do is call the insurance company that is going to be responsible for paying to repair your vehicle. That may be your insurance company or it may be the other person's insurance company.
Once you’ve reported the incident and made sure everyone is safe and healthy, your next thought will be getting your car repaired. Most likely the insurance company you are dealing with will give you a list of preferred body shops to consider.
In the midst of all the stress of being in an accident, having the insurance company help you choose a reputable shop to fix your car might seem like a big relief.
But, those convenient insurance-affiliated repair shops are business partners with your insurance company. That means when it comes down to it, the shops put the concerns of the insurance company above your needs. The shop could be more focused on cutting costs and saving the insurance company money than they are about ensuring your car is safe for the road.
The Texas Department of Insurance states, "You have the right to choose the repair shop and replacement parts for your vehicle. An insurance company may not specify the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products used to repair your automobile."
You need a shop that will do the best job and that isn’t necessarily a shop that is a preferred vendor for your insurance company. You have the right to do research and pick your own shop for repairs.
Tips for Choosing an Auto Body Shop:
-Ask friends & family
Most people can recommend a shop they’ve used or warn you about shops that aren’t so good.
-Check shops out online
Look at Google and Yelp reviews to see what percentage are complaints. Another great source is your local Better Business Bureau.
-Skip getting multiple estimates
Typically the insurance company you are working with will give you a starting estimate. Once you pick a reputable shop of your choice, that shop will go through the supplement process with the insurance company to negotiate your repair to make sure it is done correctly and that the insurance company pays for all damages to your vehicle due to the incident.
-Go with your gut
It’s important to find a shop you trust. If you aren’t comfortable with a shop for any reason, don’t use it.
If you have any questions or feel like you are being pressured by your insurance company to choose a body shop you aren’t comfortable with, give us a call at (915) 533-0912.