Using an Insurance Recommended Repair Shop

Your car insurance can recommend a repair shop, but they can't force you to choose it over others. Compare car insurance companies by customer service as well as prices.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
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UPDATED: May 12, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Filing a claim after an accident can be a stressful process and choosing the right repair shot can be a difficult decision
  • Using the recommended repair shop allows you to easily view the progress of your car online rather than calling the shop to get updates
  • If the repairs are not done correctly, you can also easily file a complaint with your insurance company if you used the recommended repair shop
  • Since auto shops greatly benefit from the recommendation of insurance companies, they tend to fix any problems quicker than if you try to deal with the shop alone
  • Ultimately you have the option to choose whatever repair shop you want to use to fix your car after an auto accident

Your insurance company cannot make you use a certain repair shop. It is your vehicle, and you have the right to take your vehicle to any repair shop that you wish. However, many car insurance companies have repair shops that they recommend.

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What if I have a garage or mechanic I like?

Sometimes there can seem to be a lot of pressure from the insurance company to take a vehicle to the specific shop that they recommend. However, if you have a trusted auto body repair shop, you are more than free to take your vehicle there.

Just like there are benefits to taking a vehicle to an insurance-recommended shop, there are benefits to taking your vehicle to your own auto body shop.

If you have a relationship with the insurance shop owner, you can follow up on your vehicle and make sure that aftermarket parts aren’t being used if you don’t want them too.

Your own body shop might be closer to your home, allowing you to stop in and check up on your vehicle in person.

Also, if you are dealing with a smaller auto body shop, you can speak to the mechanics actually fixing your vehicle, which allows you to ask questions about vehicle and avoid future problems.

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What if the insurance agent says I have to use their garage?

You have the ability to choose whatever repair shop you want to use. After all, this is your vehicle, insurance, and ultimately your choice. If an insurance agent is being tough on you by insisting that you must take it to one of their shops, ask them to show it to you in writing.

If they can’t show you it in writing, then insist that you take it to your auto body shop.

Never be pressured into taking your vehicle to an auto body shop you do not trust, no matter who recommends it.

After all, you are the one who has to live with the repairs and not the insurance company. It’s unlikely any agent would push this issue to the point that you might leave their agency.

What if I find a cheaper repair shop?

Ultimately, it is your choice to take your vehicle to whomever you want. If you fInd a cheaper repair shop, feel free to go there.

Sometimes it is difficult to get a large insurance company to cave to your wants and needs as a customer. However, you as the customer must stand firm and make your wish heard.

Any requirements regarding a car insurance claim must be specified in writing.

If your insurance agent cannot show you in writing that you are required to use one of their recommended auto body shops, then you have a legal right to take your vehicle wherever you wish.

Most reputable insurance will not have a problem with a customer choosing their own auto body shop. In most cases, you simply tell your insurance company what shop you are taking your vehicle to and they will handle the rest for you.

If you find your insurance company difficult to work with when filing a claim, then it may be best to look for a new insurance company. There are many reputable companies that make filing a claim and repairing your vehicle as easy as possible.

A customer should not have to fight with their insurance company to get their vehicle repaired at the shop of their choice.

It is always best to shop around for a company that offers great service at a fair price.

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