The Role of Insurance in Safe Repairs Read the Fine Print

The Role of Insurance in Safe Repairs – Read the Fine Print

Although evolving legislation and growing customer awareness are pushing some insurance companies and body shops to stick to manufacturer-approved best practices – cost-based steering is still prevalent.

On one end of the spectrum, we have insurers insisting on the use of subpar parts to cut repair costs. On the other, we have body shops that want and need to stay on the “preferred service center” list of those insurers.

In the midst of it all, policy holders that deal with the aftermath of an accident drive off in a car that cannot be considered roadworthy.

Mind the policy details

As a customer, you should always educate yourself on what kind of service you’re getting from an insurer for your vehicle. If the policy restricts the use of genuine OE parts or mentions the possibility of using aftermarket parts on your car, consider it a red flag you should take up with your insurer.

As with every manufacturer, using original parts for your make and model will ensure predictable and safer performance in case of an accident. Some body shops offer to handle your insurance claim for you as well, which can be beneficial if they guarantee the use of OE parts and industry-approved repair methods.

Know which questions to ask

When talking to your insurance company and the body shop you’ve selected for the repair, you have the right to be informed on the exact repair procedure that’s approved and used. You can clearly emphasize that you want only original parts used in the repair of your vehicle and ask about the origin of the parts they intend to use.

You can also get a second estimate from a different body shop not on the list of “preferred” centers, for the sake of comparison. It’s your right to make an informed decision, not a rash one. Plus, you can always remind the body shop that you will ask for an unbiased appraisal to evaluate the repair.

Research the body shops, too

It’s natural to feel like you should hurry your decision and find the most qualified repair shop immediately. But it’s best to speak to your insurer and then do some research yourself. Finding a body shop that guarantees the exclusive use of genuine parts and procedures that are manufacturer-approved might slow down the repair process, but it will protect your safety.

Preferred isn’t mandatory

Finally, policy holders need to remember: in some states, steering is even illegal, and at the very least, it’s a process that doesn’t have your best interest at heart. You’re entitled to a repair shop that will live up to your manufacturer’s expectations and repair your car to its pre-collision state focusing on your safety.

Look into your alternative options and keep in mind that you’re not obligated to choose a center that doesn’t meet your repair requirements.

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