You Have the Right to Choose a Repair Shop After a Car Accident
Posted On behalf of Simien & Simien on Feb 17, 2017 in Insurance
When you file an insurance claim after a car accident, the claims adjuster will likely urge you to take your vehicle to one of the company's preferred repair shops.
The adjuster might say that using a preferred shop will expedite the process or ensure your vehicle is repaired properly.
However, the decision about where to have your car repaired is yours. You can use the preferred shop if you want to, but you have the right to take your car somewhere else.
Do not let your decision be influenced by misinformation from the adjuster or others at your insurance company.
Here are some examples of deceptive statements your insurance company might make to try to convince you to take your car to a preferred repair shop:
- "We cannot guarantee repairs if you take your car to a shop that is out of our network." – Any reputable auto body shop should offer a lifetime warranty or guarantee on repairs to a vehicle you own. However, make sure the shop guarantees repairs before you let them work on your car.
- "If you take your car to an out-of-network shop, it may take longer to send out an adjuster." – In most cases, insurance companies are required to send out adjusters one to two days after a claim is made.
- "If you use an out-of-network shop, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for a rental car." – The insurance company may try to force you to pay for the rental car up front and be reimbursed after the fact. Refuse do this because the insurance company probably has a direct bill agreement with one or more rental car companies.
- "It may take longer to settle your claim." – There may be a slight delay in the payment of your claim. However, if your insurer does not pay the claim within 30 days, you have the right to file a claim against them for failing to pay in a timely fashion.
- "If your shop charges more than the prevailing rate, you will have to pay the difference." – This is a ruse because any reputable shop knows what the prevailing rates are and almost always sticks to them.
It is possible that the entire process will go a little bit faster if you use one of your insurance company's preferred repairs shops.
However, insurance companies often demand that preferred shops use old or reconditioned parts that were not produced by the vehicle manufacturer. These are of much lower quality than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and they could be a safety hazard.
If you use a preferred repair shop, demand the use of OEM parts. If your insurer insists on using salvaged parts, demand a written warranty that will last for the rest of the time you own the vehicle.
If your car insurance company denied your claim or delayed payment, you may have a bad faith insurance claim. Contact our Louisiana bad faith insurance lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation to find out your legal options.
Call (800) 374-8422 or Live Chat with a representative today.