Do I Have To Use a Specific Repair Shop for an Auto Insurance Claim?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Auto Insurance

One of the questions on the minds of people who are looking for insurance are about repair shops. There is a huge misconception and rumor that if you need your vehicle repaired through an insurance claim that you must use their specified repair shops to have your vehicle fixed. Is this the case? Do you have to use a specific repair shop for an insurance claim?

The answer is no, you do not. Most of the states have an anti-steering law that prevents insurers from dictating to you about the repair shop you use. You can also request that manufacturer's original parts are used to fix your car instead of another, cheaper brand.

However, if you choose a body shop that is not approved by your insurance company or one that they have recommended to you, you may have to pay some out-of-pocket expenses on the body work.

When you need to file a claim on your vehicle, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, you will need to pay the deductible amount on the insurance-a payment of between $250 and $1,000 usually against the price to repair your vehicle. If the damages to your vehicle are less than you deductible, or not much more than your deductible, then you might want to consider fixing the vehicle yourself instead of filing a claim on your insurance, which, if you were at fault in the collision, could raise your premiums.

Secondly, the insurance company will allow you to choose your own repair shop. However, they usually request that you have one or two estimates done for the price of repairing the damage to your vehicle. Here, you can choose a couple of repair shops that you want to use and submit the estimates to your insurance company.

If you need body work done on your vehicle, you will need to ask your insurance company which body shops they deal with and recommend. There are a few good reasons for this-the insurance company's only deal with reputable body shops that do the job right for a fair price, as well, many of the body shops offer discounts to insurance company clients, or waiver of deductible in some cases.

When you are having your vehicle mechanically repaired, you really hold the reins. Ensure that the parts they are using to replace damage parts in your vehicle are manufacturer parts, unless you aren't concerned about the use of other parts. In some cases with some insurance companies, if you do request manufacturer parts to be used, you could end up paying a portion of the difference in price.

Filing a claim on your insurance doesn't have to be a big deal-follow the lead your insurance company gives you and take their help and advice. Believe it or not, they have done all of this before and can probably offer some really good advise about where you should take your vehicle.

However, an insurance company can not insist that you use a specific repair shop, only a body shop can they allocate to you-unless you are willing to pay some of the expense yourself.

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