You’ve gotten into a car accident. We’re sorry. This is never a pleasant experience for anyone. After you’ve contacted the police to report the accident, collected information from the other vehicle owners, and contacted your insurance company, you have one more decision to make: which body shop will you choose to do the work on your car? Your insurance company may pressure you to choose a body shop that they recommend. You should know, though, that you have the right to bring your car to the body shop of your choice to repair and restore it to its pre-collision state.
Your Insurance Company’s Body Shop Recommendation
Most people do not experience car accidents every day or every year. It’s something that happens infrequently – which means few people get a chance to be experienced at navigating the post-accident process. What you should know about your insurance company is that if they try to steer you towards a particular body shop, that doesn’t mean you have to take your car there.
It’s in the insurance company’s best interests to send you to a body shop they have contracted with because they’ve negotiated labor and material rates with those companies as well as discounts on parts. Those shops will have agreed to comply with the insurance company’s equipment and training requirements and to offer a lifetime warranty on their work. The bottom line for the insurance company is: it will be cheaper for them to send you to one of their pre-approved body shops. That doesn’t mean you have no choice in where to take your car.
In most states, in fact, you have the legal right to choose your body shop, and your insurance company has to work with them to get your car repaired. Your insurance company may try to sway you by telling you that the shop you choose will not be able to handle your claim quickly and efficiently or by saying that they will not warranty the repairs if you don’t go to the shop they prefer. Don’t let this intimidate you.
Auto body repair companies that care about their reputations will warranty their work, and, unlike the average driver, they work with car insurance companies every single day. They know how to navigate the claims process, and they are familiar with local insurance adjusters. They conduct behind-the-scenes negotiations over car repairs all the time.
Choose a Body Shop YOU Are Comfortable With
It may feel overwhelming to do research on auto body shops when what you really want is to get your car repaired as soon as possible, but it pays to take a little time. Ask your family and friends to recommend a good body shop. Or look up reviews to see what other customers experiences have been. You can also ask the manager of your local shop if they offer lifetime warranties on their work, if they’ve repaired vehicles like yours before, and if they have worked with your insurance company before. When you’ve learned more about a shop, you will feel more comfortable making your decision.
At Star Collision it’s our job to make this process as stress free as possible and to restore your car to good condition inside and out. We stand by our work, and we are proud of our reputation in the Greater Grand Rapids community. If you have any questions about how we do our job, please give us a call. We would be happy to let you know how we do our magic to make wrecked cars look like new again!