December 9, 2010

Three Tips For Avoiding A Bad Body Shop When Using Auto Insurance

After receiving an auto insurance quote for repairing their vehicle, most drivers take their car immediately to the closest body shop. After being informed that auto insurance is paying for the repairs, however, body shops have been known to do a shoddy job, make unnecessary repairs or claim that cheap replacement parts are new and high-end.

Stick to the list. To avoid a bad body shop when relying on an auto insurance quote for vehicle repairs, consider using the ones your company suggests. Many insurance companies have a list of preferred body shops that they have investigated and found to do a good job. Usually, you can obtain this information merely by asking your company. Choosing a body shop from this list reduces the likelihood that it will be a bad one. Using a preferred body shop, however, also makes it less likely that you will be charged an amount higher than the auto insurance quote. This is because the repair shop will be familiar with the amount your insurance company normally allots to specific repairs and only perform and charge what is guaranteed to be paid for.

Avoid the fancy interior or exterior. Repairing vehicles is not a pretty business; oil, dirt, broken metal and other auto parts make the job a dirty one. Auto insurance companies are aware of this, and more often than not the body shops they prefer are local mom-and-pop shops that may seem quite sketchy. A pristine, pretty shop, therefore, is an indication that something is not quite right and that, potentially, the shop is more concerned with appearances than in doing a good job. Additionally, it is more than likely that the cost of repairs is increased to pay for the shop's cleanliness.

Be cheap. The best way to ensure that your auto insurance quote is reliable is to inform the body shop that you do not want to go overboard on repairs. You should not necessarily inform the shop of the amount of money you expect to pay for your repairs because you might then find yourself paying exactly that amount. Instead, make it clear that you only want those repairs that are necessary or which you specifically request. Try to relay the feeling that you are unable to pay a lot to repair your vehicle. With these tactics, chances are that you'll end up paying a fair price.

An auto insurance quote is a guideline for repairs, but not every body shop cares about what your insurance company says. To avoid using a bad auto repair shop, follow your insurance company's advice and make it clear to the shop that your pockets aren't overflowing with extra money.