December 8, 2010

What To Do If Your Auto Insurance Company Demands You Use A Certain Body Shop

Often, after receiving an auto insurance quote for vehicle repairs, drivers are required by the insurance company to use a particular body shop. While sometimes this can be a good thing, other times you might want to use a shop of your choice.

Your first option is to go along with the plan. Sure, you don't like the choice of body shop, but you're not paying. If you are forced to use a particular body shop, make it known to the insurance company that they are the ones responsible for the cost of all the shop's charges and for any costs you incur if you must subsequently have the repairs redone. This can be achieved through a letter stating just this to the insurance company.

You should still, however, be active in the repair process. Inform the body shop that the insurance company is financially responsible and that they have quoted you their customarily ascribed value. A body shop preferred by an insurance company will know these amounts and not perform additional work or charge you more. Additionally, contact the body shop regularly to check on your vehicle's status. If you encounter a problem, for example the repairs are taking unnecessarily long or the shop tells you it needs to perform more work than originally discussed, you can take the issue immediately to your insurance company and let them handle it directly.

Your other option is to refuse to use the preferred body shop. This decision will not prevent you from receiving money for repairs because you are contractually entitled to payment. It may, however, lead to your not receiving the same amount of money. This is because the auto insurance quote may have been based on a specific shop's charges and, if those charges are considered to be higher than other shops, the company may refuse to provide the same amount of money.

Your decision to not use the auto body shop chosen by your insurance company must be told to the company. This should be done in writing and include the reasons for your decision. If you believe that the shop is disreputable because of public opinion or previous use, let the insurance company know that. Your reasons just might induce the company to change their mind and let you use a shop of your choice.

An insurance company's demands that you use a particular body shop do not necessarily need to be followed. If you decide to use a different shop, however, you must let the company know so that they send the check to you and not their chosen shop.