Do you use the body shop the insurance company recommends?
The short answer is - consider going with the body shop recommended.
It can be tough to find a car repair shop that you like, so when you do, it's your go-to place for repairs. After a car wreck, though, the auto insurance company gives you a recommendation for their preferred auto body shop. There are two main things to consider when looking at whether you go to the insurance company's preferred body shop if you've been hit by another driver:
- You are less likely to have unnecessary delays, and
- You won't have to worry about paying the shop directly.
Why take your car to the preferred body shop?
Insurance companies already have a strong relationship with their preferred body shops. When you take your car there, the body shop can work directly with the insurance company to make sure that the estimate for the damages is accurate and covers everything you'll need. The insurance company will also be able to pay the body shop directly, which may minimize delays in processing time and eliminate you as the middle person.
Sending your car to the insurance-preferred body shop usually makes the whole process simpler and more efficient. You'll take your car to the body shop to get it inspected, they'll send the insurance company an estimate, payment will be processed, and you'll pick up your car when it's ready.
Of course, you have the option to take your vehicle to the shop of your choosing. However, there are some things to consider when doing so. If you go to a body shop outside of their network, the insurance company will likely mail you a check to cover the costs in which case you will be responsible for getting that over to the body shop. If the amount is incorrect or the shop discovers new and additional damage, you'll be on the hook for communicating that to the insurance company and arranging the solution. You may have to mail the check back and wait for them to send another one for the correct amount, or pursue a claim for the additional dollar amount in dispute. This back-and-forth can leave your car sitting in the repair shop while you wait for the insurance company to sort everything out. Your car sitting means more storage fees and costs you may have to fight for in order to get back.
When to get a second opinion on your property damage?
If you think the estimate does not cover all the damage to your car - for example, if the insurance company did not factor in damage to the frame of your car - it may make sense to get a second opinion from a shop of your choosing. Sometimes insurance companies try to save themselves money by fixing some damages, but not all. That leaves you paying out of pocket or stuck with a half-fixed car.
If you have a unique vehicle or a classic car, you might also want to take your vehicle to a body shop that you trust for your specific vehicle. Insurance companies may try to get out of covering repairs to a unique or classic car, but according to the law, they have to take the vehicle as they find it. If you did not cause the wreck, you should not have to pay for the damages caused by another negligent driver.
You are not in this alone.
After you have been in a wreck, it can feel like you are left on your own to navigate everything, but you are not alone. Our team at the Button Law Firm does everything we can to help people navigate life after a car wreck.
We have put together a library of books, guides, and articles to help folks feel confident about what to do after they have been in a wreck. Because each case is different, we're also here to answer your questions and talk about the specifics of your wreck. Give us a call at 214-699-4409 or Contact Us Here. We are dedicated to helping you find closure and resolution so you can get back to moving forward with your life.