Can the insurance adjuster make me select an auto collision repair shop from a list of "approved" shops?
This is a method insurance companies use called steering. It is not legal for an insurance company to require that you take your business to any particular auto collision repair facility. Although they can "recommend" some auto body shops, the insurance adjusters CANNOT REQUIRE you to use a specific repair facility or to select from a list of their "preferred" shops. That is a practice called "steering", and if you take exception to it, you can report the adjuster See California Department of Insurance. You, the consumer, have the right (Consumer Bill of Rights) to use any licensed repair facility that you choose.
How to find a reputable body shop for repairs Allegations disfavoring using a "preferred shop" The insurance company does not "own" the "Preferred Shop", "Approved Shop" or the like. Nor does the insurance adjuster have any right to dictate to the owner what will happen in any given job.There are allegations that these approved or direct-repair body shops get on the insurance company's list by keeping their costs low by, spending less time on repairs, using cheaper parts, and overlooking damages that only an expert could spot. Hence the insurance company will be paying less to repair your vehicle when you use one of those shops. It is alleged that one prominent company even had a requirement that the auto collision repair shop personnel could not talk to their customers about their cars until they had cleared it with the insurance adjuster first. When choosing a repair facility keep in mind DO NOT FALL INTO FRAUD AGAINST THE INSURANCE COMPANY Some consumers think that it is smart to find an auto body shop owner who will "play along" with them so that they can avoid paying their deductible on their first party claims. What would you say if the shop owner told you that he could hide or "bury" your deductible if he rises up the price of some items to be paid for by the insurance company? DO NOT GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH A DISHONEST AUTO BODY SHOP OWNER Once you get him to agree on cheating on the deductible, you have no idea whether he is also going to cheat you. A shop that will comply with this request may be simply cutting corners on the repair, not discounting the parts and labor. The question to ask yourself is how many corners will they cut-just enough to save your money, or will they cut as many as possible and make an additional profit also? What will you do if his work turns out to be unsatisfactory? If you vary from the agreed repairs in any manner through your requests, you may be extremely disappointed with the outcome of the repairs, and you will have very little grounds to seek restitution if you are dissatisfied.
When choosing a repair facilityYour vehicle is a major investment, as consumers we want to protect all of your investments – your vehicles are no exception. Finding a quality collision repair business by asking the right questions and taking a tour of a collision repair business can help you decide if your investment will be in the best hands. If you feel comfortable after your visit, chances are you will be satisfied with the repair. AW Collision is here to ease the repair process by informing you on various important facts on repairing your vehicle.
Why it's important to have a facility that is equipped and qualified to repair your vehicle?
Procedures must be followed according to manufacturer specifications
According to the Bureau of Automotive Repair, repairs must be made with a list of standards, in order of precedence, to be followed within performance of adjustments, inspections, servicing and all repairs. Vehicles manufactures’ current standards, specifications and recommended procedures, as published in the manufacturers vehicle service and repair manuals must be met.
Technicians must be qualified
Automotive service technicians' and mechanics' responsibilities have evolved from simple mechanical repairs to high-level technology-related work. Automotive service technicians and mechanics must continually adapt to changing technology and repair techniques. Formal automotive training is necessary to ensure safe repairs. Technicians must have an increasingly broad knowledge of how vehicles' complex components work and interact.
For instance one of the most challenging jobs in a body shop is paint matching. Although using factory paint codes gets you 95 percent of the way to matching the color, the remaining 5 percent has to be done by a technician who really knows what they’re doing. If the technician isn’t trained there would always be a little variance. AW Collision advises that you arrange to pick up a car from the body shop during the day. If possible look at the car in the sunlight to make sure that the new paint matched the car’s original shade and finish.
A repair facility with that is equipped and qualified to repair on your vehicle will:
Properly correct frame or unibody damage which results in a vehicle with no chronic post repair such as tire wear, vibration or premature steering or suspension problems.
Automatically provide suspension alignment after all frame or unibody repairs.
Use paint and parts from the original manufacturer.
Follow all procedures ensure repairs are in compliance with manufacturers current repair standards and have been adequately inspected and tested.
If choosing another shop please ask these questions to make sure your vehicle is repaired according to factory specifics.
Are they certified from your vehicle manufacturer to repair your vehicle?
Are the technician is trained by the manufacture of your vehicle
Are they I-Car (Collision Repair Trained) and ASE (Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) certified?
Are their repair facility certified from the manufacturer?
Will they be using OEM parts? (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Can they provide a computer generated report of either frame or unibody damage and the subsequent corrective action? (Shops should perform a suspension alignment after all repairs are complete, a report can then be printed assuring no deviation from the factory specifications, to ensure the damage has been properly repaired)
Ask to see certificates from the manufacturer or call your dealer for recommendation.
AW Collision Guarantee
At AW Collision our automotive service technicians and mechanics are I-Car and ASE certified, we make repairs with OEM parts, according to vehicle manufacturers standards, specifications, and recommended procedures. Our repairs are verified by our lifetime warranty. Our technicians are trained specifically within these processes, as well as to be mindful that each step of the repair process directly impacts the safety and well being of your family.