Rip-Off # 1- The Estimate Game...Some insurance companies want you to believe that the first step in having your vehicle repaired is visiting multiple repair shops to obtain the lowest estimate.Quite simply put, this is not true. No law or moral standard says you must have your vehicle repaired at a "cheaper" repair facility. Would you select a surgeon based on price? Of course not...You would choose a surgeon based on their skill, service, knowledge and reputation. The same is true when it comes to auto collision repair service. Low estimates often leave off important operations necessary to properly restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition, leaving you and your family at the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle.
Rip-Off # 2 - The Direct Repair Program GameMany insurance claims offices or agents will attempt to influence your decision when selecting a repair shop. They often try to refer you to a list of "preferred" shops in your area. These are called Direct Repair Programs, or DRPs. WHY? Insurance companies with direct repair programs approach some repair shops and in exchange for the shop providing of discounts, use of junkyard and non-original, imitation parts and other cost-cutting techniques, promise to send repair work to the participating shop. The shop would then be present on the insurance company's referral list. Many insurance companies have legal contracts in place with these repair shops. They are legally obligated to follow the insurance company's directions. The repair shops participation in these programs are, in essence, working for the insurance company, not you, the vehicle owner.
Rip-Off # 3 - The "Approved List" Game If you choose a shop that doesn't "participate" in these programs (such as Quality Paint & Body), the insurance agent or claims representative will tell you that your selected shop isn't on their "approved list." They will continue to tell you they don't warranty that shops work and can't guarantee the repairs. Make sure the shop of your choice has a warranty. Here at Quality Paint & Body we offer a lifetime warranty. Don't be intimated by these steering tactics! It is illegal and not in your best interest. Be aware of your rights. Contrary to what you may be told, it is YOUR car and YOU choose who repairs it, not the insurance company.