SAN JOSE – In the event of an auto accident insurance claim, your provider will likely recommend using a shop that’s part of its direct repair network. What you may not realize, however, is that you have the right to take your vehicle to any shop you choose.
When you file an insurance claim, your provider will typically send you to a direct repair shop, which will perform an initial inspection, take photographs and forward the appraisal to the provider. At this point, it’s no longer mandatory for you to leave your vehicle at that facility. Like many drivers, you may have a shop that services your car regularly, or a particular mechanic you’re more comfortable with or who will give you a better deal for a quality repair. In any case, it’s within your legal rights to take your vehicle to any shop you want.
One benefit of using an insurance company’s preferred shop is that the direct line of communication between the shop and your provider may result in a speedier repair. Insurance-related issues are the most common cause of delays, so you should definitely keep that in mind. Also, be sure to choose a shop that will give you a lifetime guarantee on the repairs and paint work, as is standard at all reputable shops.
Whatever the case, don’t be misled by your insurance company and end up at a shop you aren’t comfortable with—make the choice yourself.