When the worst happens and you’re in a car accident, the last thing you may be thinking about is the insurance claim process. This can lead you to accept everything your insurance company advises you to do, whether it’s best for you or them. Remember that you have a role to play in the process. Your insurance company isn’t allowed to require a specific auto body repair shop for your claim.
From a minor fender bender to a major collision, find out why you should be wary of a preferred collision repair shop recommended by your insurance company. These recommendations may point you to a reputable shop, but it’s up to you to find the best auto collision shop in Shreveport, LA, Bossier, LA, and the surrounding area. Explore the role of insurance adjusters, the reasons a preferred shop may not give you the best deal, and how you can enjoy low prices and expert repairs by Brock’s Collision Centers.
The Role of Insurance Adjusters
An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. An adjuster’s role is to determine the exact amount of damage to your vehicle, ensure the claim isn’t fraudulent, and authorize a specific payment amount. Adjusters aren’t trying to avoid paying you a claim but are simply trying to make sure the amount is related to the extent of the auto damage.
This role is crucial to avoid insurance fraud and verify that the insurance company pays the correct amount for damages. Some adjusters recommend sending your car and the insurance check to a specific auto shop to streamline the process. This may be more convenient for the auto shop and the insurance adjuster, but it could come at a cost to you.
A common question about the process is, “Does the insurance send a check to me or body shop?” The answer depends on the shop you’ve chosen and local laws. In Louisiana, the law requires insurance companies to make the check out to be paid to the claimant. You’ll only receive a check based on the estimated cost and the insurance company’s responsibility, but the check will go to you to be used as you see fit in repairing your vehicle.
Many insurance adjusters are stationed at preferred collision repair shops. Your insurance company may direct you to the adjuster at a local shop, eliminating the need to travel between the adjuster and the repair shop. Some insurance companies even make it seem necessary to go to their specific auto repair shop.
Your vehicle needs to be inspected by an insurance adjuster from your insurance company in order to receive your check, but you aren’t required to use their particular repair professionals. Feel free to take quotes from highly rated shops in your area before committing to a repair service.
Why You Should be Wary of a Preferred Collision Repair Shop
There are many reasons why you should be wary of a preferred shop. The main claim to use one of these shops is convenience, but it’s typically more convenient for the insurance company than for you. By stationing an onsite adjuster at a local repair shop, insurance companies can often negotiate or control the cost of repairs.
This may mean that you either pay more for repair services or receive less for the same price. Repair shops may recommend more extensive, unnecessary repairs if they know the insurance claim will cover a significant portion of the cost.
In other situations, repair shops may cut corners to enjoy a larger cut of the insurance claim. A preferred shop may simply be a shop that’s easy for the insurance company to work with, not necessarily a more qualified company. Some repair shops don’t purposely offer subpar services, but they may not hire leading experts in the field. Working with an inexperienced technician can come with more risks than working with a team that has years of experience.
Your Auto Body Shop Options
You always have options when it comes to receiving auto repairs after a collision. Insurance companies in Louisiana are required to work with your preferred auto shop, not just their preferred one. You’re free to choose a reputable auto collision repair shop, as long as your chosen shop agrees to work with you.
How To Select a Collision Repair Shop
Reviewing auto shops after an accident can be stressful. Try to find a trustworthy repair shop before you need one, that way, you won’t have to make a big decision after a stressful event. If you’ve already experienced an accident and are looking for a new shop, use these factors to find the best shop in Shreveport, LA:
- Written estimates: A spoken-word estimate doesn’t have a lot of weight, so ask for a written estimate for particular repair tasks. A written estimate gives you peace of mind that a particular service is competitively priced and within your insurance claim.
- Customer testimonials: The best repair shops in your area should have glowing reviews. No business has perfect customer reviews, but you should be able to find individuals and online reviews that speak to consistent quality and friendly employees.
- Towing services: Serious collisions need a tow service. Safely remove your vehicle with 24-hour towing either directly from the collision center or through a trusted partner.
- Quality financing: Do you have a significant deductible or costs exceeding the insurance claim? Work with a reputable body shop to enjoy in-house financing that covers your needs and offers manageable payments.
- Highly trained technicians: Don’t trust just anyone with your vehicle repair. Smoothing out body panels, painting scratched surfaces, or fully restoring your vehicle all require a trained expert. Work with leaders in collision repair services for peace of mind.
- Reliable services: Not all repair shops offer every service you need, particularly after a collision. Auto body and paint are special services that a reputable mechanic may not be equipped to offer. Work with a collision repair team to smooth out the bumps and match replacement body panels with your existing auto paint.
- Qualifying vehicle experience: Do you have a luxury car or a commercial vehicle? Ask reliable repair centers in your area if they have experience with your particular make and model of vehicle. This helps you determine whether you should go to a specialist or if your chosen shop can handle your vehicle.
Some insurance companies prefer auto shops that offer these services, but simply being a preferred company doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right choice for you. Do your own research and find a collision center in your local community that puts your needs first.
Compare Prices at Brock’s Collision Centers
At Brock’s Collision Centers, we have reliable repair services, friendly staff, and affordable financing at multiple locations throughout Louisiana. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote after a serious collision. Compare our prices and reputation with other repair centers in the area to enjoy the best option for your vehicle and your budget.
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