Things insurers may say to “steer”
you into another body shop
When filing an insurance claim, your insurance company may suggest taking your car to another auto body shop that is on their “preferred list”. Their suggestion might even sound like you have no choice but to take it to the shop they recommend. This practice is calling “steering” by the insurer and it is against the law. Insurance companies are only allowed to recommend a shop if you ask them for a referral. You always have the right to utilize the shop of your choice, especially a shop that you used before and are happy with.
In most insurance referral programs the insurance company becomes the primary customer to the referred shop and the insurer’s best interests are considered first, not yours. Many insurance companies try to pay for the cheapest repair and require their preferred shops to make repairs using cost-cutting repair techniques, low cost parts and discounts back to the insurer. You pay full price for insurance and assume you will receive a quality repair when using it. At D&M Auto Body we insure you do.
D&M Auto Body has several insurance relationships with insurers that we feel pay for a fair & reasonable repair. D&M Auto Body has earned our great reputation by always putting our customers first. YOU are our customer, not the insurance company.
When you choose D&M Auto Body for repairs, the insurance company will inspect your vehicle at our shop after we disassemble your vehicle to expose all damage and write a complete and accurate damage repair plan. Using our inspection procedure and allowing us to negotiate your claim from the start, will result in a convenient and fast repair experience.
Some examples of Insurance Company word tracks that they may say, which could mislead you into believing you are required to use one of their preferred shops are,
1) If you don’t use one of our preferred shops, you will be responsible for all additional costs and D&M Auto Body charges more than we pay.
This is not totally true, 99% of all insurance claims our staff successfully negotiates with the insurance company to pay for a complete repair. Usually replacement part types are the only thing we may not be able to negotiate around. We will install the part type your policy dictates if that’s what you choose. The difference at D&M Auto Body is unlike most shops, we thoroughly explain to our customers what type of parts they are getting and the differences in quality between them. We don’t just install lesser quality parts and hope our customers never notice.
2) If you use a shop that is not on our preferred list, it could take up to a week for our adjuster to inspect the damage and your shop can’t begin repairs untill we inspect the damage.
Most insurance companies will have an adjustor to our shop within 2-3 days. Some even show up on the same day the loss is reported. Only during times of extremely bad weather do insurers fall behind. Realistically in times of bad weather shops on the insurers preferred lists are also backed up. Due to the competitive nature of the auto insurance market, it’s in the insurer’s advantage to inspect vehicles promptly for their customer’s increased satisfaction.
With our customers signed authorization, we can disassemble and document the complete damage before the insurance company inspects the vehicle. This way we can negotiate a complete claim and are prepared to begin the repair process immediately after their inspection.
3) D&M Auto Body is not one of our preferred shops so we cannot guarantee their work or the repair.
Definitely not true! Insurance companies do not fix cars, so they can’t guarantee the repairs. The shop that performs the repair has to guarantee it. If a preferred shop performs a poor repair, the insurer will send the vehicle to another shop then makes the original shop pay for any re-repairs. D&M Auto Body provides a free written lifetime warrantee on all “A” and “B” collision repairs. Click on the link below to view our warranty.
4) If you use one of our shops, there will be a rental car waiting at the shop for a convenient one stop drop-off. Our shops will also clean your car for free when the repair is complete.
D&M Auto Body uses Enterprise rentals exclusively at our Rockaway and Cedar Knolls locations. We can contact them for our customers and arrange for Enterprise to meet you at our shop for your convenience. For our customers that do not have rental insurance, D&M Auto Body has negotiated discounted rates with Enterprise’s Rockaway location. Click on the link below for enterprise info and pricing.
On every collision repair D&M Auto Body performs a free thorough interior/exterior detailing on each vehicle. Many of the comments made by our customers that are shown on our testimonial page, mention how great their vehicles look after our detailing. Click on the link below to read what our customers say about us, with many commenting on how clean their vehicle was.
5) We will only pay for towing to the closest preferred shop. D&M Auto Body is further away and you will have to pay the difference.
On rare occasions an insurer will try to “cap” the towing cost but most of the time insurance companies will pay the total towing bill to our shop. Since we own our own towing service, on those rare occasions we will work with our customers to minimize any towing cost differences.