How to select a good collision repair shop

Most people are not involved in enough accidents in their lifetime to know exactly what they should do based on personal experience. The insurance industry is willing to give advice, but that advice is usually based on the insurer’s interests and agendas that are not usually in the best interest of the vehicle owner. The insurance company will seek the following:

FAST REPAIRS: Although a fast repair is desirable, high quality collision repair is not a process that should be rushed. Lack of quality will remain a constant aggravation long after the inconvenience of a few days delay is forgotten. The insurer wants a very quick turn around (repair cycle) time in order to save money on rental and loss of use. Additionally, a “fast” repair will leave numerous repair procedures and details un-attended, thus saving repair costs for the insurer. When shopping for a collision repair, speed of repairs should not be a selling point, but a warning!

CHEAP REPAIRS: All insurers are seeking a cheap repair, as every dollar spent on repairs is one less dollar of profit. There is a saying that “good repairs are not cheap, and cheap repairs are not good.” This is particularly true in the highly skilled and complex world of collision repairs. Cutting corners on collision repairs will result in flaws, defects, costly re-repairs, diminished value, and potential safety hazards.

Collision shops are seeking their own course of action to achieve the most profits from the least hassles. Many times that means not fighting for a full repair, or not informing the vehicle owner when an insurer is unwilling to address all items and procedures. Since insurers are looking for “fast and cheap,” using a shop selected or referred by your insurer will many times leave you with an unsatisfactory repair. Additionally, these insurer “friendly” shops became that way by doing what the insurer wants rather then what the consumer needs. Any shop that informs the consumer and the insurer of ALL the required repairs will NOT be on an insurer’s lists of referral shops. Additionally, many insurers will use un-ethical tactics to lie and defame the good quality, honest and ethical shops that offer a quality (more expensive) repair. Choosing a competent collision repair center will save time, money, aggravation and potentially lives.  

HOW TO SELECT A GOOD COLLISION REPAIR SHOP

1. Use a shop that will inform and empower you with knowledge of your rights to a full and proper repair. 
2. Select a shop that is recommended by someone you know who is very picky about his or her cars.
3. Contact a local collector car club that will be aware of good facilities in your area.
4. Contact two or three exotic or high-line dealerships and ask whom they would recommend to repair an expensive vehicle.
5. Use a shop that does not have any direct relationships with any insurers.

HOW TO AVOID SELECTING A COLLISION REPAIR SHOP

1.Use the shop recommended by the insurer of the at fault driver.
2. Use the shop recommended by your own insurance company.
3. Use the shop suggested by your insurance agent
4. Allow an unknown tow truck operator to suggest the shop.
5. Pick a facility because a relative or a friend owns it.
6. Go to ANY shop that offers to “save your deductible.”
7. Use any shop because they offer “free” towing or rental cars.

 Once you have selected a repair facility, have the vehicle towed to that facility and submit to them the REQUEST FOR PROPER REPAIR. Additionally, a PRE-REPAIR AGREEMENT INSURED or PRE-REPAIR AGREEMENT CLAIMANT should be sent to the insurance company. You should then authorize the shop to prepare for you a detailed estimated cost of repair.

REQUEST FOR PROPER REPAIR ( Word Doc)
PRE-REPAIR AGREEMENT INSURED (Word Doc)
PRE-REPAIR AGREEMENT CLAIMANT (Word Doc)

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