Your car is wrecked and in need of repair. Liability has been determined, you're in a rental, and your insurance company has recommended a repair shop. Here are four important things you need to know before you sign anything.
1. Direct Repair Program (DRP). What is it? Insurance companies feed shops work based on pre-determined labor rates, parts markup percentages, and material costs. This is a perfectly legal and acceptable practice. It results in you asking for a recommendation for a body shop (or not), and the insurance company suggesting you go to their DRP shop in your area. You are not obligated in any way to do this, and have the right to have your vehicle repaired by a repair facility of your choosing. Independent shops have leverage because they aren't in any way beholden to a particular insurance company, and will fight for what they believe is best for you and your vehicle. DRP shops are closely associated with insurance companies, and may be able to quickly process your claim in a more hands-off manner.
2. ICAR. What is it? It's the industry standard certifying body for the auto collision industry. All technicians and shops have the opportunity to take ICAR classes and receive points for successfully completing them. ICAR works closely with auto manufacturers to develop a state of the art curriculum for the technicians. Look for a shop that is ICAR certified in some way whether you choose a DRP, or independent shop. You can visit https://www.i-car.com/ for more information about ICAR certifications.
3. Deductible. Do you have to pay it? Do not expect an automotive collision repair center to alter their estimate so that you don't have to pay your deductible. It is insurance fraud to do so. Be wary of any shop that offers to do this up front. If they're willing to be dishonest with the insurance company, can you trust them to repair the vehicle you drive your family around in?
4. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). What is it? These are new parts made by the automaker who made your vehicle. They come with a warrantee, and when installed by a factory certified technician keep your vehicle in warrantee. They are different than aftermarket parts of like kind and quality (LKQ) or used parts. Often in order to meet estimate quotas DRP shops are required to use LKQ or used parts. An independent shop, such as Ohs' Body Shop's Inc, can insist that the insurance company pay for OEM parts.
While any wreck is a stressful experience armed with this knowledge you can confidently select an auto collision repair center that meets your particular needs.Share
5 February 2015
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