After an auto accident, an insurance company may try to direct or “steer” you toward a specific repair company that they are contracted with. Insurance companies often partner with repair shops for their own interests at your expense. In this arrangement, the repair company saves the insurance provider money by cutting corners on their repairs. In return, the insurance company drives auto body shop customers to their repair shops. This immoral, but unfortunately all too common, practice is known as steering.
Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of your situation. After an accident, you have the right to find a quality repair shop that you can trust. If you don’t know a reputable shop personally, ask for recommendations from family and friends or call your local dealer for a recommendation. Once you have found a reliable and honest repair facility, notify your insurance company of where the repairs will occur. Stay in control of your situation and ensure that your vehicle is receiving the best care.
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A reputable repair shop should offer a lifetime warranty on all of its bodywork and a minimum warranty of five years on all of its refinishing. Shops should use new original equipment manufacturer parts rather than counterfeit or aftermarket parts. Look for a facility without ties to an insurance company or one that is recommended by people that you know personally. Be careful if another shop offer you a significantly lower quote. These low prices often result in a loss of quality workmanship.