Almost all insurance companies today have what are referred to as “DRP” or Direct Repair Programs. Auto body shops that are a part of these programs belong to referral networks created by the insurance companies.
Unfortunately, this kind of referral relationship can often create a conflict of interest as the repair facility considers the insurance company to be their customer. The insurance company, therefore, becomes their top priority, at the expense of the vehicle owner.
These are common phrases used by some Insurance Companies when you select a shop that is not on their "List", and what our response is.
"They are not one of our network shops and they are not on our list, we can't guarantee the repairs".
All reputable Body Shops offer a lifetime Warranty/Guarantee for as long as you own your vehicle.
"If you use them, we can't get an adjuster out for several days, if you take it to our network shop we will have someone start on it right away".
This is just another ploy to steer you, most insurance companies are required to send adjusters out within 24 to 48 hours. If you are the claimant or have rental coverage on your own policy, they are required to pay for your rental expenses in the interim.
"If you use that shop you will have to pay for your rental out of pocket"
This is not true, but some insurance companies will try to force you into a rental reimbursement, which means they will either try to get you to pay with a credit card and then reimburse you, or offer to send a check for x amount of rental days (which you should promptly refuse to do). Most insurers have direct bill agreements with rental companies, but they do not always disclose that. Always remember as a claimant against an insurer, you also have specific rights that a policyholder may not have.
"If they charge more than the prevailing rate, you will have to pay the difference in repair cost"
All reputable Body shops are fully aware of prevailing rates and rarely is there an issue.
"Claims take longer to settle if you use them"
The only thing that takes longer is that insurers are sometimes slow to respond to supplement requests or they can omit repairs/parts from the supplement requiring additional requests from the repair shop. Insurers can also delay payment by not having checks made until after repairs have been completed and/or by putting the lien holder’s name on the check.
These are just a few of the word tracks used to manipulate the customer into using a specific repair facility. Be careful, it's your vehicle, your investment; you have the right to make the choice on who repairs your vehicle.
At Archer Collision Center, you, the vehicle owner, always comes first… we are not willing to compromise quality or our commitment to customer service for any referral program. We work with all insurance companies, and we will manage your claim in a way that protects your interests.
Our staff will make sure you receive a high-quality repair that’s safe and protects the resale value of your car.
Texas Department of Insurance
You Have the Right to Choose!
Texas insurance law clearly states that you have the right to select where a motor vehicle is repaired. Some insurers may attempt to steer consumers indirectly by suggesting, either verbally or in writing, that other reasonable repair costs might not be covered unless they use a preferred repair shop or specific parts to make the repairs.
Anyone with an insurance-related complaint may contact TDI by calling the toll-free Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439 or by filling out an online complaint form on TDI’s website.