When you’ve been in a car accident, the whole process afterwards of getting your car repaired can seem more complicated than necessary. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
Let me clear some things up for you. First of all, when you’ve been in an accident your insurance company typically asks you to obtain three different estimates from a list of local auto body shops that they recommend. But did you know that you aren’t required to obtain three different estimates? It can be in your best interests to acquire several estimates, since you might find that one shop is preferable to another. However, you can get as few or as many estimates as you want.
Similarly, you are not required to select a shop from the list your insurance company provides.
You are free to take your car to any auto body shop you want. Regardless of which shop you choose, your insurance company will still cover your repairs.
You’re probably wondering why insurance companies provide a list of shops to choose from. This has to do with something called the Direct Repair Program.
In order to cut costs and offer more competitive premiums, insurance companies partner with certain auto body shops that participate in the program. These Direct Repair Partner (DRP) shops offer various incentives to the insurance companies, such as discounts, free towing, and even free vehicle storage. With the money they’ve saved through partnering with Direct Repair shops, your insurance company has been able to provide you with a more affordable policy.
It’s important to choose whichever shop you are most comfortable with, regardless of whether it participates in the Direct Repair Program.
While there are certain benefits to choosing a DRP shop, such as discounts and uniform procedures, non-DRP shops have the advantage of not being held to requirements put in place by a DRP contract.
Instead of getting estimates from one type of shop instead of the other, get a variety of estimates from shops in the Bel Air area. There are many different auto body shops to choose from and that can be a good thing.
Find the right body shop for you.
Getting several estimates can be a pain, but it will provide you with confidence and peace of mind. Look for a clean shop with knowledgeable staff members who are informative and not pushy. Get referrals from friends, the car dealer, and the Better Business Bureau, as well as your insurance company. Find a shop that has been around for a while and has built a solid reputation. Ask what kinds of conveniences are available, how long repairs typically take, and what days the shop is open. And absolutely make sure that the shop you choose offers a lifetime warranty on the work performed.
Whether you take your car to Bel Air Autobody or to another body shop in Harford County, be on the lookout for the qualities that matter most to you. With just a little bit of research, you can find the right shop to fit your needs.