Who Picks the Auto Body Shop?
You have the right to have your car repaired at a shop of your own
choosing. You have the right to have the car appraised at a shop of
your own choosing. You are not obligated to drive halfway across the
state to any insurance agent's inspection facility, whether it is for the
defendant's company or your own company. If either adjuster wants to
inspect the car, make them do it at your convenience, not theirs.
You should not have to take time off from work to meet an insurance
adjuster to inspect your car. Usually, they are going to be flexible enough
to cooperate with you in this respect. The property adjuster is generally
not going to be your bodily injury adjuster.
Most large insurance companies have contracts with one body shop in a given
area. That body shop is trained to do business on the software favored by
the insurer, and also to make estimates in accordance with policies of the
insurer. These are known as Insurance Contract Shops. You can expect
that the property damage adjuster will try to steer you to such a shop in
your area. Should you go, or should you pick your own shop? If your best
friend owns a shop, take it there. Otherwise, give some thought to using
the shop approved in advance by the insurer.
We think it is reasonable to give the Insurance Contract Shop a try for a
couple of reasons. First, they have been selected because of the quality of
work and their ability to follow the format favored by the insurer. That
means you are dealing with competent people, and it also means you stand a
better chance of getting work added to the job if additional damage is
discovered. Second, the insurer will guarantee the work of the Insurance
Contract Shop. You might want to verify this last point with the adjuster.
This is an important advantage because, if something goes wrong six months
after getting your car back, you can expect to get it fixed at the expense
of the insurance company. Otherwise you would be back at the door of
another shop arguing with the owner to convince him it is his
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