Not all shops are the same. How should you decide which body shop to choose? Here are two recommendations that will serve you well if you ever require the services of a collision repair center.
BEFORE AN ACCIDENT: Choose the Right Insurance Company.
It’s wiser to choose your insurer based upon how well they serve you in your time of need, over how low your premium will be. When you file an accident claim, will they pay for the proper repair? Many insurance companies will try to deny vehicle manufacturer’s written repair procedures to save a little money.
AFTER AN ACCIDENT: Choose the Right Body Shop
Look for a body shop that follows the manufacturer’s written repair procedures for your vehicle. Unfortunately, many body shops don’t even know that these procedures exist. Worse yet, they may know about them… and simply do not follow them because the insurance company tries to deny payment.
WHY IT MATTERS (A CASE STUDY OF NATIONWIDE INSURANCE)
A 2020 Jeep was involved in a front end collision where airbags were not deployed. According to the official Chrysler repair procedures, regardless of airbag deployment, the steering column MUST BE REPLACED.
Stephen D. of Nationwide Insurance DENIED PAYMENT for steering column replacement along with a list of other proper repairs.
When asked to justify this payment denial for the proper repair, Nationwide’s response was that Stephen D. called a local Jeep dealership’s body shop. “I called Larry Miller Jeep’s bodyshop, and they said that replacing the column for every front end impact is not correct.”
When asked to provide documentation supporting Nationwide’s denial of payment, none was delivered. However, we thought it appropriate to provide Chrysler’s actual written procedures for a proper repair below.
A CASE STUDY OF STATE FARM INSURANCE
A 2018 Subaru BRZ was involved in a REAR end collision where airbags were not deployed. According to the official Subaru repair procedures, if the vehicle is involved in a collision – even a slight collision – the collapsable steering column must be removed and measured to determine if it must be replaced.
Brad B. of State Farm insurance DENIED PAYMENT and summarily dismissed the issue with this statement: “Based on the damage to the rear, no steering wheel blown airbags, we do not approve this”.
We thought it appropriate to provide the actual Subaru documentation showing the procedures for the proper repair of this Subaru, regardless of the intensity of the collision.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS
Choose The Right Insurance Company
Insurance companies have absolutely no role in the actual repair of your vehicle beyond paying for the PROPER REPAIR. When they deny payment of documented manufacturer’s procedures, they essentially put themselves in the role of the repairer. They are neither qualified nor tasked with any such business.
Your primary concern for which insurance company to choose should be based upon whether they will PAY FOR THE PROPER REPAIR… period.
Choose the Right Body Shop
Many body shops are not even aware of the proper procedures. While this may seem hard to believe, they typically choose to move more cars, faster through their system. This mentality means that they don’t take the time to pull up the proper procedures, and more often, they are on the insurance company’s “preferred partnership” program, which means they won’t even argue their master’s estimates.
We encourage you to choose body shops who have no influence from insurance companies who don’t care about performing the proper repair. And if you ever have any question about where we stand on any of these matters, please call us directly. We’re always happy to tell you the truth about your vehicle’s proper repair needs.
In the case of the Jeep and Nationwide Insurance above: Our estimator, Robert V. was able to persist with documentation that eventually forced the insurance company to pay for the proper repair.
Unfortunately, in the case of the Subaru and State Farm Insurance, our estimator Paul B. was stonewalled and ignored at every attempt to get State Farm to pay what they owed. Instead, our guest had to pay over $3,000.00 out of her own pocket for the proper repair.