When getting auto collision repair, it’s important to know what you are entitled to. Car owners have several rights that if exercised, could ensure that your vehicle will be safely and correctly repaired.
Don’t just rely on insurance companies or auto repair technicians to tell you what you’re entitled to or how you can save money; take note of them yourself. That said, here are some of the rights you have when it comes to collision repair claims.
1. Right to Choose a Collision Repair Shop
Selecting a body shop where your car will be serviced is an important decision that you should make. If you don’t know where to look, asking friends and family members who have already gone through the repair process is a good start.
Your dealership may have a list of reputable repair facilities as well; in fact, it might even have its own body shop. If not, see if the dealership has a list of reliable repair shops nearby instead.
For car owners making an insurance claim, based on most state laws, your insurer cannot force you to go to a specific shop. This means no matter what you hear, you have the final say on where you would like to get collision repair.
2. Right to a Repair and Parts Guarantee
Insurance companies have preferred auto body shops they rely on for repairs. They may tell you that collision repair work and replacements done by these shops are guaranteed. While this may be true, you still need to make sure the collision shop you choose will offer a lifetime warranty for all replacement and repair services.
3. Right to High-Quality Replacement Parts
As a car owner, you have the choice between used, aftermarket, or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. The type of replacement parts that will be installed on your vehicle is your decision.
OEM parts are directly from your car manufacturer and they are designed to ensure proper function, fit, and safety. They generally cost more than other parts, so check if your collision insurance covers this option.
In most states, auto body repair shops and insurance companies are required to inform customers if parts other than from the OEM will be used for a repair. Ask the shop about the quality of components that will be used when you request estimates.
4. Right to Related Expenses Coverage
No matter how serious the crash your car was involved in, you are entitled to payment for restoring the vehicle to its original condition (in terms of safety, appearance, and function). Aside from the collision repair, the insurance company may also cover glass repair or replacement, painting, and dent repair.
Exercise Your Rights in Collision Repair Claims
Everyone deserves to ride or drive a repaired vehicle safely. As a car owner, you need a vehicle that performs without any problems after getting into a collision. It’s never a good idea to leave safety to chance–ensure you know how your car will be repaired and what parts will be used.
Always check if the technicians are well-trained and if the shop is recognized by the collision repair community. Exercise your rights–be involved in your car’s repair so you will not be fooled by insurance companies trying to cut corners.