No matter how minor, it is wise to report every accident to the police. Then, contact the repair shop of your choice. Your repair shop can assist you with the processing of your claim, answer your questions, and advise you regarding the proper and safe repairs to be made to your vehicle.
No. Your insurance company must inspect the damage to your vehicle at your chosen repair shop rather than at their drive-in claims center or sending their mobile adjuster to you. They are legally prohibited from forcing you or using any steering tactics intended to prevent you from seeking damage estimates from your own body shop rather than their drive-in facility. Allowing them to send their adjuster to you or going to their drive in claims center will give them the chance to prepare a cut rate estimate utilizing aftermarket parts. NOTE: It is not possible to write an accurate estimate at a "drive- in" estimating station - all vehicles must be dismantled (Torn-Down) to accurately determine the exact extent of damage inflicted to a vehicle. DO NOT let them intimidate you. We know your rights and have your best interest at heart. The insurance companies are required by LAW to do the estimate at the shop of YOUR choice and pay for QUALITY repairs.
No. In California, you have the absolute right to select the repair shop of your choice. When your insurance company gives you a list of registered repair shops, they likely will have indicated those shops which are entered into a contract with them. The contract determines how your vehicle will be repaired and encourages the use of imitation replacement parts. By choosing an insurance preferred or referral shop, you may be giving up your rights in the repair process.
There are numerous reasons to choose an independent, trusted repair shop that you know will make sure your vehicle is truly restored to its pre-accident condition. Insurance appraisers work for the insurance company. Independent auto repair facilities work for YOU. They are looking out for your best interest. They will negotiate directly with the insurance company for the needed repairs so that your vehicle is repaired properly and is safe for you and your family. Independent collision repairers look out for your interests and will serve as your advocate in the repair process.
"Insurance DRP Shops" also known as "Preferred Repair Shops" represent the insurance company in both negotiations and the repair of the vehicle. They have a contract with insurance companies regarding the repairs, the rates and the repair procedures. The insurance company sets the rules for the repair process and the repair shop simply follows them. The associated discounts and cost reductions have to come from somewhere. Often the savings are as a result of using alternative Non-OEM Parts that are simply an knock-off part that is inferior to factory parts. These parts may affect the quality, safety and thoroughness of the repair service. You have paid your insurance premiums with the expectation of receiving safe and proper repairs , not cheap unsafe repairs / parts.
The repair facility is responsible for the workmanship. Insurance companies do not repair automobiles. If there is a concern, even with a facility selected by the insurance company, the facility itself is responsible. Every collision repair shop registered as a Motor Vehicle Repair Shop with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and is responsible for safe and proper repairs. If your insurance company claims they will not guarantee the repairs do NOT worry. The repair facility must and will support their repairs with a "Lifetime Warranty On All Labor Repairs" for as long as you own the vehicle, as required by law.