Should you use the mechanic recommended by your insurer?
Eventually, your car is going to need repairs—no matter how well you treat it. Accidents happen. And when they do, you’ve got a choice: use the repair shop your insurance company recommends or choose one of your own.
If you’ve been taking good care of your car, you’ve probably put the time and effort into finding a great auto shop. If you haven’t, you’re probably wondering if you could find better deals at a different shop than the recommended one or get better service.
The truth is, going to an insurer recommended shop for car repairs is usually a pretty good idea. Here’s why:
Going to a preferred mechanic can make the claims process faster
With insurance companies wielding pocketbooks worth billions of dollars, being one of their preferred shops carries a lot of weight. Shops with good relationships with your insurance company are likely to make sure they service your car well and in good time. It’s usually a faster payment process as well. The mechanic would bill the insurance company directly and you wouldn’t have to seek reimbursement.
The preferred mechanic could save you money
Another perk of preferred repair shops is that they often carry a lifetime guarantee on their work. This guarantee can save you money if it can be demonstrated that the repair shop used defective products or performed shoddy workmanship.
There are still cons to your insurer’s preferred mechanic
While there are convenient things about going to the insurer’s suggested shop, there are drawbacks as well.
One of them is the fact two companies whose primary concern is maximizing profit are handling your vehicle and they are very likely to think of themselves first before they care for your car. That means you might not always get the best deal. Additionally, if you have to go to a shop that you aren’t familiar with, you might be uncomfortable. It’s hard to trust your car to someone you don’t know.
The final decision is ALWAYS up to you
At the end of the day your car is yours and your insurance company can’t dictate where you want it repaired. As long as the company approves the estimate, you can get the repairs done wherever you like and they will cover it. However, you may have to pay up front depending on the company. Seeking reimbursement can be a hassle.
Don’t feel pressured or intimidated into going with the company’s preferred shop if you don’t want to. Do your research and decide for yourself which shop works best for your situation.