Know your rights… Know these facts
- By law in Colorado, you may have your car towed to and repaired at any repair facility you choose.
- Only one estimate is required to determine the amount of damage.
- Check with your agent to determine if a rental car is available under your policy.
- Make sure that the insurance company pays for all covered repairs.
- Choose a repair shop carefully. Your future safety depends on quality workmanship.
5 Deceptions Insurance Companies Use
Some insurance companies try to make you feel like they have your best interests in mind. But they are probably just trying to manage their bottom line. “Their shops” sign a contract that states they will do repairs a certain way for a certain agreed upon price. In exchange, the insurance company refers work to them. Colorado does not allow insurance companies to “direct”, “steer” or “refer” customers to a particular shop, so insurance companies have come up with the following tactics to intimidate customers into thinking they have to do what the insurance company says:
These are some common phrases used by insurance companies when you select a shop that is not on their “preferred list”, and what your response could be:
- “They are not one of our network shops and they are not on our list, we can’t guarantee the repairs”
You: “Any reputable body shop offers a lifetime warranty for as long as I own my car.”
- “If you use them, we can’t get an adjuster out for several days, if you take it to our network shop we will have someone start on it right away”.
You: “You are required to send an adjuster out within 24 to 48 hours.”
- “They charge more and you will have to pay the difference in repair cost”
You: “I’m not concerned; after all, you have to pay all reasonable costs to return my vehicle to pre-accident condition.”
- “Claims take longer to settle if you use them”
You: “You are responsible to settle my claim in a timely manner.”
10 Things You Should Know Before Having Your Car Repaired
- Your car is the second largest investment you’re likely to make. Preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired professionally.
- Never drive a car that could be unsafe or if driving it could cause more damage.
- You have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop
- There is no law requiring you to obtain more than one estimate or appraisal.
- Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work.
- Choose a shop that you feel comfortable with.
- Ask the shop as many questions as you need to so you understand what repairs will be performed.
- Ask if the shop offers a repair warranty. A warranty is like a promise.
- Let the shop of your choice help you negotiate your claim with the insurance company.
- Insurance companies sell insurance and pay out claims. They do not fix cars.