After an auto accident, many drivers’ first thought is to contact their insurance company, who in turn will recommend a particular body shop or mechanic for their vehicle repairs.
While different insurance providers will go to different lengths to encourage drivers to use their “preferred” repair facility, some will go as far as to give the driver the impression that they are required to use a particular auto repair provider. This practice, known as “steering”, is illegal and unethical.
You, as an insured driver, have the legal right to choose the auto repair shop of your choice. Insurance companies frequently have agreements with mechanics that allow them to lower their costs, but rarely pass these savings onto you. Additionally, “preferred” shops that are recommended by insurance companies frequently cut corners by using cheaper, after market and junkyard parts in order to cut costs.
By using these low quality parts, they are in turn risking your safety and lowering the lifespan of your vehicle. These practices are the reason that steering is an illegal practice. A reputable auto body repair shop will provide you with higher quality repairs and parts, as well as help you get savings that the direct repair or insurance recommended facilities won’t.
Remember, simply because your insurance company recommends a repair facility to you, does not mean that the repair shop is trustworthy or provides quality service. If your insurance company tries to “steer” you, they are likely only looking out for their own interests.