Your car is your item. You're the one paying for the car insurance. You get to choose where you take it in for repairs, no matter what your auto insurance company tells you. By law, you can choose your own mechanic after filing a claim.
Why Does Your Insurer Recommend Body Shops?
When filing a claim, your insurer is going to recommend one or a few preferred body shops to work on your car. These are body shops that have contracts with your insurer. Auto insurance representatives are given goals of sending a certain percentage of claimants to these shops.
There's nothing wrong with this, of course. Your insurer has vetted these body shops to meet certain standards of training and accountability. If nothing else, you can count on your car insurance company to have already done the homework for you. The body shops recommended by your insurer will generally be reliable, professional and capable.
But, if you're particular about who works on your car (and a lot of us are), remember that you're free to call your own mechanic in on the job. There are plenty of reasons you might not want to work with your insurer's recommended body shop. If your car requires a specialist, for instance, you obviously want to go to a specialist, not someone who handles half of all claims coming out of your insurer. You might prefer to continue working with a mechanic you've already been going to for years. It's your car, your reasons and your decision.
Should I Go With The Recommended Body Shop?
If your car doesn't require a specialist's touch, there are several benefits to going with your insurer's recommendation. Their body shop will be familiar with your insurer's claims process, meaning fewer crossed wires for you to worry about. They're focused on fast, efficient work. They meet a certain professional standard. And if you don't already have a preferred mechanic of your own, the time saved researching the body shops in your area does count for something.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Some insurance companies like to make it sound like you absolutely must use their guys, but this is never the case. If you like who your insurer recommends, great. If you prefer your own mechanic, go with your mechanic.
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