Can the insurance adjuster make me select an auto collision repair shop from a list of "approved" shops?


Do I really have to get three estimates from three auto body shops?

Who wins in a dispute between my auto collision repair expert versus the insurance adjuster and his appraiser regarding what to repair and how to replace parts?

The auto collision repair facility wants to restore your car to the best pre-accident condition. The insurance adjuster wants to close your file as soon as possible with as little payout as possible.

It is not legal for an insurance company to require that you take your business to any particular auto collision repair facility. Although they can "recommend" some auto body shops, the insurance adjusters CANNOT REQUIRE you to use a specific repair facility or to select from a list of their "preferred" shops. That is a practice called "steering"

Your personal investment has been damaged: you are entitled to complete restoration of your investment. Insist on nothing less. If need be, do not hesitate to contact your state insurance commissioner. He has established guidelines for the repair of vehicles after an accident. Speak with a representative and sound her out about the situation, but DO NOT FILE A COMPLAINT at this time.

Should I go with the lowest estimate to fix my car?

Although price should not be much of a factor (the insurance company is paying), it pays to remember that you get what you pay for in most cases. A cheaper estimate often results in a cheaper repair. A cheaper repair can jeopardize your investment-typically the second largest you'll make, as well as your safety. Keep this in mind when considering price.

NO. You only have to get one estimate. If the insurance adjuster wants to get his own estimate, then he will send his own property damage appraiser to the location of your vehicle and he will do his own appraisal.

There can be any number of differences between the auto body shop owner and the adjuster as to just what should be done to restore your vehicle. And of course you can see how their positions dictate the outcome they argue for.


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