What is a Direct Repair Shop?

If you have had a car accident in the last ten years you may have heard of or even used an insurance company’s direct repair shop, but maybe you don’t really understand what they are and why it’s important to know what they do.  This blog is dedicated to educating the driving public about an insurance company’s direct repair shop so that you are sure that your car is fixed properly after an accident.

Simply put, a direct repair shop has an agreement with the insurance company to repair cars that have experienced an accident at a certain predetermined price.  The contract is between the insurance company and the auto body shop meaning that the auto body repair shop works is obligated to perform work for the insurance company and not you – the consumer.

Insurance companies tell consumers that this is a good practice because it saves lots of money and most consumers will agree that saving money is a good idea.  But what the insurance company doesn’t tell the consumer is that the money that is saved is not passed on to the insured or to the repair shop – it is kept to increase the insurance company’s bottom line.

So what does that mean for the consumer? To dust off an old quote, “buyer beware.”  This is important to remember because most people have no idea what makes their car go and what it takes to have it fixed so if they don’t pay close attention, there is a chance that the repairs are not done completely by the direct repair shop.  Why?  Because if the shop is only going to be paid a predetermined amount of money for a specific repair, any variation of that repair may cost the shop more to complete.  Instead of the shop losing money, they will likely skimp in other areas that might not be noticed by the car owner.  This could mean using a lower quality paint or using paint they already have on hand instead of taking the time to color match so that the repair goes undetected.  Even worse, it could mean using counterfeit parts for the repair.  The latter is particularly troubling because it could cost the consumer their safety.

If your insurance company has sent you to a direct repair shop after an accident, it is a good idea to bring your vehicle into another body shop to ensure that the repair was done right. Barry’s Auto Body of Staten Island offers post repair inspections free of charge to anyone who had their car repaired at another body shop. If they find that the repair wasn’t completed properly, they will complete the repair and back charge the insurance company.  Call Barry’s Auto Body today at 718 948-8585 to schedule an appointment.