What you need to know about a Direct Repair Shop

If you have a car accident your insurance company may recommend a Direct Repair Shop to fix your car, truck or van.  A direct repair shop is a collision shop or dealership that has been approved by the insurance company to make repairs at pre-established prices.

Insurance companies will work with a direct repair shop to save money on auto repairs, however, sometimes saving money comes at a higher cost to the insured.

What does that mean?  A direct repair shop often places its loyalty with the insurance company which sends them business.  That means that they are more concerned with pleasing the insurance company than they are with protecting the vehicle owner.  These shops may guide the vehicle owner toward using a less expensive generic replacement part rather than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.  While these generic parts may “fit” in your car, using them could void your vehicle warranty.  For this reason, it is important for the car owner to know what parts are being used and if those parts can put them at risk for voiding the vehicle warranty.

The insurance company may tell you that they will offer you a lifetime guarantee on workmanship provided by their direct repair shop, however, most failed repairs are caused by non-performing parts –not the workmanship behind the repair.  The guarantee sounds good on paper, but in reality, you could be back in the shop, shelling out more money because the DRP shop didn’t use original equipment manufacturer parts in the repair.

Your insurance company cannot force you to use a DRP shop for your repairs, but some have been known to strongly encourage the insured to use a DRP shop by suggesting that the inspection and repair will be done more quickly if they do.  This is when the phrase, “buyer beware” should be taken seriously because drivers pay their premiums believing that their insurance company is looking out for their best interest.  Unfortunately, the only entities that benefit from the Direct Repair Program is the insurance company, which has to pay out less money for the claim and the Direct Repair shop that gets a preferred rating from the insurance company because they repair the car quickly and cheaply. The insured doesn’t receive a discount on his/her premium because the repair cost less. In fact, as stated above, the insured could be exposed to an incomplete repair because the shop wants to impress the insurance company by making the repair quickly using the least expensive parts.

If you had your vehicle fixed at a Direct Repair shop and you believe that the job was incomplete, bring your car to Barry’s Auto Body for a post repair inspection.  We will make any repairs the other shop missed at no cost to you. Call 718 948-8585 to schedule an appointment.