If you have an accident and phone your insurance company they will often give the impression that you have to use one of their “approved repairers”. This is NOT the case and very often owners get a poor deal. You should insist on your own repair shop.
“Approved repair shops” sounds as if the insurance company has specially selected that business because of their high quality work. This is not true. Insurance companies run on slim margins, repairs are a cost. Approved repair shops are simply those that give the lowest price to the insurance companies. They save money by cutting corners and doing the job as cheaply as possible. The reason why they often have impressive premises is because they make a lot of money. They make that money but using cheap materials, employing the cheapest labour and banging the work through as fast as possible.
As a general rule you will get a better, longer-lasting repair from a garage that you know and trust.
Your Consumer Rights
You have consumer rights in this regard. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Insurance Act 2015 you can take your car to be repaired wherever you like. The only exception is if your insurance policy states that you can only go to an approved repairer. Not many policies state this.
There are several ways in which insurance companies will try to coerce you into using their approved repair, Here is a list of them and the way you can overcome them
- They can threaten to raise your excess if you pick your own body repair shop.
- They may tell you the repair will take longer.
- They may be right. A quality job does take a bit longer. However, a quality repair shop that is used to handling insurance repairs will not take any longer than any other.
- The insurance company may try to force you to get additional estimates.
- Do not do it. It is THEIR job to get more estimates. If they get an estimate that you do not like, then counter it with your own estimate from your own supplier.
If your car insurance company does not respond to any of these measures, you can file a formal complaint by email or letter to your insurer’s designated complaints address and keep a copy. If your claim is rejected or you still have not heard back from them after eight weeks, you could file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
CB Motors Can Help
CB Motors can handle your insurance claim on your behalf. We are a trusted accident repair centre. As soon as possible just call us on 020-8455-3373 and we will take over all the management of the claim, including all the communication with the insurance company and managing the bodywork or other repairs.