Ask an Expert

by John and Theresa Kightlinger

Q: The insurance company wants me to use one of their “Preferred Shops” for my repair. Is this a good idea?

A: A wise man once said: “Never Take Advice on How to Collect Money from Those that Owe it to You.”

Some may see an insurer referring a body shop as a no hassle service, however, insurer preferred repairers often rely solely on insurer referrals for their work, and as such, see the insurer as their customer and not you, the vehicle owner.

In such situations, the insurer often dictates how the repair is to be performed and what parts and materials are to be used. Of course the insurer’s goal is to save money; however, we don’t believe saving money should be at the vehicle owner’s risk and expense.

Today’s vehicles are highly complex and technologically advanced whereas overlooking important Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) mandated repair procedures. Using less costly aftermarket parts in place of original factory replacement parts can inhibit the repair and the vehicle’s reliability, performance and safety, and cause loss of remaining factory warrantees.

“Cheaper is Never Better and Better is Never Cheaper!”

Over the years we have found that insurer-preferred repairers receive about half of what a proper and thorough repair should cost. As such, insurer “Direct Repair Provider (“DRP”) shops often hurry repairs to make up for the loss in profits. This often causes damages, flaws and defects that could pose serious safety concerns as well as a loss in the repaired vehicle’s resale value.

 

Taking the advice from an insurer on where to have your vehicle repaired may not be in your best interest. It’s important that when the need arises, consumers conduct ample research to find a quality-oriented repairer; one that is not only capable of properly restoring their vehicle…but one that will also restore the vehicle owner’s Peace of Mind.

John and Theresa Kightlinger own My Body Shop at 401 N. Clinton St., Stockbridge. The couple has lived in the area and raised their children here over the past 20 years. John has been in the auto body business since 1985, and Theresa began work at General Motors after high school. Between the two, they have been working on cars for more than 75 years.

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