by John and Theresa Kightlinger
People ask: Are you part of my insurance company’s preferred body shops?
The answer is no. And here is why: We deal with all insurance companies.
The difference between being on the list of preferred shops (this is called DRP, or the Direct Repair Program) or not is simple. It’s about relationships. We prefer to have a relationship with our guest, not the insurance company.
The rules quickly shift to saving the insurance company money when the relationship is centered around them. While every insurance company is different, oftentimes a preferred auto body shop must first search for used parts, aftermarket parts (non-original), and reconditioned parts before being allowed to put factory parts back on your car.
Don’t get me wrong, they try to do the same to us. The difference being we can engage them with reasons to do the repair correctly without jeopardizing the relationship. You are the one we want to please, not the insurance company.
In our world, both the insurance company and My Body Shop have a responsibility when your car gets damaged. Ours is to put your car back to the way it was before the accident. The insurance company’s role is to fund the process.
In many cases, the insurance company, in our opinion, crosses the line and tries to dictate HOW the car is going to be repaired as well. That is our job, not theirs. But this is what oftentimes happens when a car is taken to one of the DRP preferred shops.
An example of this would be an insurance company insisting on repairing a panel that we feel should be replaced. We always will demand that the car gets the best repair for our customer. This is something that is difficult for a preferred shop because it could put their relationship in jeopardy with the referring insurance company.
The reason auto body shops do whatever they can to get on an insurance company’s Direct Repair Program is simple. They want to generate more business. It’s like a partnership. The insurance company recommends its preferred DRP shops and in return the shops adhere to the insurance company’s program requirements.
It’s a win-win for both parties. But, what is the effect on the customer? And where does the customer fit into this win-win partnership?
At My Body Shop, our agreement is with you, our guest. Our goal is to deliver the very best, long lasting, stress-free auto body repair to every guest, every time. We also will work out the details with the insurance company on your behalf.
So we are not on any insurance company’s Direct Repair Program because we feel it’s what
is best for you, our guest. We don’t just remove dents — we remove doubts.
John and Theresa Kightlinger own My Body Shop at 401 N. Clinton St., Stockbridge. The couple have 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.