There have been a lot of changes in the body shop industry since 1987 when we got our start. One of the biggest is the use of contracted or “preferred” body shops by insurance companies. Not that long ago, when you were unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, you would be required to spend half of your day running to two or three different body shops to get competitive “bids” and drop them back off at the insurance agent. Today body shops operate much more like hospitals where actual charges are billed to the insurance company at the end of the repair and the estimate is more of a tool to give the customer an idea of the work that will be performed and make sure that the car is not a total loss. This is good for insurance companies and customers because it saves a lot of time and shops do not “pad” their estimates to help cover unforeseen or hidden damage.
Where the system goes a little sideways is in the case of insurance contracted body shops. You may be familiar with different terminology such as “blue ribbon shop”, “preferred shop”, or just “on the list”. What this really means is that the insurance company has negotiated special rates and procedures with the shop in trade for bringing repair volume to that shop. This is not necessarily a bad thing for you the customer except when the body shop you use and trust is not on that list. The fact is, an insurance company steering you to a shop other than the one of your choosing is ILLEGAL! The State of Iowa law allows for you to take your vehicle to the repair facility of your choosing and insurance companies cannot interfere with that. We have had good customers tell us they were disappointed because the insurance company wouldn’t “allow” them to bring their car to us for repair and that simply is not right. We tell people regularly that it is in their best interest to do business with a local insurance agent and to take their vehicle to a shop that they trust who stands behind their work.
We are glad to help with all types of repairs… large, small, insurance paid or not. We work with all insurance companies and do our best to take the pain out of the process for you. If you have any questions regarding accident damage or repairs to the body of your vehicle, please give us a call or stop by. We are happy to help!