Can I choose any body shop to repair my car?

After a car accident, there are hard choices to make with many moving parts.  With a lot to handle, one of the first things to figure out is where to take your car.  Working with your insurance provides many conveniences but also raises questions.

So, can you choose any body shop to repair your car?  Your insurance has a list of preferred shops they want you to visit.  These preferred shops, also known as DSPs (Direct Repair Programs), usually have built a rapport over time with companies, so they've developed best practices for handling your car.  These best practices determine what's allowed, what parts to use, the paperwork involved, etc.  Preferred shops in the network of insurance companies work with the companies to handle damage costs after a claim's filed.  Here in Virginia as the vehicle owner, you have the right to bring your car to any body shop you desire!  While your insurance has a list of preferred shops they want you to visit, you can bring your vehicle to the shop of your choice. 

Just because the body shop is in the insurance network doesn’t mean it will have your best interest at heart.  While there are circumstances where preferred shops work in your favor, there are plenty of situations where going your way is the better option.  Your insurance could recommend shops far from where you live or a shop that values efficiency over reliability.  Selecting your own shop ensures you won’t have to wait for an insurance company to send payment, you have more space to negotiate pricing, and you have the right to use OEM parts if you desire. 

We don’t want to paint the picture that all preferred shops recommended by insurance companies are bad places.  We want you to know that you can go in any direction that best suits your needs. No matter what insurance company you have, they can’t demand or pressure you to take your car anywhere. In our opinion, you can never go wrong looking at every opportunity at your disposal. Ask a friend or family for recommendations, call around and ask for an estimate, or look at reviews to see what’s the best fit for you. If you’re in Ashland, VA, or the greater Richmond area, feel free to call Ferber’s Auto and Body for an estimate today!