Collision Repair & Direct Repair Programs
Direct Repair Programs (DRP’s) and how they work - Collision Repair
DRP network shops are collision repair facilities that your insurance company collaborates with to keep their costs down. The collision repair shop must meet insurance company mandated service levels and terms if they are to remain in the DRP network. Some of those requirements will benefit YOU but most will benefit the insurance company. Collision repair shops suffer from overcapacity so they tolerate the Direct Repair Programs as a source of business.
Your insurance company cannot require you to use a DRP shop (this is called "steering" and it is illegal) - however they will strongly encourage you to use one by making it easier. Your claims adjuster will ask if you want to use one of their network shops. If you decline, be prepared because the insurance carrier may issue a check on the spot for the estimate total less your deductible. Using a DRP shop is administratively easier in most cases. If your vehicle is not drivable, chances are the insurance carrier has it at a DRP shop or will have it moved to a DRP shop with your approval, at no added expense to you. The only out of pocket with the DRP is your deductible which is payable to the repair shop when your vehicle is returned to you upon completion of repairs.
A recycled part is a used part that has been harvested from another automobile that is being removed from the road. Some states have provisions for recycled parts that restrict usage and certain insurance companies are aggressive on recycled parts utilization where they can get away with it. If the vehicle is being fixed in their DRP Network, the insurance carrier saves BIG money when you choose recycled parts.
If you take your vehicle to an alternate location (out of the DRP Network), your repair shop may be able to use “recycled” parts and the savings will be yours!
DamageMAX supports the use of Recycled Parts!
- It saves you money
- It helps our environment and small business
- They fit better than a non OEM replacement part
Recycled parts should be used for anything that you cannot see externally – meaning OEM parts should be used for sheet metal, bumper covers, etc. To put things in perspective, try to think of a good reason why a 2009 recycled part isn't good enough for your 2007 vehicle?
Supplemental Repairs $$$
In certain circumstances, a collision repair estimate becomes increasingly difficult when damage to an automobile can be hidden from the eye – even a trained one. The supplemental repair order was created to “make good” for damage that may have been inadvertently missed on the original estimate. But this should be a very small percentage of repairs in our opinion. Industry standard is now close to 30% of all repair claims which means that 1 out of 3 times a qualified adjuster with a trained eye missed damage? What it means is that your insurance company LOW BALLS the estimate most of the time and 30% of the people (with a good shop on their side) get more allowance for repairs.
DamageMAX thinks you need to do all you can to get the most out of your insurance company. Your collision was an accident. You have insurance and pay a lot of money for it. You deserve to be compensated for the repairs on your vehicle but the playing field is not level. Choose a good collision repair shop with a good reputation that knows the ins & outs and you will come out on top. You don’t get what you are entitled to, you get what you negotiate!
Finding a good collision shop
DamageMAX suggests you look for three things:
- Quality – what kind of referrals does the shop get, repeat business, do new car dealerships refer or use them for their inventory, what can you find out about the shop online, with the Better Business Bureau? Do they advertise?
- Capacity - how long will it take to complete, can they handle more work at the present time?
- Courtesy – how will they treat you, your spouse/significant other or your children throughout the process? Were things explained properly? What reassurances were you given about the quality of repair work?
Who to ask for a collision shop referral?
- Someone you know who just had an accident
- Your new car dealer
- Your mechanic
- Church / Temple / House of Worship
- Better Business Bureau
Post Repair Procedures
- Inspect your vehicle before you accept it
- Check that paint is uniform and matches accordingly
- Check for overspray (excess paint where it shouldn't be)
- If it’s not finished, don’t take the car back – no exceptions! Missing parts and unfinished paint work are not acceptable practices
Refusing a Poorly Repaired Vehicle
If you chose a DRP (insurance network shop) and the vehicle has not been repaired properly you can refuse to accept the vehicle. The claims adjuster will have to re-inspect the vehicle and determine if the repairs can be performed properly. Insurance carriers WILL take cars back – they do it every day! So if you are very dissatisfied with the repair, get on the phone with your claims adjuster and tell him/her you are not accepting your car. If your situation is problematic enough, they will total the car – but this is VERY expensive for them and they will generally push back hard. DamageMAX knows there is a process for this because insurance carriers dispose of these vehicles at auction quite frequently and call them “CUSTOMER REFUSALS”. These are things your insurance carrier does not want you to know!