One of the most common questions we hear from someone involved in an accident is, “Can I choose my own body shop?” The answer is a definitive, “Yes!”
When dealing with insurance companies after a collision, you have the right to choose your body shop. In fact, insurance companies are not legally allowed to tell customers which body shop to use.
Even so, some insurance companies attempt to steer you in the direction of a specific repair shop. They are careful with their words, so as not to conflict with legal regulations, but their goal is to scare you into thinking you won’t be paid for your claim if you don’t take your vehicle to the shop of their choosing.
There are several reasons behind this practice. For example, the insurance company may have an ownership stake in their recommended repair shop. Other insurance companies pay their employees a bonus when they convince the customer to use a certain body shop.
No matter the circumstance, it’s important to remember the answer to “Can I choose my own body shop” is always YES. You have a legal right to choose your collision center and there are several factors to consider when making that choice, such as where the shop buys replacement parts. Knoxville Motor Company BodyWerks uses only 100% original manufacturer parts. We highly recommend working with an OEM-certified collision center.
If you are involved in an accident, the first thing to do is call the police. Then, take note of the following information for your records:
• Date, time, and location of accident
• Other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license
number and state of issue
• Year, make, and model of other vehicle
• Other driver’s insurance company, agent, and policy number
• Witness information (name, phone number, address)
When you’re ready, contact us at 865-777-2237 for a complimentary estimate. You can also submit photos online using our free online estimator tool.
When you begin working with your insurance company after a collision, you’ll probably hear a few common phrases. Understanding the insurance company’s lingo and knowing what’s true and what is misleading will help you make a well-informed decision when choosing a repair shop. Keep the following tactics in mind when choosing your Knoxville collision center.
The repair guarantee shouldn’t come from your insurance company. It should come from the repair shop. That’s us. And Knoxville Motor Company BodyWerks backs our collision repair up with a lifetime warranty.
We will not do any work without your approval, and we make sure to review all costs with you beforehand. In truth, most customers can collect the difference through their insurance company. Our knowledgeable customer service reps can help you in communicating with your insurance company.
Some insurance companies instruct you to pay the rental fee upfront and then they will reimburse you later. However, you should not need to pay anything for a rental vehicle. Most insurance companies have direct bill agreements with rental companies.
After you submit an insurance claim, you have a legal right to prompt processing and payment of the claim. Check your auto insurance policy for an appraisal clause, such as “If the insurance company fails to meet required claims processing and payment deadlines, you have the right to collect 18% annual interest and attorney’s fees in addition to your claim amount.
Even though insurance companies may pay their network shops more quickly than other repair shops, they still have to meet specific deadlines. For instance, in Tennessee, insurance companies have 30 days to acknowledge a claim and send you instructions and paperwork; 60 days to make a decision on the claim after receiving completed paperwork; and 30 days to make the payment if the claim is approved.