What is Insurance Steering?

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What is Insurance Steering?

Be Careful When Going Through Insurance Using their “Preferred” Body Shops.

When you’re in an accident it can be a stressful experience. Taking time and making the right decisions is key. Some insurance companies lead you in a way that they want you to, by persuading you to go with repair shops they favor. As a result, your vehicle may not be repaired to the best standard and leave you unsafe. This is known as insurance ‘steering’ and is a common agreement between businesses.

What is Insurance Steering?

Insurance Steering is a tactic made by insurance companies when their policy holders are in an accident. Calling your insurance is one of the first things you do when you are involved in an incident. From here, insurers ‘steer’ you in a direction on what to do next.

The steering process is when insurers point you towards their ‘Direct Repair Programme’ (DRP) and network of repair shops. The DRP involves contracts in place between body shops and insurance companies, allowing price mark-downs. It’s a competitive industry where body shops are fighting for the best price with the hope that more repairs are sent to them by insurance companies.

What is the issue with Insurance Steering?

Despite insurance steering being illegal across most states, a claims representative may be directing you to preferred shops for repairs. It’s important to not feel pressured or influenced by their procedure and take it into your own hands. The law states that you have the choice on which repair shop you take your damaged vehicle to.

What are the common mistakes when insurance steering occurs?

Insurers can be persuading. With this they might tell you the benefits of going to their choice of repair shops. But this means the insurer decides on the repair job, including how much work needs to be done. A mechanic properly looking over the vehicle is needed to work out the damage instead of the insurer. Otherwise, insurers are more favored to save costs instead

Mechanics from preferred repair shops may accept the insurance work and will try to cut costs. Meaning used, salvaged or aftermarket parts could be used on your vehicle.

They will want to get your vehicle out the door quickly. As a result, take shortcuts in the repair process and leave out repairs. Repairs that you can’t see or will never notice until you are in danger. With the vehicle technically repaired but not safe for driving on the road.

Take Action

If the warning signs are there from your insurer, then seek attorney advice or shop around yourself for repairs shops in your area. They could offer a lifetime warranty on the repairs they do. Auto repair shops understand insurance claim processes. The shops reputation is at stake when they handle your claim. With some insurers threatening a lengthy delay if you don’t choose their repair shop. But your insurer is not allowed to delay your claim simply because you chose your own vendor. Doing so could be perceived as acting immorally and therefore illegal.