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Repairing Your Vehicle: BEWARE of “Preferred” Repair Shops


Chase and I always communicate back and forth and we try to figure out things subjects that are helpful questions that I get a lot from my clients. Chase talks to me about questions, he gets a lot and then we try to bring that information to all of you to be able to educate you because that’s the whole purpose of insurance to live these lives. We do, we want to take complicated subjects and subjects that people are not educated on and then break them down into easy terms for anybody and everybody to understand.

So that’s what we’re gonna do today. First, we’re gonna talk about comprehensive and collision, what a lot of people refer to as full coverage. We’re gonna talk about the difference between those two and then we’re gonna go into chase has some stuff prepared where we’re gonna talk about using the preferred body shops of the insurance companies when you have an accident and maybe why that’s not such a great idea.

A lot of times people don’t even know they have a $500 deductible but they don’t know that they have a $500 deductible for collision and then a $500 deductible for comprehensive. They are two separate coverages. And again, that’s what a lot of people think of when they say full coverage, that’s what a lot of people mean without knowing they mean that there’s two separate coverage there.

So the easy way at least what I think to break it down is collision coverage. That’s accidents with other vehicles or stationary objects. So you’re colliding your vehicle is colliding with something else. So for example, you’re driving down the road in your car, you hit a tree, your drive down the road in your car and you hit another vehicle, you’re driving down the car, down the road in your car.

And for whatever reason your car rolls or you hit a light pole, things to that nature, that’s what constitutes a collision. So if you, if you’re, if you have a claim you’re going to, that falls under one of these subjects, you’re going to file a claim under your collision coverage.

Detail Of Damage To Headlight Of A Vehicle
Headlight Damage Of A Car

Now, comprehensive on the other side, you can see here are accidents that are non-collision related that involve non-stationary objects or animals. So for instance, your car is sitting there, no one’s driving it, and a tree falls on your vehicle or an animal. You’re driving down the road and an animal runs in the middle of the road and you collide with an animal or again your vehicle is stationary and it’s vandalized or stolen.

So long story short for the most part collision coverage is when your vehicle is moving down the road, and comprehensive coverage is when your vehicle is not moving in, it’s stationary. When people say, oh, I have full coverage, they automatically think they have full glass coverage or a $0 deductible.

You don’t unless you, first of all, have comprehensive and then you have to select the $0 deductible for glass and in Arizona man, it is worth it all the rocks on the highways, it’s ridiculous. Absolutely. For the most part, if you have a vehicle, you care enough about adding collision coverage.

You want to add comprehensive and vice versa. Is it that much more expensive to add comprehensive when you’ve got collision coverage already? Or is it, I mean do you have any idea every price different I hate it when clients ask me what’s my case worth because there are so many variables that go into it.

But how much of a difference is it to add that collision is usually the more expensive coverage and comprehensive is usually half the price? Um, in most cases half the price of collision. If you were to get in an accident or something were to happen to your car, how badly do you need it?

Like you know the next day you can’t function because you can’t do your job, you can’t go to work, you can’t drive kids to school and if it’s a situation where you can’t function without it, you gotta get both those coverages because expecting a different insurance company to take care of you or they’re to be covered through someone’s homeowners.

If something were to hit you, it’s going to take forever, and so on. If you have that coverage, then you know you’re going to start the process of getting it repaired quickly and it’s less drama trying to figure out when your car is going to be taken care of, even if it’s a tree and somebody else is, let’s say it’s your next door neighbor and it’s their tree and a huge storm comes through and the tree falls, your neighbor’s homeowners insurance is not going to pay for that because they were not negligent.

It’s an act of god. Um and so the only way you’re gonna get insurance to pay for that is if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, you get in an accident, you file a claim, you have the right coverage your insurance company says yes, we can do it by the way, here’s a list of all of our preferred body shops, you should use them.

And then what happens from there? A lot of people think they have to use them. This is a topic that I’m very passionate about because there are so many misconceptions or confusion about it. There are two situations that I want to focus on. One is the preferred body shop versus the non-preferred body shop what’s the difference and then how that affects you down the road.

The reason they’re the preferred body shop for the insurance company is that they are, we have a contract with them to do the repairs as minimal as possible. Okay, and when we’re talking minimal, these people aren’t using the dealer parts, the o. E. M. Parts, they’re dealing with aftermarket parts, junkyard parts, anything that is cheaper and so if you’ve got a car and you want it replaced with dealer parts, you need to make sure that you’re taking it to an independent body shop.

So for Arizona specifically you can take your car to any body shop you want. This isn’t to throw every single insurance company or preferred shop under the bus because there are, there can be preferred shops that are quality repairmen. And so I don’t want you to think that just because they are a preferred shot that it’s going to be garbage but do your vetting and they may say things as like, oh well if you don’t use the shop then you know, we can’t guarantee certain things and oh well if you don’t go there then we can’t guarantee that it’ll get repaired as quickly.

Know the reason why they say that is again with the preferred shops, they have the contracts and so they know that hey, this car is going to get done in five or six days regardless because they’re going to just patch things up and do the best they can to get it back on the road. Whereas if you get to an independent shop a lot of times they’ll get an initial estimate they’ll break down the bumper and see oh there’s more damage and so they have to go back to the insurance company call out an appraiser, have that person come out and look and have it approved, but that takes time.

And so your car may be in the shop longer, but it’s going to get completely fixed. Whereas some of the preferred shops, they’ll just rush to put it back together and not have it as correctly repaired, which can lead to issues down the road. Three months down the road, you find more damage, something that wasn’t repaired or something that was just missed.

You call the insurance company. The insurance company is gonna say, well, we made the payment. You know, it’s not our fault that the independent shop messed up. You’re on your own versus if you go with a preferred shop, it seems, and maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like if that happens, you call the insurance company and they’re like, yeah, this is one of our preferred shops.

They messed it up. Go ahead and take it in and it’s fixed. Is that the case? And is that something to be where don’t be worried about it because if something like that happened a few months down the road, whether it’s a preferred shop or an independent shop, the insurance company is going to be very skeptical.

They’re gonna say, well, how do we know that this is because of the accident and this isn’t because of something that’s happened since and they’re not gonna care if it’s preferred or independent. And so ultimately the burden of proof is on us as the user of the vehicle to show that it was related.

And so if you get an independent shop, they’re gonna go to bat for you and they’re going to push and say yes, here’s why it’s related to the first repairs and point out the different areas and then get the car fixed. Whereas the preferred shop may not be as interested in doing that again, because they’re trying to maintain the relationship with the insurance company independent or preferred.

They’re going to repair it because they have to, doesn’t mean that it will be easy. You may have to do a little bit of fighting with them, but they have to repair it. That’s their obligation under the law. Even if they say, oh, well, we already paid for it.

So no, it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t fully resolve, their responsibility. I’ve seen a lot of commercials and I’ve seen a lot of issues of people where it says, take a picture of your damage and submit it to your auto manufacturers to your auto insurance and we’ll do an estimate for you.

Do you believe that pictures are going to be able to tell the whole picture? Like it’s going to be able to show everything that’s going on. And so they kind of check to you and say, here’s $750 to take it wherever you want. A lot of times people will take that money and they’ll say, look, that damage isn’t that bad.

I’d rather just pocket the $750. You know, I’ll drive around with this damage. It’s not that big of a deal. And so if you just pocket that money or if you just have the preferred shop do it the way they originally estimated, then you’re not going to get your car fully repaired and as a complete side tangent thing.

Um, with that as well, insurance companies will try and use these visual inspections done with pictures to show that your accident wasn’t that bad and so you couldn’t have been injured to deny your injury claim. But I see it time and time again where people will get the estimate, they will pocket the money instead of getting it fixed, and then they’ll get their treatment and then the claim gets denied because they say, oh, you couldn’t have been injured in the access when it comes to me to litigate it. Then I talked to them about this issue and say no if we go in and get the vehicle repaired, you’re going to see that there’s more damage, and nine out of 10 times there is. And so all of a sudden an estimate that looks like $750 and a picture that doesn’t look like much like you could have been hurt in this accident all of a sudden becomes a $3000 repair bill and you can see the damage underneath the bumper.

So yeah, that was, it’s understandable why you’ve been injured. And so it’s a way for the insurance company to save money because they’re cutting a check to you quickly assuming that your, you know, hopefully, that you’ll just take the money and not worry about it.

But then it also can protect them on the injury side of things as an argument for them to make that you weren’t injured in the accident. Sounds good, you know, on the surface, but like, as we mentioned, it’s a, it can cause you a lot of problems down the road.

So don’t be in a hurry. Do your due diligence, find the right shop, bring it in, make sure you’re safe, and be assured that your car that’s on the road is safe to drive. Don’t just assume that the visual outside of it, if it looks okay, that everything underneath is going to be fine because it’s the stuff that’s underneath that’s going to protect you in an accident.

The normal person is not well versed in what to do. So that’s why we make videos like this. That’s why chase and I are always available to answer questions and it’s not to throw insurance companies under the bus because they’re there for us. We’re paying premiums and then they generally do take care of us.

But again, as you said, the general population doesn’t run into these situations on a day-to-day basis like you and I do. So we know what to avoid and what to look for. So we don’t fall into those uh those holes, make sure that you avoid it and get things done, taking care of how they should you have the right coverage so that you can get it fixed, and then when it’s getting fixed, that it’s getting the proper parts that it’s getting the proper attention and that it’s safe to be back on the road.


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