Should You Use the Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shops After an Iowa Car Accident?

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Posted by Emily Anderson

Most Iowa car insurance companies have a “preferred” or “approve” body shop they have entered into an agreement with to make repairs to vehicles after a crash. You have the option of having your car fixed by the preferred shop or a body shop you choose.  There are pros and cons to both.  

Upsides to using preferred body shops after a crash: 

Warranties. If a body shop has a relationship with the insurance company or is “in-network” then the insurance company, not the body shop, will provide a lifetime warranty for the work that is done.  In other words, you are not at the whim of the individual shop’s warranty or lack thereof.  

Access to a shop nationwide. If you have work done, but your car needs to go back in for accident-related repairs, you can take it to a preferred shop anywhere in the country.  For example, if you’re on a trip in another state, get into a crash, and have initial repairs done in that state, you can have additional repairs done at a preferred body shop in your home state.  

It might be faster. If you go to your own shop, you’ll likely have to do some negotiating with the insurance company.  This can take time—time you don’t have without a vehicle.  If you go to a preferred shop, the insurance company may pay them directly; whereas if you go to your own body shop, you may have to pay for the repairs first, and after they are completed be reimbursed.  

Downsides to using the preferred body shop after a serious Iowa car accident: 

You have a history with your body shop. If you choose the body shop, you’re likely choosing a company you have a history with, and someone who knows the history of your vehicle.  The “preferred” body shop may be new to you, and your car.  

The preferred body shop may provide low-quality workmanship. The insurance company may have selected a shop that provides low-quality work.  Remember, insurance companies want to minimize the claim payouts. They may be incentivized to select cheaper shops, that in turn provide bad service or bad repairs.

They may also use lower-quality parts.  Do your research on the preferred body shop to make sure they are reputable before you agree to have your car repaired there.  

You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons, depending on your situation.  No matter where you go, check the shop’s review on Google, ask around, and make sure you’ll get quality work done. If you have further questions about your Iowa car accident claim, download a FREE copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Car Accident Claims today.

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