Yes, you can choose where to get your motor vehicle repaired after an auto collision in Virginia. However, there are many considerations that you need to think about when making this decision.
Can the Insurance Company Insist That I Use Their Preferred Repair Shop?
Under Virginia law, insurance companies cannot demand that a policyholder or car accident victim take their auto to a specific shop for repairs. They also cannot require selecting a repair facility or mechanic from a list of repair facilities or body shops. However, they do have the right to provide a list of preferred shops that they recommend the person use.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using the Insurance Company’s or Your Own Repair Shop?
You need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of selecting the repair shop to repair your vehicle vs. using one recommended by the insurance company. Some of the pros of using the insurance company’s choice of repair shop include:
- Quicker process. You may be able to get your auto repaired faster if you use the insurance company’s repair shop. Because the repair facility has an ongoing relationship with the insurance company, they may repair your vehicle quicker. In addition, you could avoid the need to get multiple estimates before getting the work done.
- Less paperwork. The insurance company may take care of more of the paperwork if you use the shop they recommend.
- Additional costs. If additional costs are incurred while your car is being repaired, the insurance company may be more likely to pay them or not argue about whether they are covered if you are using their preferred repair shop.
- Payment of claim. If you are seeking compensation for your injuries and reimbursement for the cost of repairing your vehicle, the negligent driver’s insurance company could separate the claims and pay the property damage claim immediately. They may be more likely to do this if you use a recommended repair facility.
There are also benefits to selecting the shop where your auto will be repaired:
- Your mechanic. You may have a long-term relationship with a repair facility or mechanic. You may trust them more than the one selected by the insurance company to do a good job when repairing your vehicle.
- Long distance. The insurance company's repair facility could be a long distance from your home. It may be more convenient to use a shop closer to where you live.
- Better quality repairs. The quality of repairs may be better if you choose who does them. The repair shop for the insurance company could use cheaper parts or not completely repair a problem to cut down on the costs.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today
Do you have questions about where to take your auto for repairs after a car accident or your right to compensation for your injuries? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today with our experienced car accident lawyers to learn about your rights and find out how we can help you.