Do You Have to Use the Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shops?

red car being checked

If a vehicle is repairable after an auto accident, it will be necessary to take it to a body shop for a repair estimate. The insurance company that’s handling the accident claim may suggest their preferred body shops for repair estimates, but is it a requirement or the best option for the car owner?

Are Preferred Body Shops an Insurance Requirement?

In Illinois, as well as most other states, there are no laws or regulations that require specific body shops for repairs. A car owner is free to choose any body shop he/she prefers. However, some insurance companies may only pay for vehicle damages equal to the estimate amount prepared by one of their preferred body shops. If this occurs, an accident lawyer can provide legal advice on repair requirements based on the insurance policy. The insurance provider should not control options for repairs and costs unless preferred body shops are a specific requirement for payment within the policy.

Do Preferred Body Shops Provide Fair Prices?

In Chicago, thousands of various types of injuries sustained in car accidents each year expose automobile insurance companies to potentially billions of dollars in claims. To reduce claims costs, some insurance companies may try to persuade car owners involved in car accidents that using their preferred body shops is in their best interest, but that may not be the case. Although preferred body shops may be chosen for quality repairs, repair costs may be inflated to reduce yearly claims costs for the insurance company. An accident lawyer who’s familiar with insurance requirements can answer important questions about claims, repair costs and personal injuries after an accident.

Many preferred auto body shops provide fair prices, top-quality repairs, and excellent service, but they may not press the insurance company on certain repairs that other body shops might. Typically, this is because they receive a lot of business referrals from various insurance companies, so they want to protect this valuable business connection that provides regular work. After an Illinois car accident, it’s best to choose a body shop of personal preference for repairs, and if that happens to be a preferred body shop, that’s fine. If there are concerns, an accident lawyer can offer legal advice on repairs, as well as personal injuries sustained in the accident.