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What are the options when an insurer-recommended body shop does unsatisfactory repair work?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Insurance companies often recommend preferred auto body shops to customers who need to get their damaged cars repaired. This can help speed up the process of getting the car fixed, but you still have to remain in the driver's seat to make sure the repairs are completed satisfactorily.

If you're not happy with the repairs, your first step is to talk to the body shop owner or manager directly. Service-oriented auto body shops rely on good word-of-mouth to maintain their businesses and they strive to maintain positive relationships with insurers, so a savvy shop owner should be more than willing to listen to your complaint and help resolve the problem.

Calmly explain the issue and the outcome you desire. If the shop is uncooperative, call your car insurance company. Talk to a representative in the claims department or go through your insurance agent. Since the business is one of its preferred shops, the insurer will want to know if you've had a bad experience, and will likely help you pursue the matter.

If that doesn't solve the problem, contact your state's insurance department to file a complaint. State insurance departments typically have divisions that help consumers resolve problems with insurance companies. You might also want to report the auto body shop to the Better Business Bureau.

Finally, if you're out a lot of money, consider hiring an attorney as a last resort to pursue the matter in court. But keep in mind the legal fees might add up to more than the car repair.

For more, see "Finding an auto body shop that satisfies everyone."

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