In the collision repair industry, “steering” occurs when an auto insurance company has suggested one of their preferred auto body shops to repair your car. If your insurance provider has steered you into having your vehicle repaired at a different body shop than your choosing, they have broken the law. Vehicle insurance policy holders in North Carolina have the right to choose their preferred auto body shop under Statute 58-3-180.
(a) A policy covering damage to a motor vehicle shall allow the claimant to select the repair service or source for the repair of the damage. (b) The amount determined by the insurer to be payable under a policy covering damage to a motor vehicle shall be paid regardless of the repair service or source selected by the claimant. (b1) No insurer or insurer representative shall recommend the use of a particular motor vehicle repair service without clearly informing the claimant that (i) the claimant is under no obligation to use the recommended repair service, (ii) the claimant may use the repair service of the claimant’s choice, (iii) the amount determined by the insurer to be payable under the policy will be paid regardless of whether or not the claimant uses the recommended repair service, and (iv) that the insurer or insurer representative has, at the time the recommendations are made, a financial interest in the recommended motor vehicle repair service. No insurer shall require that the insured or claimant must have a damaged vehicle repaired at an insurer-owned motor vehicle repair service. (b2) The provisions of subsection (b1) of this section shall be included in nonfleet private passenger motor vehicle insurance policy forms promulgated by the Bureau and approved by the Commissioner. (c) Any person who violates this section is subject to the applicable provisions of G.S. 58-2-70 and G.S. 58-33-46, provided that the maximum civil penalty that can be assessed under G.S. 58-2-70(d) for a violation of this section is two thousand dollars ($2,000). (d) As used in this section, “insurer representative” includes an insurance agent, limited representative, broker, adjuster, and appraiser. (1993, c. 525, s. 2; 2001-203, s. 26; 2001-451, s. 1; 2003-395, s. 1.)
Why An Insurance Company May “Steer” You
Insurance companies build partnerships with body shops called DRP’s(Direct Repair Programs). Collision repair facilities benefit from a DRP by getting extra business from the insurance company. Over time insurance companies benefit from DRP’s by negotiating lower repair rates with body shops which allows for a higher profit margin for the insurance company. At a glance, this type of relationship between body shops and insurance companies may seem like a win-win for everyone involved but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The most important variables often overlooked during DRP repairs are your safety and the quality of the repairs made to your vehicle.
How “Steering” Impacts Your Safety
In order to maintain a DRP relationship with insurance companies, auto body shops are pressured into lowering their labor and parts costs. Cheaper labor in combination with aftermarket parts often leads to lower quality repairs. When it comes to repairing your car after a collision, it is important to not cut corners just for the sake of satisfying the artificial labor rate indirectly imposed by a DRP. In addition, the use of OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts has proven to be of the utmost importance in regards to the structural integrity of your vehicle. Following the manufacturer approved repair procedures regardless of the amount of time it takes to complete the repair and using OEM parts is the best way to ensure your vehicle is returned to factory condition.
Why Choose Us?
In addition to being highly certified by most vehicle manufacturers, we are the highest rated collision repair facility in the area. This isn’t just something we claim in order to get your business. We have the reviews to prove it! When you are looking for an auto body repair facility in Charlotte, we know you have a lot of choices. We encourage you to do your homework and check us out for yourself. Browse hundreds of trusted 5-Star Google reviews or check out what our customers are saying on popular review platforms such as Facebook or Yelp. In order to maintain such a high level of customer satisfaction, we have chosen a different path than most of the other body shops in the area who have chosen to be at the mercy of insurance companies. Every repair we make meets or exceeds manufacturer specifications and we always only use OEM parts. We proudly stand behind our decision to not participate in DRP’s and will continue to provide high quality repairs for our customers regardless of outside influence from insurance companies. If you value safety, high quality repairs, and exceptional customer service as much as we do, consider Body Works Plus for all of your collision repair needs.
Your health and safety are our top priority. In order to serve you best during these unprecedented times, we are taking every precaution to make sure you are accommodated responsibly. We are sanitizing vehicles upon arrival and exit, offering pickup and drop off services, using electronic services for payments and paperwork, and our staff is following the recommended CDC guidelines for social distancing.