We are an independent collision repair shop with no affiliations with any Insurance Companies. Read on to understand why...
Insurance companies use many different methods to keep the cost of a claim down. One method of doing this has been to make agreements with repair shops, whereby the shop keeps costs down for the insurance company, and in return the insurance companies directs (steers) as much work as they can to these shops. These shops are known as DRP (Direct Repair Program) shops. The agreements between these shops and the insurance companies are not designed for your benefit; they are a way for the insurance companies to reduce costs. Remember, it is your car and it is your choice who repairs it.
How do the shops keep costs down for the insurance company?
One way is an agreement with the insurance company to have the repair done in x amount of days. If it is not done in time, the repair shop is responsible for any additional car rental expenses. This puts a lot of pressure on the repair shop to finish repairs quickly. A quick repair usually does not equal a quality repair.
Another way is to use aftermarket parts. These are parts, usually made in Taiwan or Korea, which are cheap imitations of the original parts. There is extensive evidence which shows these parts are not of the same quality, and are not as safe as the parts you would receive from your original manufacturer. They may also void your manufacturer's warranty. The insurance company may tell you these parts are fine, but let us assure you that they are not.
Unlike the incentives which drive independent repair shops (quality repairs at a fair price), DRP shops are driven by faster repairs for less money, to better serve the insurance company. As you can see this insurer \ repairer relationship does not always benefit the customer.
How do the insurance companies steer you towards their preferred shops?
It is illegal for the insurance company to require you to use a particular repair shop, or even recommend one unless you specifically ask for one, but that does not stop them from using strong word tracks to try and persuade or even intimidate you to use the shop that they prefer. When you tell them you have chosen your own shop these are the things they will say almost to the word:
Please don't let them fool you, these are all an effort to steer you towards their DRP shop so that they can save money.
Delarm's Auto Body "we're not on their list"
We are not on any insurance company’s DRP programs. Why? Not because we’re not qualified, but because we don’t want to be in their program. We want to give you the highest quality repair possible. We don’t want to be restricted by insurance company demands to save money. We are not afraid to fight for your rights. DRP shops can’t do this for you because they are fearful of being kicked out of the program which they have become reliant upon to send them work. The insurance companies do not send us any work, the only way we get customers is to fix cars the best way we know how and make satisfied customers that will tell their friends and family.
GOOD ARTICLE DESCRIBING DRP SHOPS AND AFTERMARKET PARTS