Your Vehicle, Your Choice
Know your rights when choosing a body shop after filing an insurance claim
Most auto insurances have “Preferred Body Shops” or “Direct Repair Facilities” that they recommend their insured to send their vehicles to after filing an insurance claim. These shops often include large collision center chains, which can have a lengthy waiting lists, lack customer service, along with many other undesirable elements. What most insured drivers don’t know is that it is their choice, by law, to chose where they would like to have their vehicle repaired.
Per the State of Texas’ Insurance Code, Article 5.501:
(i) the verbal notice at a minimum must consist of the following:
By law, you have the right to select where your motor vehicle is repaired and the parted used for the repairs. However, an insurance company is not required to pay more than a reasonable amount for such repairs and parts. Your rights regarding motor vehicle repairs are explained in the copy of the Insurance Code, article 5.70-1, a copy of which will be mailed to you within 15 business days.
What to remember:
It is your right to choose the auto repair facility you would like to have your car towed to and repaired.
Only one estimate is required to determine the amount of damage.
Not all policies have rental car coverage- call your insurance agent to verify your coverage.
Most insurance companies are required to send adjusters out within 24 to 48 hours. If you are the claimant or have rental coverage on your own policy, they are required to pay for your rental expenses in the interim.
Claims should not take longer if using a body shop outside of your insurance’ preferred providers.
If your insurance says they cannot guarantee repairs made by a body shop outside of their preferred list, know that nearly all reputable auto body shops will offer a Lifetime Warranty and Satisfaction Guarantee.
To learn more about choosing the right Auto Repair Shop click here.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR RIGHTS, CONTACT THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AT:
TOLL FREE TELEPHONE: 800-252-3439
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE P.O. BOX 149091 AUSTIN, TX 78714-9091FAX
WEB ADDRESS: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/index.html