Recently, we at Statesville Collision Center made a business decision that would terrify most body shops. We decided to end our direct repair contracts with the insurance companies. Several body shops, especially ones that are part of a significant chain, rely on their business from insurance companies. These body shops typically have a steady flow of cars to repair sent them from insurance companies, which means more revenue. But what you as the customer probably don’t realize is this type of repair service ends up putting you at a higher risk of getting an unsafe repair. Not just shoddy work, but a completely unsafe repair. When you are an insurance company direct repair shop, the insurance company is the customer, not the car owner. This has to stop.
Before we explain what that means, we want North Carolina drivers to know that you have the right to choose where you get your car repaired. Your insurance company might make it sound like you must go to one shop that they recommend. That is because the insurance companies have an agreement with these shops. The agreement is quite simple: “We’ll send you more cars, but you have to repair them in X amount of time at the cost we tell you that we will pay, even if it means doing things for free or not doing them at all.” A lot of body shops agree to this because they fear if they don’t work together with Insurance companies, it will mean no business. To compensate for the revenue they are giving away, they’ll make it up by cutting corners in the name of speed.
When these body shops are under tight deadlines to perform fast repairs, they’ll typically neglect to look up repair procedures from the car manufacturer. These procedures are an essential part of the repair process because they tell a technician exactly how a car should be repaired. But it takes time to do this, time that could be spent running more cars through production. Instead, they’ll rely on “experience” and cut corners in the repair process to save time and money. In some cases, the technicians may even have a financial incentive to cut corners to help save the insurance company money. This could be as simple as gluing mounting tabs onto a damaged headlight to avoid a replacement or hammering parts back close to the original shape that absolutely should have been replaced.
As a result, your car may look “fixed” but could come with a whole new set of problems. Maybe it feels different when you drive it, and maybe there is rapidly developing corrosion and rust in the newly repaired area that you cannot see yet. Perhaps there’s a whistling noise coming from the door jamb that wasn’t there before. Even worse, the advanced safety features no longer perform their designated functions, putting your safety at risk. These are the nightmare stories that are far too real of customers getting their cars repaired at these body shop chains. It’s the equivalent of having Wal-Mart quality service on your vehicle, and we all know what it is like shopping at Wal-Mart.
The DRP contract puts body shops in a race to the bottom, and these body shop chains are risking people’s lives with low-cost, high production collision repair.
Because of this, we chose to end our relationship with insurance companies. Car repair is not the same as it was even just five years ago. As a result, it takes extensive technician training and knowledge on following OEM repair procedures to make sure your car is repaired the right way. This was a significant risk on our part but decided that enough is enough.
Your safety is our number one priority. As a result, we are now in the 10% of auto body repair shops that are I-CAR Gold Class certified. This means that our technicians have received the highest level of training and know what it means to repair your car the right way. We are always checking OEM repair procedures and understand what it takes to give you the best possible repair out there!
Our motto is, “we may not be related, but you’ll feel like we’re family!” This is because we genuinely care about North Carolina drivers receiving the highest level of repair possible for their vehicles.
We look forward to hearing from you!