Safe and unsafe repair look identical on the outside--but what's underneath the paint that could mean life or death. Get a second opinion to find out if things are missing from your insurance company estimate.
WANT PROOF? READ THE JOHN EAGLE CASE STUDY BELOW.
GETTING YOURS IS EASY, AND ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES
Choose the option that works best for you:
Do I have to pay the difference if I choose a shop that charges more than the insurance recommended body shop?
Many customers feel that they must choose the cheapest estimate or insurance recommended shop for fear that they will have to pay the difference or that their rates will go up to cover the overage. This is not true. Insurance rates are based on "risk tiers," not on how much your repairs costs. Depending on your policy (some even have accident forgiveness), you may not see a rate increase at all, regardless of who fixes the car.
Are there laws protecting me from getting unsafe collision repair?
No. Even though a barber needs a license to cut hair, and a plumber needs one to fix a toilet, most states do not have any form of licensing or oversight on how a vehicle is repaired. The body shop makes these decisions on your behalf, often under the direction of what the insurance company is willing to pay for, and there is a safe way, and a cheap, corners cut way to do it, and the only way you get to decide is by choosing your body shop wisely. Do you find that shocking?
Do I have to use the body shop that my insurance company told me to get an estimate from?
No. Even though your insurance company may make it sound like the repairs will not be guaranteed, or that you will have to pay out of pocket, or that it will take longer, this is designed to make you feel like you need to follow the insurance company suggestion. This is illegal. You have the right to use any auto body shop that you choose.
Can you see bad repair on the outside?
Not usually. While bad craftsmanship is typically apparent, unsafe welds, junkyard parts, and un-repaired panels can be hidden by fresh paint, gas tanks, carpet, and suspension components. In most cases, safe repair and unsafe repair look exactly the same on the outside. The only difference is one will save your life if you get into another accident. The other may not.
If unsafe repair is so prevalent, why aren't there are more news stories about unsafe repairs causing injuries?
Most owners have no idea that the cars they are driving were improperly repaired. Also, many of the large chain body shops have a vehicle buyback allowance set aside to buy back vehicles where they were "caught" with an unsafe repair. The condition for accepting the buyback is that you can't sue, and you can't tell people that your vehicle was purchased by the body shop. What is a buyback? Much like when a dealer has to buy back a lemon because of the lemon law, in this case, the body shop who performed the unsafe repairs offers to buy the car from the owner on the condition that the owner signs a confidentiality agreement and can't publicize the fact that the car was bought back.
WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
The John Eagle case: A Texas couple driving a Honda were hit by a Toyota pickup. The Toyota's occupants were uninjured, but the couple in the Honda was trapped in the vehicle, which began to catch fire, gravely injuring the couple. An after-accident investigation revealed that the Honda had prior collision repair that was performed incorrectly. As a result, the Honda collapsed upon impact trapping the occupants inside their burning vehicle.
The body shop was sued, and while under oath on the witness stand, the shop manager admitted to shortcutting the repair because the insurance company wouldn't pay for the shop to weld the roof as Honda instructed. The court found the body shop criminally negligent and awarded the couple a $31.5 Million dollar settlement. Still, the amount of money will never fix the injuries suffered, but the couple who were unknowingly driving in a death trap.
2 SECONDS THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE - WHY WOULDN'T YOU AT LEAST CHECK?
GET YOUR FREE SECOND OPINION NOW.