Frequently Asked Questions ?


Often consumers are unfamiliar with what is going to take place when they have an accident. The following are frequently asked questions many consumers have after an accident.


1. What is Steering ?

Steering can be described in many ways. Steering may also referred to as a "Deceptive Referral".


Within the collision industry "Steering" is an action taken with or without intent which limits the consumer's right to free choice, and may result in a consumer being mislead into thinking that a particular repairer, vendor, or supplier must be used for repairs.

This typically occurs when the vehicle owner is encouraged to take their vehicle to a preferred repair facility through an unsolicited suggestion, over their own preference by introduction of undue hardship (e.g., "You'll have to pay the difference if you go there", or ”There could be a loss of a warranty by  repairing there”, or by unobtrusively guiding the consumer in their decision on where to get their vehicle repaired. 


Even though there a few "substandard policies" written that directs the repairs to specific repair facilities that you do not have the option to select your repair facility, overwhelming in most situations, you have the right to chose your repairer. Do not believe you don't ... it is your vehicle and your choice.


2. What is a DRP ?

DRP's are a Direct Referral (Repair) Program in which most insurers have established to lower their costs. By theory the time wasted from the date of your accident to when your vehicle is completed is reduced, since the repair facility is typically notified of your claim immediately and your insurer may not need to review the vehicle before repairs begin after your authorization is given.


DRP repair shops often must lower their fees for services to be considered for a DRP program for many insurers. Some insurers even will not pay for all proper procedures to return your vehicle back to the condition it was prior to the accident. This makes it a challenge for most consumers to know what to do. Most of what is important for the safety and durability of your vehicle is not easily visible, and can be hid without you knowing.


Not all shops that are on DRP's perform sub-standard work, but most are under pressure to lower costs, which may not be in your best interest. It is best that you investigate any shop that you are considering before authorizing any repairs.


3. How Do I Know Which Shop to Choose ?

The reputation of a repair shop is often circulated by "word of mouth", but there

are several other sources you could consider as well such as, The Better

Business Bureau, Consumer Watch Groups (i.e., Angie's List), and Trade

Associations. You can also simply do an internet search for the shop and often

the search sites have customer feedback areas. Facebook also can be a

valuable resource.


However, the most important consideration is if the facility has the proper

equipment, training, and certification to repair your vehicle properly.


In just the last 5 years the technology used on vehicles today requires new

equipment, training, and for many vehicles, certification. Ask about the training

the shop has received.


Do they have I-CAR Platinum Individuals doing the repair work ?

Do they have the latest equipment such as inverter spot welding equipment,

three dimensional measuring, and an organized shop ?

Do they subscribe to the manufacturer's information for your vehicle ?

Are they compliant to all current EPA regulations ?

Do they use environmental friendly paint systems ?


If you own a prestige type vehicle ... are they manufacturer certified for the vehicle ?


If the facility has not committed to the proper equipment, training, and needed

certification ... this should be an indicator you should consider very carefully,

regardless what an insurance company states.


4. What is Bad Faith?

When you purchase an insurance policy, it is a contract between you and the

insurance company. Each State/Province law will define what the expectations

of insurers are in regards to meeting their contractual obligations to you, and
what is reasonable to expect.


If you believe the insurer is not satisfying their obligation according to your
insurance contract, you should seek legal advice from an attorney that

specializes in these matters.


To review more information about "bad faith" you should check out: