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Does My Car Need To Go to a Specific Shop for Repairs After a Tampa Car Accident?

Does My Car Need To Go to a Specific Shop for Repairs After a Tampa Car Accident?

If you were involved in a car accident in Tampa, FL, and your vehicle was damaged, the insurance company likely has contracts with certain body shops and will recommend that you use their designated body shop in your area. 

In most cases (depending on the terms of your policy), you are not required to use a body shop recommended by the insurance company and are free to use your own preferred auto body shop.

However, there are possible benefits and drawbacks to using the insurance company’s preferred body shop that you should be aware of before making a decision. 

Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of using an insurance company’s preferred body shop, or contact our office directly to discuss the next steps in your car accident case.  

Benefits of Using an Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shop

An insurance company and the body shop they’ve contracted with have established a working relationship that can benefit you if your car is damaged. 

  • The insurance company and body shop will work together directly. Once the body shop prepares an estimate of the repairs, they can transmit that directly to the insurance company. Likewise, the insurance company can remit payment directly to the body shop, so you don’t have to worry about paying for repairs out of pocket and seeking reimbursement.
  • It saves you time. You won’t have to spend time looking for reputable body shops in your area or waiting for an inspection and an estimate to present to the insurance company. This means you may get your car and get back on the road sooner. 
  • Lifetime warranty on repairs. The agreement between your insurance company and the auto body shop likely includes a warranty on repairs in case anything related to the repairs breaks down or isn’t satisfactory.

Additionally, you won’t have to deal with any pushback from the insurance company about choosing a body shop outside of their preferred network. 

Drawbacks To Using an Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shop

On the other hand, there are potential drawbacks to choosing the insurance company’s recommended body shop.

  • Potentially lower quality repairs. If the body shop has agreed to keep costs at a certain level with the insurance company, there’s a chance that they’ll use cheaper parts or cut corners to keep costs down. 
  • Working with a provider you don’t trust. You may not know or trust the body shop your insurance company recommends – or you may see that they’ve received poor reviews from other customers. 

Ultimately, the body shop may be more concerned with satisfying the insurance company than making you happy with your repairs.   

Pros and Cons of Choosing Your Preferred Body Shop

In Florida, you are generally permitted to choose your own body shop for vehicle repairs unless your policy says otherwise. The benefits of this are you can choose a body shop that you trust, or that is recommended to you by friends or family. 

This option may also allow you to choose a body shop that is more conveniently located. In addition, the body shop will be working to keep you happy, rather than the insurance company.

There may be drawbacks to working with a self-selected body shop, though. 

  • The insurance company may not agree to the cost of the repair. If the insurance company thinks the body shop’s estimate is too high or not in line with reasonable costs in your area, you will need to see if the body shop can bring down their costs. 
  • It may require more time and effort on your part. You may need to transmit paperwork, estimates, and invoices from the insurance company to the repair shop. If the insurance company doesn’t agree to the body shop’s initial estimate, this could require several rounds of revisions. 

You must decide whether the benefits of choosing your own auto body shop outweigh these potential drawbacks. 

Things To Consider if You Choose Your Own Body Shop

If you take your vehicle to a body shop of your choosing, consider the following:

  • Make sure the body shop has well-regarded certifications and licenses.
  • Read online reviews to see what other customers have to say about them.
  • Ask them about their costs and their history of working on repairs covered by insurance.
  • Ask about warranties on repairs they perform.

Ultimately, it is critical that your vehicle is repaired correctly so that you can stay safe on the road going forward.

Contact an Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyer To Discuss Your Case

If you’ve decided to use your preferred body shop for repairs, it may help to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney in Tampa, FL. They can discuss your next steps in more detail and can help you communicate with the insurance provider during the inspection, estimate, and repair process.

Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so this initial meeting won’t cost you a cent.

Contact the Tampa Car Accident Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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