A Direct Repair Program, or DRP, describes a partnership between an insurance company and a certain auto body shop. When you need to have your car fixed under an auto insurance policy, the insurance agent or customer service representative will recommend the auto body shops that participate in their DRPs.
Sounds like a win-win, right? It may seem like your insurance company is looking out for you to make sure you get the right service to make your car ready for the road, but in reality, it’s all about the insurance company’s benefit.
How DRPs Benefit Insurance Companies
DRPs allow for the insurance company to maximize their profits while minimizing their costs. These programs allow for the insurance company to control the repairs done and the price of those repairs. This means that some claims pay out less by the insurance company.
How DRPs Benefit Auto Body Shops
At first glance, DRPs sound like a win-win: the auto body shops get more business, and the insurance companies get your vehicle repairs done quickly. However, it’s critical to note that the auto body shops that are under contract with an insurance company through a direct repair program often receive incentives to get your car done quickly and cheaply.
What does this mean for you? It means that your vehicle’s proper repair may not be a top priority. In fact, some of these contracts may have specific language that requires the repair shop to pay for additional days of a rental vehicle if the repair isn’t completed by the deadline set by the company.
It’s these types of motivations that should worry you as a vehicle owner. If you choose to work within a DRP, how will you know that your vehicle will truly be safe and properly repaired?
The parts used during your vehicle’s repair may not be of the highest quality either. Aftermarket or reconditioned parts may be a requirement to being on the DRP program. While you may get a warranty on these parts, how well will that paper protect your safety?
How to Identify a Direct Repair Program
There are some hints that can let you know that your insurance company is using this type of arrangement. They may say that they have a network of shops or select service providers and try to steer you in the direction of these shops.
They may also refer to these shops as selective, network, preferred or recommended. They may even tell you that they will not warranty work done at other shops. This is manipulative language because the insurance company does not warranty any work anyway. They only require a warranty from their DRP partners. Any respectable body shop will warranty their own work.
How to Find an Auto Body Shop That is NOT Part of a DRP
Finding a facility outside of a direct repair program is possible. It’s important to remember that in Ohio, an insurance company cannot require car owners to provide multiple estimates for repair work OR tell you where to get your car fixed. It’s your choice!
Be sure to ask your insurance agent about your choices. After you’ve verified that you’re free to visit any body shop you like, start conducting research to learn about other people’s experiences with that shop.
Alexander Body and Fender has very few DRP relationships. Those we are part of, we have maintained for years and years, and do so because we believe in the program and they allow us to repair things to our “Gold Standard” level of work.
Have You Been in an Accident? Contact Alexander Body Today
If you’ve been in an accident, Alexander Body & Fender can get you towed, estimated and start building your claim with the insurance company. Then, we will take the lead in negotiating the claim on your behalf but ultimately ALL repair choices are yours as the owner. Just because the claim is not recognizing part of the damage or paying for it the way you prefer you are not limited to what they decide. You can upgrade or add things during the process at your own expense.
We deal with insurance companies on a daily basis, and take pride in doing so because it makes our customers’ experiences simpler.
Quality is a huge point of pride for Alexander Body & Fender. We stand behind our work and provide a lifetime warranty on all our workmanship. We use premium paint, ensure professional application, and offer a transferable warranty that NOBODY in our market has. Why? Because we care about our vehicles and have extreme pride in our workmanship.
Alexander Body & Fender is a local family-owned company. Our founding principle comes from Proverbs verse 22:1 – “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Profits are never our business goal; we believe in building a strong reputation through optimal customer service.
This blog was originally published in November 2016 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.