What you need to know after the accident!
It is your choice where you have your vehicle repaired! No one can tell you where to go including the insurance company. That is called steering and it is illegal. They can give you a list of shops that they feel are qualified to do the repairs. You only need one estimate - from the company where you want your repairs done.
"Maryland law prohibits an insurer or an adjuster from requiring that a certain repair shop be used or from recommending a particular shop without notifying the claimant or the insured that their vehicle may be repaired by the auto shop of their choice."
Excerpt from A Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance distributed by the Maryland Insurance Administration:
If you are a claimant you are entitled to a rental car. You may have to ask for it in some cases.
If you are involved in an uninsured motorist claim you may only have a $250 deductible and you may be entitled to a rental car.
If you have questions or concerns about how an insurance company is treating you contact the:
Insurance Commission of Maryland
525 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Attn: Property & Casualty Compliant Center
We are a DRP (Direct Repair Program) shop for many insurance companies. A DRP is a great tool for customers. They were created to make the whole accident process smooth for the customer. The insurance company sends an assignment over to the body shop of choice with the customer contact information on it. We then contact the customer to ask them to come in for an estimate. Upon arrival we take notes on the damages along with the VIN, tag, mileage and then photos of the entire vehicle. The customer then schedules an appointment for repairs. Our estimator writes the estimate according to industry standards and the insurance companies guidelines.
We then order parts to have here upon the customer arrival. When repairs are completed the customer's deductible is collected if applicable and an authorization for payment is signed to receive payment from the insurance company.
All you have to do as a customer is come in for an estimate, drop off your car at the scheduled time and pickup upon completion.
Not all insurance companies have this program; in that case your insurance company will probably write their own estimate. We work with most insurance companies so we will use their estimate as a starting point and contact them if there are additional repairs needed or additional payment due.