Body Shop Estimates vs Insurance Scare Tactics

When you get into an accident, the last people you expect to deceive you are those working for your insurance company. And yet, if you choose a collision center that’s not on the insurer’s “preferred list”, chances are high that they will tell you that you’re going to have to pay much more – typically out of pocket. Why are many body shop estimates higher than insurance estimates? In this article, we’ll break that down and explain the whole process for you.

The first estimate written, often by an insurance adjuster, is – by definition – always lower than the actual cost of repair. When an insurance adjuster writes an initial estimate, it is based ONLY  upon what they can see with the naked eye – without removing anything from the vehicle. This estimate is really only a starting point.  But the insurers often disparage independent (non-DRP) body shops by telling people that those body shop estimates are going to be much higher – and they (the claimant) will have to pay the difference out of pocket. This is misleading language that is intended to scare and/or bully you into choosing one of their DRP shops.

Body shop estimates are always going to be much more thorough than initial insurance estimates. The body shop employs experts who are trained (and often factory-certified) to know every detail of your car. And once work actually starts on the repair of your vehicle, it’s common to find damage that couldn’t be seen without removing panels and taking proper measurements.

Insurance companies stand to save money at your expense when they call body shop estimates into question. Their whole mission is to repair your car as inexpensively as possible. To that end, they will almost always write estimates with cheaper quality aftermarket or salvage parts. They will skip over some of the manufacturer’s procedures, suggesting that they are not necessary. And they will only offer to pay the least amount possible for labor.

Whereas a quality independent body shop estimates your repair order based upon well-documented manufacturer procedures. They only use original equipment manufacturer’s parts, and they pay their highly skilled technicians a fair wage.

Would you ever consider heart surgery if an insurance company was only willing to pay for a first-year medical student using inferior equipment and who was happy to skip several important steps in the name of saving time and money? Of course not. And yet, this is a legitimate example of what insurers bully their claimants into each and every day.

Body shop estimates aren’t “more expensive”. They are MORE ACCURATE. They are more informed. They are more complete. And they are more safe.

If you have any questions about how we write your car’s repair order – please don’t hesitate to contact us directly. We are happy to share every step of our process with you so that you may have the confidence that your vehicle will be repair correctly.