What is a DRP Body Shop?
Consumer Alert: The letters DRP represent a huge red flag for consumers when it comes to getting the proper repair performed on their vehicles.
Direct Repair Programs (DRPs) represent contractual partnerships between insurers and collision centers. And while on the surface that may sound like a good thing, this article will clarify the terminology for you, and we’ll make a very strong case for why you should never take your car to a DRP body shop.
To understand how a DRP body shop can negatively affect the value of your vehicle and the quality of your repair, we will need to explain the nature of the partnership between some body shops and the insurance companies.
Insurance companies are supposed to pay (after your deductible, of course) for the repair of your vehicle after an accident. It is in their best financial interest to spend the very least amount on parts, labor and related expenses. And to that end, most insurers will only write for and subsequently pony up for the least expensive (aftermarket or salvaged) parts – and they will only pay what THEY deem to be “industry standard” labor rates (which are usually ridiculously lower than market standard labor rates for any other industry).
Body shops, on the other hand, are tasked with only one job: repairing your vehicle to it’s pre-loss condition. And while it isn’t always the case… it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of body shops in America don’t seem to mind putting untested, undocumented aftermarket or salvaged parts on the vehicles that come to them for repair.
The insurance companies came up with the concept of the DRP – Direct Repair Program. They offer to send lots of customers to the body shop(s) on their “preferred list” (another term for DRP) provided those shops promise to not argue the insurance adjuster’s lowball estimate for repair, using the least expensive parts and lower labor rates. The “promise” to the shops is that they will make up in volume what they lose in revenue – as long as they play by the insurance companies rules – and don’t rock the boat.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
All you want after an accident is to get your car fixed, looking good and get the repair done quickly. Does the use of the least expensive parts really matter all that much?
Yes. Yes it does. It matters a LOT!
Your vehicle – probably your second most expensive asset – was designed by the manufacturer to provide the utmost safety for those who are driving in it – and for those who drive in the same space as you. Millions of dollars went into the research and development of every single component of your car to create the experience and level of quality that you fell in love with when you purchased it.
Replacing key parts – structural parts – with parts that may “look” similar, but by their very definition cannot be the same – is a recipe for disaster. Aftermarket parts do not have to be safety tested. They do not fall under the same level of quality control and attention to every detail as original manufacturer equipment (OEM).
The key ingredient missing in the discussion of DRP partnerships between body shops and insurers is YOU and YOUR SAFETY. You are simply not part of that equation. A DRP partnership is only about one thing: money. The insurers want to save (which equates to them making more) money… and the body shops only want to make more money.
Here at RRC/Collision, we do not have ANY DRP partnerships. Our contract is NOT with any insurance agency… it is with YOU. Your safety is our PRIMARY concern, and we will not cut corners where that is concerned.
It is our strong recommendation that when you are searching for a collision center that will repair your vehicle correctly, according to the OEM specifications – you simply ask every shop: “Do you have a DRP relationship with my insurance company”? If the answer is yes, just know that body shop is severely limited in its ability to argue for the right repair, because they are obligated by contract to only perform the least expensive repair.
If you have any questions at all about WHY we won’t do DRP (and neither should you)… please feel free to contact us any time.