As they say, your car, your choice or is it? Well the short answer as far as I’m concerned is Yes!

However there are a number of factors to take into consideration if you want your car repaired by a bodyshop of your choice.

If you carry comprehensive insurance, your Insurer will have their own Network of Repairers. Normally called the ‘Approved Repairer’.

The approved repairer has a contract with your Insurer to supply a number of services to you as a policyholder. These are normally;

  • A courtesy vehicle which would be free of charge to you.
  • They usually collect your vehicle and some deliver it back.
  • Provide a workmanship guarantee with the repair work they carry out.

So on the face of it, a good service with you being kept mobile and not inconvenienced in any way. There are a number of important points to make about the relationship between your Insurer and the Approved Repairer.

Firstly, when you contact your Insurer to make a claim, they will want you to go down the ‘Approved Repairer’ route because they have a pricing mechanism in place which is to their benefit.

Secondly, they will use a number of tactics to try and ensure you comply. These include;

  • Often you will hear “If you don’t go to our repairer, you will not receive a courtesy vehicle”. This is not true! It’s the repairer who supplies the courtesy vehicle, not the Insurer. You are just as likely to receive a courtesy vehicle from a repairer you wish to use.
  • They may also say THEY can’t guarantee the repair work. Point of law here. They don’t guarantee the repair work anyway it’s the repairer. You would likely receive the same guarantee from your own chosen repairer.
  • There is also an additional tactic which has came to the fore recently and that surrounds your Policy Excess. Insurers are writing into the terms and conditions that if you select your own chosen repairer, the excess you have is doubled. So if you have taken a £250.00 excess at the policy inception date, by choosing your own bodyshop, it becomes £500.00! However, this can, and is, being challenged successfully and we can help with this.

Finally, the Approved Repairer may not carry the Manufacturer Approval for the make of vehicle you have. So if you drive a VW Golf, they may not carry the VW Approval! This is an important point to make as vehicles today are computers on wheels and come with all sorts of safety features and diagnostics.

For me personally, I would want a repairer who have the manufacturer approval to repair my car.

So what are your options?

  1. Be persistent with your Insurer, it’s your choice!
  2. Legally, they have to cover the cost of the damage to your vehicle, irrespective of carries out the repairs.
  3. Challenge the policy excess issue as this is unfair practice under Law!
  4. And finally, remember it’s you car and you will be driving it after the accident not your Insurer or their Repairer.

If you need further help on this topic please contact us. We are here to help.