What Is Insurance Steering?

You’ve been in an accident.  You have car insurance coverage. Many people assume that one of the first steps in dealing with the aftermath of an accident is to call their insurance company to find out what to do next.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies take advantage of their policyholders’ trust, and engage in a tactic known as “Steering”.

What is steering? Steering is designed to direct customers to a shop in the insurance company’s preferred "network" or “Direct Repair Program” (DRP).

A DRP is an agreement between the body shop and an insurance company that usually means that the body shop agrees to price concessions for the insurance company. In exchange, the body shop is led to believe that more claims will be sent their way because they agreed to lower their prices for the insurance company.

When talking to your claims representative, it is a very common practice for them to attempt to steer you to their preferred body shop to have the repairs done. Steering is illegal in most states; however, it is still a common practice. Do not be intimidated or coerced into taking your vehicle somewhere just because the insurance company wants you to use a particular shop. By law, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired by the repairer of your choice.


Here are some FALSE things you may hear when you report a claim to your insurance company:

*We will not pay for your rental.

*It will take a longer time to inspect your vehicle

*We can NOT guarantee the repairs (insurance companies don't guarantee any repairs - they are guaranteed by the body shop that does the repairs)

*Your warranty will be void

*You may have to pay extra money for the claim

*We (the insurance company) have had problems with that shop before

*They will say anything that may make you think you are making the wrong decision by NOT choosing their suggested insurance repair shop.


Why do they steer?

They steer in an attempt to cut repair costs at your expense

They offer shops volumes of work with strict guidelines only to perform quantity of repairs not quality repairs

They control what types of parts are put on the vehicle. (the cheapest available)

They control what vendors the body shops get parts from (the cheapest available)

They control the rental car company that is used

They control the amount of days it should take to repair a vehicle


How to avoid being steered

*Steering can be avoided by simply knowing your rights after an accident

*Call a body shop that you trust

*Be adamant about having your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice

*Bring your car to the shop of your choice and report the claim from their office

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