Consumer Group Ranks Shops, Advises Insureds to Avoid Drive-Up Estimating Centers - BodyShop Business

Consumer Group Ranks Shops, Advises Insureds to Avoid Drive-Up Estimating Centers

Consumer advocate group Consumers’ Checkbook recently ranked collision repair shops in the San Francisco area and shared advice for handling the repair process with the San Francisco Chronicle. In the process, the group recommended using aftermarket parts only when certified by CAPA and avoiding having estimates performed at drive-in appraisal centers.

Following is some of the tips aimed at insureds from Consumers’ Checkbook:

• If there’s a chance of serious damage, have the insurance company send an appraiser to the insured’s shop of choice. The group believes that shops can provide better estimates than insurance companies’ drive-in appraisal centers.

• Used parts and aftermarket parts "often cost less and may be perfectly acceptable," Consumers’ Checkbook says. However, the group advises that consumers make sure insurance companies and shops indicate in writing what type of part — used, aftermarket or OEM — is being used for a repair.

• The group also advised consumers to only accept CAPA-certified aftermarket parts for repairs.

• The group recommends choosing a shop that "does a good job of explaining" what work needs to be done: "An articulate representative at the body shop will be a good advocate when dealing with an insurance company," Consumers’ Checkbook says.

• The group also recommends that consumers thoroughly check finished work before leaving the shop and have major repairs cross-checked by another shop.

What do you think of this advice? What advice would you offer consumers when selecting a repair shop? Let us know in the comment section below.

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