Insurance Co. Information
First things first: You have the right to choose any Repair Shop to repair your vehicle.
North Carolina has very strict "Anti Steering" laws. These laws prohibit insurance companies from bullying people into using the shops that they have an exclusive relationship with.
You may ask: "Why would the insurance company try to steer me to a particular Repair Shop instead of Oakley Auto Body?"
Answer: To save the insurance company a little money. The insurance companies "preferred" shops pay a price to be on their list. This price comes in the form of cuts in labor rates, parts price discounts, and/or other cost savings for the insurer.
"No insurer or insurer representative shall recommend the use of a particular motor vehicle repair service without clearly informing the claimant that (i) the claimant is under no obligation to use the recommended repair service, (ii) the claimant may use the repair service of the claimant’s choice, (iii) the amount determined by the insurer to be payable under the policy will be paid regardless of whether or not the claimant uses the recommended repair service, and (iv) that the insurer or insurer representative has, at the time the recommendations are made, a financial interest in the recommended motor vehicle repair service. No insurer shall require that the insured or claimant must have a damaged vehicle repaired at an insurer-owned motor vehicle repair service."
To most of us, our car is a large financial investment, second only to our homes many times. So don't be sold down the road to a "Jiffy" Corporate shop, who's working largely on behalf of the insurance company.
"So, why don't you cut your rates, give them discounts and join the other guys?" you may ask. Put simply, the insurance company's extreme leverage in these contracts is unsustainable in our view. Our current labor rate is $53 per hour. Your car dealer's service department's rate is likely more than $120. We strive to charge a labor rate that's fair and commensurate with the required skill level, tooling and expertise to get the job done right. As you know, the cost of many things continue to rise, and in order to remain viable, to continue to maintain high standards and to pay our workers and craftsmen fair wages, we must adapt and keep labor rates reasonable. Many of the Insurance companies use their leverage to keep labor rates unreasonably low in these contracts.
A few insurance companies are now refusing to pay us the $53 per hour, demanding that we discount the labor rate by nearly 10% down to $48 per hour. So we've made the difficult decision to refuse these demanded discounts. Why is it a difficult decision? Because we do care about our customers, and if you happen to be insured by one of these insurance companies, then they pass this cost on to you. As a business we can no longer justify giving a few insurance companies what amounts to a 10% discount on labor.
Don't Be Coerced Into Accepting Substandard Work:
Don't Worry About It, We Do This Every Day:
To make a long story short, don't let the Insurance Company cause you any undue anxiety. We deal with this stuff every day. If you choose Oakley Auto Body, just relax, we'll take care of you just as if you were our own family. We'll do the work of communicating with your insurance provider and keep you posted on the progress.