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Insurance Co. Information

You Have the Right to Choose:

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. 

North Carolina General Statute 58-3-180

"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."

For 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 "slip shod" 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. For Oakley Auto Body  to agree to work for these "cut" rates, would force us to lower our standards of craftsmanship in order to make ends meet. Put more concisely, accepting cut rates always eventually leads to cut rate quality. Our current labor rate is $55 per hour. Your car dealer's service department's rate is likely more than $140. 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 dedicated craftsmen fair wages, we must keep labor rates reasonable. Many of the Insurance companies use their leverage to keep labor rates unreasonably low in these "preferred shop"contracts.

A few insurance companies are now refusing to pay us the $55 per hour, demanding that we discount the labor rate by nearly 13% 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 13% discount on labor. In these instances, we strongly encourage our customers to contact the insurance company directly and insist that they be re-reimbursed for the underpayment amount.

Don't Be Coerced Into Accepting Substandard Work:
Don't Worry About It, We Do This Every Day: 

Don't let the Insurance Company cause you any undue anxiety. We deal with this stuff every day.  If you choose Oakley Auto Body, 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. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions at any point during the repair process.

What Insurance Company Do We Reccomend?

Without reservation we can recommend North Carolina Farm Bureau Auto Insurance, and we're fairly certain that most other reputable, non-corporate Collison Repair shops if asked would agree. NC Farm Bureau has remained, for many years, the most reliable and reasonable Auto Insurance Company to deal with. There are other insurance companies such as USAA, Nationwide and others who can be reasonable as well, just remember that it is your choice who repairs your vehicle. The insurance companies have become adept at steering customers to their "Preferred" shops and this may not be in your best interest. Read a couple of reviews and ask around before you decide. 

We'd also, if asked today, would recommend against using National General and/or Integon Auto Insurance. Though there are fine people who work for these companies. These companies have developed a reputation for being especially unreasonable to deal with. This is especially true regarding fair labor rates, with a consistent underpayment amount of around 13% that they cause our customers to pay.

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