Your Vehicle… Your Choice
In the state of Colorado it is your choice where to have your vehicle repaired after an accident. Regardless of who is at fault in an accident, you have the right to select the Colorado body shop of your choice for repairs.
The Colorado law states that the insurance company or the person responsible for payment cannot determine which auto repair shop your vehicle is repaired at and they are required to pay the “prevailing market rates” for repairs to you or the shop of your choosing. Select a reputable shop, ask for references, and make sure they see you as the customer- not the insurance company.
If your insurance company claims that they will only cover repairs at a “preferred shop” for repairs it is important to remember that it is your choice where the vehicle will be repaired and the insurance company must cover the costs. Most states have legislation outlawing this practice of “steering” although in many cases the insurance companies ignore it.
“Steering” is prevalent because in some cases the insurance companies have negotiated with certain shops for discounts and price guarantees. In this circumstance, an effort to control costs may compromise the safety and quality of your repair! Ultimately, it is your choice who repairs your vehicle. As for additional costs, the insurance company paying for repairs is required by law to pay the “market rates” based upon your location. As long as the Colorado body shop follows industry repair guidelines and pricing, the insurance company will pay all costs relating to damages, less your deductible.
You are also entitled to a rental car in the case that your vehicle is in an accident although some insurance companies will only cover the rental if your vehicle is deemed undrivable. Have a reputable auto body shop inspect your car immediately so they can determine the safety of the vehicle and arrange for a rental through the insurance company.
In the instance that your vehicle is deemed a “total loss” after a collision it is important to have someone on your side to explain the process and help you get the maximum settlement. Research the “market value” of your vehicle and understand what it will truly cost to replace it before you negotiate a settlement. Call us, we can help!