This blog post provides useful consumer information as well as a handy list of car insurers who offer a choice of repairers.
Oh no, a car accident …
When someone has a car accident and needs a smash repairer, they often just go with one of the companies their car insurer recommends. Did you know this may not be mandatory and that you may be able to pick your own repairer?
To make a better informed choice, it is good to understand the bigger picture, and know what your options are.
Let us walk you through what we know as an industry insider, so you could gain better insights to make a better informed decision if and when you find yourself in this situation.
What you need to know before picking a repairer for your insurance claim
The starting point for a typical claim is that your car insurer suggests one or more repairers from their list. They may also ask you for your preferred locations before giving you their recommendations.
The general advantages of picking a repairer recommended by your car insurer are:
- Competence – Assurance of general baseline capability because these repairers have been reviewed and approved by your car insurer. This matters to car owners who don’t know any reputable smash repairers themselves, and may neither have the time nor interest to do their own extended research.
- Convenience – Your insurer has a large repairer database and can pick one or more located close to your home or workplace to minimise your travel time to the repairer to get your vehicle assessed, repaired, and collected.
- Fixed cost – You are only ‘out of pocket’ based on your excess amount, and there are no extra costs that may arise if what the repairer charges is much higher than what the insurer believes is a reasonable price.
Most car owners are happy enough to pick a repairer recommended by the insurer based on the above information. However, further investigation may, in some cases, get you a better outcome for your particular repair job.
The general advantages of picking your own repairer instead of the one recommended by your insurer are:
- Specialisation – You may already know a smash repairer who specialises in your make and model of car (especially if it is a luxury or rare model), or is an authorised dealer for your car marque. If so, they are probably able to do a higher quality job than a generalised repairer. Your repairer may also have better equipment or genuine parts a generalist repairer may not have.
- Criteria – While you have direct control over why you are choosing your repairer, your insurer’s criteria may not be as transparent, as some insurers may recommend repairers that generally cost the least to them, which may affect capability and quality. This point is especially important if you have exceptionally high standards and expectations for a beloved high-end vehicle.
- Capacity – Your repairer may be able to do the job faster than the insurer’s because your repairer has a larger team, or are better organised and resourced.
- Convenience – Your choice repairer may be located even closer to you or having extended opening times, which makes it even more convenient to you in terms of travelling to the repairer’s shop for assessment and pickup.
- Assurance – You may enjoy a higher scope of workmanship guarantee with your preferred repairer than a generalist repairer, and won’t know until you ask.
So, when it comes to picking a repairer recommended by your insurer or choosing your own, the best decision could swing either way, so make sure you are fully informed before deciding. The above potential advantages come from selecting car insurance that allows you to pick your own repairer, so be informed as to which insurers do not provide that option.
List of car insurers that provide a choice of repairers
|Car Insurances||Choice of Smash Repairer|
|Bank of Melbourne (Allianz)||Yes|
|GIO – Platinum (AAI)||Yes|
|St George (Allianz)||Yes|
|Suncorp – Advantages (AAI)||Yes|
|Suncorp – Extra (AAI)||Yes|
|Budget Direct – Gold Low KM (Auto & General)||Optional|
|Budget Direct – Low KM (Auto & General)||Optional|
|Budget Direct (Auto & General)||Optional|
|Catch (Auto & General)||Optional|
|ING (Auto & General)||Optional|
|Virgin Money (Auto & General)||Optional|
How to make things easier for yourself with Parramatta Smash Repairs
Our award-winning smash repairs team is experienced in handling car insurance claims expertly, with strong empathy for our customers.
- We are often recommended by leading insurance companies for repair work on prestige cars. Many of our insurer partners are on the Yes and Optional lists above (marked in bold).
- No matter how large or small the claim, we provide excellent support through the whole claim process and provide frequent updates to give you peace of mind. We answer more questions about car insurance claims on this page.