Insurance Companies Forcing Auto Repair Shops To Cut Corners?

It’s well established that the vast majority of the repair jobs that your local auto shop gets, are paid by insurance claims (at least in part). This means that, unfortunately, sometimes the insurance claims adjusters have been known to buddy up to auto repair shops in order to get them to perform inferior repairs or use cheaper parts for a car repair, so that they can save money. Even if adjusters and insurance companies aren’t this transparent they can sometimes argue with auto repair companies over the cost of a repair, when the repair itself was priced legitimately, perhaps being a bit more expensive due to additional damage that wasn’t visible initially.

Unfortunately, these situations do happen and even more unfortunately, when they do a lot of car repair shops don’t tell the owners of the vehicle, instead opting to cut corners or cave to insurance company complaints and use an inferior part to make sure they still come out in the green. If an insurance company places very onerous restrictions on the time that it takes to do a repair and the cost that they will pay it can cause a situation where an auto repair shop really has no choice but to cut some corners.

Fender bender (photo by natloans via Flickr)

An honest car repair shop will notify the vehicle’s owner if the insurance company is playing games. Unfortunately, because the insurance companies provide so much of their own pay, it can be hard for an auto repair shop to justify biting the hand that feeds it. If they let the customer know that their insurance company is placing unnecessary restrictions on the work that will cause them to have to cut corners or use inferior parts or whatever it is likely that this customer will then go and complain to the insurance company. Certainly, in this situation you can see that the insurance firm will then be less than thrilled that your local auto shop ‘ratted them out’ and perhaps try to steer their policy holder to a different shop instead.

In fact, many insurance companies will put pressure on their policy holders to get their car repaired at the cheapest auto repair shop they can find, rather than the local auto shop that the driver knows and trusts. Unfortunately, the fact remains that for many insurance companies the name of the game is maximizing profits and not ensuring that their policy holders are getting the work done right, so that they can be safest on the road. No matter how many car insurance commercials you see, where a company tries to convince you that they are out to save you the most money, what they really are there for is to make themselves the most money.