Have you seen this? Last month more than 500 Auto Body Repair shops from 36 states have joined together to file a lawsuit against auto insurer State Farm, as reported by CNN.
Shop owners allege State Farm forced them to keep costs low by repairing cars with used, cheap, and sometimes just flat-out broken parts.
Say what? You heard that right.
Direct Repair Programs (DRP) And You: What It Means
You might be surprised how much sway your auto insurance company has over your choice of a collision repair center.
The shops at the center of this lawsuit are part of a Direct Repair Program (DRP) with State Farm Insurance. But, many auto insurers have a DRP, which is simply a contracted network of auto body repair shops.
In theory, a DRP works like this:
- An auto insurer sends more customers to a DRP shop
- In turn, the shop offers free or discounted services
- The customer saves money
Many auto collision repair centers join a DRP because in turn they receive a steady flow of referrals from the auto insurance company. The high volume is meant to offset the lower pricing. Alan’s Collision is a NON-DRP collision repair center.
The set-up is supposed to work for everyone. The garage gets a steady stream of customers and the insurance company keeps costs low when it comes to paying for repairs. Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Not so fast! According to the CNN investigation, the auto body shop customers aren’t getting scratched but slighted.
According to the lawsuit, State Farm insurance has made it mandatory that DRP shops use aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are generic parts not made by the original car manufacturer.
Some of the auto body shops claim that State Farm has made them use used/recycled parts to keep repair costs even LOWER. And if a garage don’t comply with the demand, the insurance company simply stops sending customers to that shop.
Low Cost Can Mean Low Quality
But low cost parts are good, right? Not always. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and these parts can be sub-par or just flat out junk, held together by bubblegum and a prayer.
Cheap parts might get your car fixed cheaper today but it’ll end up costing you additional repairs tomorrow.
Alan’s Collision Center is a Non-DRP Shop
We are a non-DRP shop for exactly these reasons. We never prioritize our profits over your safety.
We prefer to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to ensure your car is as close to factory-new as possible. We have a reputable network of parts suppliers. And, as members of SafeCars, we’re committed to making sure that your car is as safe if not safer going out than when it came in.
Before choosing an auto body repair shop, be sure to do your homework.
About Alan’s Collision Center
Since 1975, Alan’s Collision Center has served the Northeast Philadelphia market with expert collision repair services for all types of vehicles. The auto body shop is the only certified Mercedes-Benz collision repair center in Philadelphia. The center accepts insurance claims as well as cash-paying customers for all types of vehicla repair. Contact Jim Pfau, general manager, to have a conversation about how Alan’s Collision Center can help with your vehicle repairs.