Go Slow When Using Auto Insurance Repair

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Subject: Misinformation provided by unhappy shops.

I have been on both sides of this industry for two decades and what I see most common is the incorrect information spewed by unhappy shops. You do not have to use a DRP shop, it is a suggestion, I do not know of any shops that do "shoddy" repairs to save an insurance company money. Most folks from shops on here have no idea why or how the process works. Read your policy first of all. When people go to buy insurance, they ask for the 'cheapest price". They never ask what this covers. So many insurance companies have OEM part endorsements available, depreciation waivers, etc. it's about the coverage's you want. I have witnessed many non-DRP shops doing "shoddy' repairs as well. DRP's are set up for ease of the customer first and foremost. And as noted above, pick a reliable repair shop, no matter where you go for repairs. I have witnessed so many 'body men" giving there opinion on here and do not even know what their policy covers. Some cover a/m parts, some cover OEM parts. Who cares what is a better part, it is the coverage you selected. If you want OEM parts, request the coverage. If you want to educate customers, make sure you are educated yourself on what advice you are giving. There are faulty repairs made everyday by DRP shops and non DRP shops. I have used OEM parts that were of poor quality and a/m parts of the same quality. On another note, I have not heard the term "bondo" in years. The art of repairing a panel is long gone, most of the shops now days want to replace parts only, cut off major panels to save time, even though this is not the best repair for the vehicle. Say you go to the DR for stiches, they do not cut your arm off and put a new one on....They stich you up and repair it. It's about educating yourself as the article notes.

Chris Chandler

Subject: DRP rip off

This article is spot on. The insurance companies have very specific criteria the body shop must follow when writing an estimate. That estimate is scrubbed and sent to the shop for correction. The insurance company tells the shop to bondo parts that should be replaced, use off shore made inferior parts and so goes the story. Most of these shops don't have the proper equipment to safely repair the sophisticated cars of today. Cheap repairs are dangerous. High strength steels used in todays cars are not repairable per the manufacturers recommendations (the people who engineered the cars that get 5 star crash ratings). DRP's are held to Key performance indicators (average severity$$$, junk parts usage, ect) that determine how much work is sent their way. Pick your own shop, do your homework and you will have a better result. Don't give away your rights to the Insurance company.

Brad Chesney


What a great article. It's easy, ask your insurance adjuster what shops to stay away from. Check reviews on all mentioned "bad" shops. I bet they are your best shops in town. Do those shops cost a little more than other shops? Of course they do. Not because they are greedy, but they take the extra steps that most shops just ignore, and they like to get paid for them.


Subject: Aftermarket or Original parts?

Being a second generation auto body craftsman, I should know the differences. Original parts are crash tested with hours and hours of engineering behind them. Aftermarket parts are cheap knockoffs that do not fit or react properly properly in an accident. Tinsel strength is always greater in the original part. I have also noticed that the plastic parts don't last as long as the originals do. The aftermarket rubber bumpers get brittle after a couple of years, so they have a tendency to break instead of bend and bounce back like they were designed to do.
Why would you take advice on how to spend the money that's owed to you; form the party that owes you?


Subject: Oem vs after market

I work as a mechanic in a fleet. Every parts store sells the same part from multiple companies. Over the years most mechanics learn certain manufacturers are good for junk cars that will be on road maybe a year, while others last 5 years. Since insurance companies car about bottom dollar, it would make sense they go with the cheapest parts available. I was raised with a sAying- you get what you paid for. This is because cheaper parts last less time typically. I haven't delt with insurance directly before but have heard they can be a pain. I would rather get estimate and take the money since I always fix things myself.

Greg Jurkowski

Subject: Aftermarket crash parts

I will tell you from my 34 years of experience in the industry, that if you survey 100 bodyshop owners, 100 will tell you that aftermarket parts are not as good as oem parts.

Leo A

Subject: OEM parts vs aftermarket.

Yes, it is 100 % true that OEM parts fit better. Often ,a repair shop will spend hours repairing and reshaping a non- OEM part in order to get a better fit. This translates into less profit for the shop, substandard work for the customer and better profits for the insurance company. Organizing to stop these practices will help the consumer and will avoid a hurried job by the repair shop. Avoid insurance carriers that do not adhere to consumer friendly repairs. Better to pay a little more today, than lots more tomorrow. And, most important of all, don't assume that because you are getting your vehicle repaired at an insurance approved DRP shop, that the repairs will be flawless. Check the shop before you commit. There are lots of shops doing shoddy work for insurance companies. BUYER BEWARE!

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.