In the event of a claim, both you and your insurance company want the repairs to your home or car done right, on time and on budget. A network of pre-screened vendors helps make this happen.
How does it work?
To help lower the costs of vehicle and home repairs, insurers will pre-screen body shops and contractors looking for ones with high quality repair work and excellent customer satisfaction. Then, they work with these vendors to establish prices in advance. With these measures in place, claims can be resolved quicker, saving you in other ways, like the cost of a rental car. In exchange for referrals from the insurer, the vendor agrees to warranty their work – otherwise known as a claims guarantee.
What are the benefits for me?
1. Saves you time. There’s no need to go to the trouble of gathering quotes and assessing repair shops or contractors. Your insurer will deal directly with the vendor, and often work can start right away. Even better, the repairs are guaranteed. So, you won’t have to worry now – or later.
2. Saves you money. Believe it or not, when your insurer saves money, so do you! The cost of claims and insurance fraud are factors that affect your insurance premiums, so when those can be controlled, premiums can be kept lower.
What’s covered by the repair guarantee?
The shop or contractor will guarantee all of the work done as part of your claim for a specific length of time. This depends on the agreement with your insurer, but is often 2 years for home claims and as long as you own your vehicle.
What’s not covered by the repair guarantee?
- Regular wear and tear on your home or car
- Damage due to environmental factors
- Modifications to repairs that are done by another vendor
- Abnormal use or improper maintenance
- Subsequent damage or fire after repairs have been made
- Vehicle parts that have a limited Original Equipment Manufacturer warranty (the insurance company won’t guarantee it beyond the OEM warranty)
Can I choose my own repair vendor?
Of course – the choice is always up to you. But remember, if you choose not to use your insurers pre-screened repair shop or contractor, you’ll need to manage the repair yourself and your insurer won’t pay more than the price it’s repairer quoted.
3 tips for selecting your own vendor
If you do choose to go with your own vendor, keep these things in mind:
1. Seek recommendations. Your insurer likely has a list of preferred body shops in your area. Also, ask friends and family.
- When hiring a contractor for your home, make sure they are licensed, bonded and carry insurance.
- When it comes to your car, don’t take the recommendation of the tow truck driver that shows up on scene. Review anything you sign carefully and when in doubt, have your vehicle towed home.
2. Get a written estimate that includes what work will be done, parts/materials and labour before you authorize repairs.
3. Ensure that the contractor/shop agrees, in writing, to contact you for approval before performing any work that exceeds a set dollar amount.