If you’re involved in an accident and your car needs some repair work, you’ll want to get it done and back on the road ASAP. You don’t have to use your insurer’s approved repairer if you don’t want to…but are there implications if you choose not to? And what are they?
If you’re car needs some repair work, most car insurance companies will offer to get it done by an approved repairer, which basically means using the network of garages they work with regularly to get better deals and keep costs down.
However, you might decide to find a repairer yourself…because you have a good relationship with them, or their location is more convenient for you.
If your claim is successful, insurers have to allow you to use a different repairer if you wish to and still pay out for the repairs. Although they do sometimes impose some extra terms which could cause you some problems. Read on to find out more.
Unfortunately, most insurers will take away your right to use a courtesy car if you don’t use one of their approved repairers. Courtesy cars can increase the cost of a claim significantly, so by only offering them if one of their approved repairers is used, the insurer can keep costs down.
If repair work has been carried out by a garage approved by your insurer, the repairs and new parts will be guaranteed, usually for three years or more. Using your own repairer, of course, means you won’t benefit from this guarantee if the repairs are unsatisfactory. However, your own chosen garage may also guarantee its work for a certain period of time, so check before making a decision.
Some insurers will charge an additional excess if you decide to use your own garage for the repair work. This can add a significant amount to the standard excess cost, so before going ahead and getting any work done, thoroughly check your policy documents to find out if there’s an additional excess for choosing your own repairer.
Some insurers don’t pay out the full cost of the repairs if you use your own insurer, because they might argue they could have got your car fixed for less. Again, make sure you read all of your policy documents carefully and if you do decide to use your own garage, get a quote and then have your insurance provider approve the cost before going ahead.