Who Chooses Where Your Car is Repaired?
It is your car and the decision on where to get it repaired is yours.
Most private insurance companies have Direct Repair Provider (DRP) relationships with specific collision repair facilities and will suggest very strongly that the car be taken to one of these shops. ICBC does not use a DRP model.
Tsawwassen Collision has DRP relationships with Family Insurance and CDI. The service we provide is exactly the same for all customers whether DRP referred or not and these referrals well for our South Delta customers.
We do not get, nor expect referrals from out of our area. As a vehicle owner you do not have to accept a referral to an out of area facility.
While the insurance companies will suggest that it is very important that their clients deal only with the shops that they refer you to this has more to do with saving money through administrative efficiency than with quality, service or safety.
The usual methods used to convince you to take the car to one of their DRP shops include the suggestion or warning that they cannot control other shop rates and the vehicle owner may be charged more than what the insurance company will pay. They may also say that they cannot vouch for quality of repairs at a non DRP facility and they cannot help with warranty repairs in this case.
In reality, at Tsawwassen Collision we know how to deal with all insurance companies and how to work efficiently with their procedures and rates in a non-confrontational way. All insurance companies in BC use very similar same rate structures and payment models and we have no problems with any of them. We never involve the customer in payment for insurance work.
It is also our facility that provides the warranty and we have never had an issue where the insurance company has had to step in to provide warranty repairs.
If the DRP suggested shop is one that is easy for the owner to work with there is no disadvantage to using that facility. On the other hand there is no real advantage either, the service will be the same whether referred or not. The advantage of DRP shops is only to the insurance company; as the vehicle owner you do not have to take on the inconvenience of an out of area repair just to make it more convenient for the insurance company.