DID YOU KNOW THAT STEERING IS ILLEGAL?
WHAT IS STEERING?
When an insurance company “steers” it means that they are intentionally directing their consumers to their own contracted collision repair facilities instead of their consumers’ shop of choice.
In Pennsylvania, consumers have the legal right to choose their repair facility – the act of “steering” is illegal. Many consumers are unaware of their legal right to choose their body shop and fall victim to this wrongful business strategy. But how? The insurance company will use prepared statements to tell the consumer to guide them where they want, for example:
- “You will have to pay more out of your own pocket if you do not use our DRP (Direct Repair Program/Contracted) shop.” (NOT TRUE)
- “Your insurance rates will increase if you do not use our DRP.” (NOT TRUE)
- “If you use another shop we will not pay for your rental car.” (NOT TRUE)
- “We do not work with that body shop, you will have to choose one off of our recommended list.” (NOT TRUE)
- “We will not be able to see your vehicle for 1-2 weeks. Your claim will be handled faster at one of our shops.” (NOT TRUE)
- “We cannot guarantee the repairs at that shop” (NOT TRUE – Insurance companies do not guarantee parts, the body shop does!)
But what the insurance company doesn’t tell you about their “preferred” or “recommended” list of body shops is – these companies are contracted for a reason – to save their insurance partner money. Under the guidelines of the insurance arrangement these direct repair shops may compromise repair operations. This saves the insurance company money – and that is why they want you to go to their contracted body shop.
If you have any questions concerning DRP contracted repair shops or steering, here are a few links with information: