As the people who will be driving repaired motor vehicles, we often need assistance navigating the complexities of the repair process and the frequently conflicting information we receive from our insurers.
One very confusing issue arises from insurer injection of itself into the repair process. However, insurers typically do not have the right to dictate to a collision repair shop how the insurer thinks YOUR vehicle should be repaired -- unless it is "electing to repair" as an option in the terms of your insurance policy. Most insurers prefer to pay your loss in money rather than exercise the repair option because historically electing to repair made insurers equally liable for the quality and propriety of the repair as the shop that performed the work.
Many insurers are now trying to tell collision repairers how to fix your vehicle, yet avoid any responsibility for the quality and safety of the repair. You can avoid much of this difficulty by asking your insurer to declare which remedy it is choosing to resolve your claim as provided by your insurance policy. Here at the AEPI, we developed the "Consumer Vehicle Damage Insurance Election Form" to help you obtain this clarification from your insurer. This form is available to you in the block on the right.
Model Code of Professional Ethics for Collision Repairers
(This information provided by NAIC is superficially helpful. It doesn't dig deeply into the issues about auto insurance, and assumes that you will be dealing with an insurance agent, rather than purchasing directly from a company online.