First, know YOU have the right to choose any shop in Massachusetts whether you own or lease – it’s the law.
Insurance companies often have call centers, and they have a standard script on how to assist customers. Some centers are not located in Massachusetts and do not apply the law. You can always check by asking where they located.
- It is unlawful in Massachusetts for anyone to coerce you into using a shop or dealership whether a DRP (direct repair shop) or a preferred provider.
- It is unlawful for a call center, claim representative, agent, or anyone to say they will not pay a claim because you did not go to a particular shop.
Useful Tips on filing a claim:
1. Write down all pertinent info – date, time, and place of accident.
2. If there is another party involved get their insurance information, name, address, and a phone number.
3. If police are on scene and writing a report, ask how to receive a copy.
4. Call your INSURANCE COMPANY, not your Agent. Have your policy and accident information ready.
5. YOU choose the body shop – remember Massachusetts has Right to Repair. You can
a. Ask a friend.
b. Check references and reviews.
c. Ask your insurance company for a vendor list. This does not mean you must work with someone on the list, but it can be a place to start. Remember YOU choose who to work with.
6. Ask the insurance representative if you have substitute transportation (rental) insurance. If so, how much per day are you allowed.
7. Ask if you have a deductible, if so, how much and if it applies to the accident.
8. Ask if you have accident forgiveness.
9. Get your claim number and the claims representative name, phone number and extension.
This process can be overwhelming. Remember; ask questions, be informed.
It is your vehicle, and you have the right to choose your agent, insurance company, and shop.
~Elaine M. O’Neill, President
Allston Collision Center, Inc.