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Can i choose who fixes my car or is that the right of the insurance company
If I am involved in a wreck and tow my car to a body shop that I trust, does my insurance company have the right to make me take it elsewhere?
Hello, the answer is no. They do not have the right to tell you where to take the car or even that you have to fix the vehicle (if the car is paid off).
Two caveats, however. If your insurance company knows that you have a lender, they will be very reluctant (or at least they should be) to issue payment to you directly. They will pay the bodyshop directly so they know as a fact the car is fixed. If you want payment to you, the carrier will likely put the name of the bank on the check so when you go to cash it, you will require their approval. If you take the check to your bank, they might cash it and apply the balance to the loan and not the repairs! Read the financial responsibility clause that allows them to do this:
The second caveat is perhaps the one you should worry about the most.
You are free to take the car wherever you please, however, insurance companies will only pay you for what is “reasonable and necessary.” This has been interpreted to mean that they will pay you for car repairs; however they will not pay for dealership prices. The argument is that dealership prices are substantially higher ($75 per hour), while the rates for a non dealer shop is about $45. Insurance companies argue that it is not reasonable or necessary for you to take your car to the most expensive place and therefore you need to down grade. It is an unfair situation, but it is what insurance companies are doing. Read more about the reasonable and necessary clause here:
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