Insurance company referrals?

Before you call your insurance company, there is something important you need to know. Most insurance companies have created programs which in effect refer their customers to a specific "list" of repair facilities. It is against Illinois law for an insurance company to direct business to specific shops. Your insurance company cannot tell you where to have your vehicle repaired.

Unfortunately, we have heard from several of our loyal customers who felt forced to go to another shop. Apparently when expressing their desire to have their vehicle repaired by us, they were told that we are not on their list (the insurance company's list). It is not difficult to imagine what a potential new customer might think when they hear that, but it must be confusing for those of you who know us and the high quality repairs we perform for all of our customers. What you don't know is none of these programs are based on quality of workmanship. In fact, it is debatable whether or not they even consider customer satisfaction in the long run. If these two most important factors were included, we would not only be on "their list"... we would be near or at the top of it.

Insurance programs claim to offer many perks such as the lifetime warranty. In truth, it is the shop that offers that warranty. The ins. co. advertises guaranteed completion dates. That is an interesting one. In our experience, most all delays in completion are due to either back ordered parts, or time lost while waiting for an insurance company to approve supplemental and necessary repairs. The guarantee is actually based on a contractual agreement that if the shop runs late for anything other than those two reasons, the shop will pay for the extra time on your rental car, instead of the insurance company. Unless there is a problem getting parts, or if we're dealing with a slow insurance company, we normally complete jobs on the date promised. On rare occasions more time is necessary to do the job right, and is that something you are willing to sacrifice because a shop is forced to pay for a day or two of your rental car? There is more... You are offered the convenience of getting one estimate and then allowing that shop to handle the rest. Despite popular belief that you always needed to get two or three estimates, in fact you have always only needed one. Our prices are competetive, and if the insurance company questions anything on that estimate, we work that out with them... always with the strict intention of doing the job right for you.

It is difficult to say why insurance companies have adopted these referral program, or why established law does not apply, but the effect they have is clear. Small shops like ours are threatened as our customers are directed toward larger operations. To qualify, we would have to expand our building and add employees. What is unique about Langlitz Auto Body is you are talking to the people who will be working on your vehicle. We are a decades old family business and we are proud of our hard earned reputation for only the highest quality repairs. What's more... Why would a shop need to sign any contract with an insurance company? We aren't working for them, we are working for you!

We've heard that at least one major insurance company has, as part of the program's contract with the shop, restrictions on the shop to even disclose what is in that contract. That certainly seems odd? The bottom line is surely.. as always... the bottom line. When an insurance company contracts with a shop to give them ten percent off of the list price of parts (or they don't get on that list), don't you wonder why they are not passing that savings on to you if these programs are designed to help the customer?

Here is the good news. When an accident happens, and as we all know..."accidents happen"... tell your insurance company that you want Langlitz Auto Body to do the repairs. You have the right to decide where your vehicle will be repaired and we would be more than happy to make that perfectly clear for you if you feel you are being directed somewhere else. When you tell them who you chose, if they respond with the usual "they're not on our list ", tell them from us that we get our referrals from satisfied customers, not from insurance companies.