Insurance companies only think about one thing… and it’s not your safety!
Insurance companies are typically motivated by one thing – how much it will cost them to fix your car. They don’t care about your peace of mind (unless they are selling you that before you make a claim), or about the safety of your car. They care about eliminating their costs and improving their bottom line. Why else would the car insurance industry be worth $21 Billion in Australia – it’s not from being overly generous to policy holders.
Of course to bunch all insurance companies in together is unfair. Some do have restrictions on who they’d like to send you too, but even then your car belongs to you, not to them and thus it’s YOUR CALL.
Recently we had a customer who, as he put it, was “Held hostage” by his insurance company and told us “it was like dealing with a bunch of bullies”
After damage to the sunroof of his BMW X5, Peter – a loyal customer of ours called his insurance company. He had changed insurance companies about three years prior, but hadn’t yet made a claim. He’d signed up with a “trusted” insurer under the impression that he had freedom of choice with his insurer “That’s what they said when I got my policy.”
“But that wasn’t what they told me on the phone”
After spending nearly an hour on the phone to an insurance representative he was given a resounding “NO!” when he insisted that he take it to his own repairer. He was told “it would either go to Brighton or Victor Harbour, and I’d have to pick it up when it was fixed,” yet when inspecting the policy he noticed that he had been told an outright lie.
“I reread it and it clearly states that I can use my own repairer if the one they chose is impractical… having to pick my car up from Victor Harbour isn’t exactly practical… They just lied to me to save themselves money!”
These bullying tactics are incredibly common among insurance companies. Often they use scare tactics when drivers are at their most vulnerable – when they’ve just had an accident. Insurance companies know that you can be stressed, worried, and just want to know that everything will be ok – and that’s when they hold your car hostage!
As a car repairer that has dealt with insurance company demands we know exactly how much pressure companies put on repairers to make the repairs as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. These sorts of companies are only interested in limiting the amount of money they’ll have to shell out to get your car back on the road.
They care about their wallets, not the safety of your car (or anyone in it).
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The best thing you can do is be aware that you are entitled to choose your repairer to fix your car. There are very few insurers that don’t offer an option to choose your own repairer. For example, AAMI do not offer a choose your own repairer option, this can translate into big trouble this Sydney Driver found out. Click Here for the Full Story
Insurers such as APIA do offer a choose your own repairer option, if you are unhappy with their chosen repairer, or decide that the repairer they have chosen is not a practical solution for you – however insurers like this often disguise this and pressure you into going to their repairers instead. In these cases, it’s especially important to be insistent on your chosen repairer.
Look for an insurer that has an easy to understand “choose your own repairer” option. RAA insurance offers a great choose your own repairer policy, and come with a list of premium repairers that put quality first.