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Do I Have the Right to Take My Car to the Body Shop of My Choice?

Getting into a car accident can be one of the most stressful events in life, no matter how light the damage. Dealing with insurance companies, understanding consumer rights and selecting a body shop for collision repair can be overwhelming. The situation is even harder when insurance companies disguise the truth and even try to get customers to choose their preferred repair shops.

Choice of a Shop in Nevada

Under Nevada law, the owner of the car has the right to select the auto body shop of their choice to carry out any collision repair. The car is the legal possession of the owner, not the insurance company. No company or policy can decide where it will be repaired. Unfortunately, many insurance companies tell customers they must use a list of pre-approved or recommended shops. A consumer who knows their rights is at an advantage and can select a body shop they know and trust.

Responsibility of Costs

No matter which auto body shop is selected, it is important to understand who is responsible for paying the bill. Of course the cost of repairs must be paid to the shop. The owner of the vehicle must pay the total cost of repairs. If the owner has insurance, the insurance provider must then repay the owner for the loss they have suffered. The amount paid to the vehicle owner takes into account the cost of repairs, minus any deductible on the policy and lost value.

What the Insurance Company Must Do

All insurance policies in the state of Nevada must conform to the law. This means every policy is required to restore a vehicle’s appearance, value, safety and function. In Nevada, when a vehicle is hit by someone with insurance, the car owner is entitled to payment for the loss of value. Many shops can help a customer send documentation of diminished value to the insurance company, which is used to award compensation. No matter which shop the owner chooses for collision repair, the insurance provider must restore the vehicle to its previous state.

False Insurance Company Claims

Many insurance companies use false claims to make customers select one of their preferred auto repair shops. One popular claim is that the customer is required to use a body shop from a pre-approved list. This is false and not what the law says. Some insurance providers tell customers they can have the vehicle repaired at a better price elsewhere. There is no financial benefit to the customer if the insurance company uses a cheaper auto body shop. Other insurance companies tell customers they can have the vehicle repaired faster at one of their preferred shops. However, quality work takes time and there is no way for the insurance provider to guarantee the speed of collision repair at their body shop.

It’s important for every consumer to know their rights when they are in an accident and need auto repair. According to Nevada law, only the owner of the vehicle can decide where the car will be repaired. No insurance provider or company can tell a consumer which shop to select. While some insurance companies make false claims to save money, an educated consumer will choose their own trusted shop for collision repair.