YES! It’s your car, your choice! You are free to choose who repairs your car after a road traffic collision.
If you have been involved in a road accident, one of the most frequently misunderstood problems is that motorists are free to choose which repairer fixes their vehicle.
At all times you are free to choose your own repairer. Many insurers have a network of so-called ‘approved’ repairers. You may even be directed to a specific repairer by an insurance company.
In this context ‘approved’ is an assessment of a low price rather than high quality.
Therefore you are not required to use a repairer on an insurance company’s ‘approved’ list.
Another myth is that you need to get three different estimates for the repairs. This is not the case as the body repair shop of your choice can agree repair costs with a Motor Engineer/Assessor.
CRASH Services, NI’s leading accident management company explain your rights following a road traffic accident:
When you have an accident in YOUR vehicle it is YOUR choice how you proceed to include:
- Whether you have your vehicle fixed or not
- Who fixes it
- How you fund those repairs
You can choose:
- To make a claim under your own comprehensive motor insurance policy;
- Or to use the services of an accident management company like CRASH Services. CRASH Services are NI’s leading accident management company and take care of everything at no cost to you. Our service is simple and stress-free.
- Or to instruct a solicitor;
- To pursue a claim by yourself against an at-fault driver;
- Or simply to pay for repairs yourself.
After a non-fault collision
If an accident is another driver’s fault, it is the responsibility of the other driver to put you back into the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred.
You can choose to have your vehicle fixed by a vehicle repairer of your choice. Your insurer, or a Company appointed to handle your claim, may recommend a repairer but they cannot insist that you use such a repairer. It is always your right to control what happens with your vehicle.
The repairer should return your vehicle to the condition it was in before the accident occurred.
Your insurer may try to insist that the car is repaired with parts and paint not supplied or specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle. These are also known as a Non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (Non-OEM), ‘replica’, ‘spurious’ or ‘aftermarket’ parts. Your insurer may also try to insist that a repairer uses recycled second-hand parts, widely known as ‘green-parts’.
Repairing a vehicle in this way may not return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition which is your right, hence affecting its value, and potentially its performance in any subsequent accident.
You should not allow the vehicle to be repaired in a way which you are unhappy to accept.
What if an accident is my fault?
If an accident is your fault, your contractual rights will be set out in your policy documentation. For further information, contact your insurance provider.
You will have protections under the law should any of the terms of your policy be contrary to consumer protection legislation. You may wish to seek independent advice if you believe this applies to your situation.
Do you need help with accident management and repairs?
Choose an NIBA member today!
CRASH Services can organise guaranteed and approved repairs to your vehicle.
They have an extensive network of trusted repairers and can even find a repairer close to your home.
CRASH Services, Northern Ireland’s largest accident management specialists aim to take away the hassle after a collision and get motorists back on the road as quickly as possible.
There is no fee for the accident management service as all costs are recovered from the insurers involved.