Can An Auto Body Shop Waive Your Deductible?
Unless you find an auto body shop that is not interested in turning a profit, the numbers just don’t add up for them to pay/waive your deductible – assuming they are providing a quality repair.
In most cases, if the repair facility were to pay your deductible, the customer would be profiting more dollars on the repair than the shop.
So if it’s not a wise business decision for a body shop to pay/waive your deductible, how are so many facilities able to offer these waivers? The answer is, the quality of parts and labor is usually compromised.
One practice is for the auto body shop to provide a fraudulent or inflated estimate to the insurance company, which buries the deductible into the cost. The estimate for the insurance company typically includes new OEM parts, but the customer is actually receiving cheaper, remanufactured or used parts that could cause major problems in the future.
You may be thinking, as long as the vehicle is fixed from a cosmetic standpoint, why should you worry about what procedures or parts are used?
Your Safety Could be Compromised From Improper Repair Procedures
First and foremost, your safety could be at risk anytime a repair shop deviates from the proper OEM procedures.
In 2017, a collision repair facility in Texas was found liable for failing to follow Honda’s OEM roof replacement procedures, which contributed to serious injuries during a crash. The jury awarded the owners of the 2010 Honda Fit, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan, a $42 million dollar verdict for injuries sustained while being trapped inside the burning vehicle.
The Seebachans had bought the used Honda Fit four months prior to the crash. After having the accident vehicle inspected, evidence revealed that its roof had been glued rather than welded during a repair for the previous owner.
“The Seebachan’s would likely have had only minor injuries if not for the faulty repair,” says Neil Hannemann, an automotive engineer who studied the crash. “One must remember that a vehicle’s safety systems are like links in a chain. Each system must work together to ensure the other safety systems perform as designed. When the faulty structural repairs were made, the crashworthiness systems were all compromised.”
The collision center was found responsible for 75 percent of the damages. The other 25 percent of blame was attributed to the at-fault driver, who hydroplaned into the Seebachan’s lane, triggering the crash.
This particular case is not directly tied to having a deductible waived, but the takeaway is to always research your repair facility and make sure they follow the proper OEM procedures – especially if they are claiming to waive your deductible. Chances are if the body shop is burying this cost, they might be taking short cuts that could potentially put you in danger.
You Could Be On the Hook for Repairs
As mentioned, one way auto body shops can cover your deductible is by providing a fraudulent estimate. So what happens if the shop uses, substandard, or remanufactured parts versus OEM and you are not happy with the repair? Can you contact your insurance company?
By not paying your deductible (the first $100 to $1000 of repair costs), you have deviated from the original contract agreed to with your insurance company when the policy was issued. As a result, your insurance company is not likely to advocate on your behalf to remedy the substandard repairs. Additionally, your insurance provider will not cover any additional parts or repairs needed to remedy the faulty repairs.
Although it may seem tempting to save on auto repair costs, when you consider the safety of your passengers (your family, friends, and coworkers) it’s just not worth it.
Looking for a Collision Center in Warren?
Pole Position Auto Body is an auto body repair shop in Warren that has been serving the Metro Detroit area for over 30 years. We always follow the standard OEM procedures for our repairs, and will restore your vehicle to it’s pre-accident condition in the quickest turnaround time possible – almost 3 days quicker than the average repair facility.
Call Pole Position Auto Body: 586-775-4825 – Where Excellence is a Habit, Not an Act!