All Auto Insurance Policy Holders Need To Read!

|   This is a long article, but it is well worth your time to read. GREAT EXPLAINATION!   |

      One of the most powerful, wealthiest, and profitable necessary evils in our United States of America is the automotive insurance industry. Every year, each of us that own and operate a vehicle pay a large amount of our hard earned money to these financial giants. Each of us go about our daily lives and travel as needed in our vehicles giving little thought to what would happen in the event of a collision accident. If asked, many people could not name one single body shop near their home. The fact is, many of us our blessed enough to live our entire lives and never require their services. Still, we pay our vehicle insurance every year faithfully as it is the law and must be done to protect others....and mostly to protect yourself

  When you go to your doctor for your next visit, keep this example in mind. Do you want the doctor doing what is absolute best for you and your health and working for you and only your best interests? Or would you feel more comfortable knowing that your doctor is diagnosing, prescribing treatments, and medications based only on what his or her insurance company wants done or is willing to pay for? Who in their right minds would want their Doctor doing things the wrong way with inferior medicines simply because he has a contract with his insurance company that mandates just that? A contract with an insurance company to cut corners on your health care? That's right, you read it correctly.  Let's hope this does not occur in any Health Care provider anywhere in the world, But it does happen every day in the automotive collision industry. It has likely happened to you, and you were never even aware of it.  If this is indeed the case, odds are you got out lucky and a good repair was done to your vehicle. But what about the health of your car? What about when your car has been in an accident and needs collision and mechanical repairs from the impact? Would you rather take it to a body shop that works for your best interests as independent body shops do, or to a body shop that is under contract with the insurance companies to help save them money, cut corners, and install substandard non-factory parts on your car or truck that you have worked so hard to pay for and take such good care of?  The answer likely is a no-brainier!  No, of course you want someone to fix your car correctly! But there are shops all over America that are in “cahoots” with these titanic insurance companies in a very bad way.  Every work day all over America these shops are willingly committing fraud, while breaking local and federal laws not to mention improper and unethical repairs to unsuspecting honest customers just like you. You may in fact drive by one every day on your way to work, and never know the wrongs that are being committed behind those garage doors. As you read on, you will soon fully understand just the tip of the wrongs being done, and the financial reasons why these wrongs are willingly, intentionally, and illegally committed by many body shops located across this land each day.

   These types of wrongs are shops are known in the industry as “DRP” repair shops. What is DRP?  It stands for Direct Repair Preferred. Meaning it is preferred by the insurance company because it increases their profits exponentially. The “Direct Repair” at the front of the title means the insurance company wants you to go from the scene of the accident directly into the belly of their beast. “DRP” is a title given to them by the insurance industry, for the insurance companies and their fat wallets. But they advertise on T.V. And other places that DRP shops were created for you---and only you, the customer. Well my friend, always beware of strangers bearing gifts; for who do you think came up with the formula and by-laws of a DRP? Who else, the insurance industry itself. Why do you think the insurance companies would create this network? Simple; profit and control for themselves. Their profit is their #1 concern, not you or your family, and least of all, your vehicle. They want to charge you as much as they think you will possibly pay and the individual States will allow. Then, when you have a claim, they want to pay out as little as legally possible to repair your car. It is a simple formula, and you can bet they want everything in their favor that they can have. Do you honestly think that insurance companies created these DRP networks to make the customer happy? To make you love them?  To be your pal? They have been created for one reason and one reason only: To increase their profits and their control of you.

  This is done by a method that is outlawed in most States within the United States. The method is called customer “STEERING.” It means pretty much what the word steering means any which way you care to use it in the English language. In this article, “Steering” will be defined as the act of insurance companies illegally and intentionally “Steering” their clients to get their collision repairs done at their own DRP body shops that they have signed contracts with. When you have had an accident or incident and call your insurance company to report a claim, the person answering your call at the insurance company is well trained and versed in the art of this illegal “Steering.” They are taught well how to tell you and persuade you that you should, and in some cases “must” take your vehicle to one of their “in network shops” or one of their “DRP” shops. The following is a short list of the many “lines” they may use to con you or scare you into using their own DRP body shops....

 We cannot guarantee the repairs if you have it repaired out of our network.

You must use a designated shop on our approved list for your repairs.

It will take longer to start repairs because we will have to send out a field adjuster.

You will have to pay more out of your own pocket if you do not use our DRP.

You will not qualify for a rental car unless you use our own DRP.

An independent body shop will not warranty their work.

Your insurance rates will increase if you do not use out DRP.

We will have to cancel your policy if you do not use our DRP.

If you do not use our DRP it will take longer to settle the claim.

If you use another shop we will not pay for your rental car.

      The list can go on and on. The truth is that none of the above statements are true. These are nearly outright blatant lies designed to mislead you with ½ truths and soft threats. They will try every slide of hand they can think of to “Steer” you to their own contracted body shops to maximize their own profit plain and simple. They could care less if your car is repaired incorrectly, just as long as it saves them money. All they are interested in is their bottom line and keeping the stock holders fat and happy. Remember, no one is going to look out for your best interests but you. Arming yourself with knowledge gives you great power in any situation. What it boils down to is that insurance companies should stick to paying and processing claims and payments. Insurance companies have no business repairing cars. The sole act of them contracting body shops to become DRP's so they can cheat you out of a proper repair only to increase their bottom line is just like having a fox guard the chicken house. America has Antitrust laws - also referred to as "competition laws" – and are statutes developed by the U.S. Government to protect consumers from predatory business practices such as “INSURANCE STEERING,” by ensuring that fair competition exists in an open-market economy. Every day insurance companies skirt around these laws. They have hundreds of high paid in-house lawyers and legal counselors on staff finding ways to blind side customers so they'll never know what hit them. At any one given time there are thousands of lawsuits underway in the U.S. Over everything we are talking about here. Lawsuits likely involving every insurance company known at least at one time or another. It does not scare these insurance giants one bit. With their deep pockets, political pull, and never ending legal staff, they can afford to stall and wait them out. In most cases it is cheaper for the insurance company to just pay a small fine and get a slap on the wrist, while afterward taking the judge out for a steak dinner. The insurance industry loves to argue that by contracting “DRP” shops they are able to keep costs down to their clients considerably. Well that's a bold faced lie. Remember their profits are over 5 billion dollars each year. They make more than enough money as it is, and they can lower your rates at any time they choose. After all, how much profit is enough anyway? The whole auto insurance industry is stacked against you. This is why it is important for you to know your rights, and be prepared to fight for them if the day comes that your insurance company tries to “steer” you to a shop you do not feel comfortable with.

   Consider this information that they do not want you to know. Last year alone, Allstate Insurance did a massive 34.5 Billion Dollars in Revenue, (“That's right---think about it” $34.5 Billion dollars and paid their C.E.O a salary of 17.3 million dollars to one man. Progressive Insurance paid their head C.E.O. Last year close to 11 Million Dollars. State Farm Insurance, paid their C.E.O. Last year $18.5 million and the company profited and cleared 5.32 Billion Dollars. Again I say, that was profit! These examples should give you the general idea of the collective amounts of revenue and profits seen by the major insurance giants in The United States. And they are able to do a great degree of that by cutting corners on your repair claims from everything from vehicles, boats, to houses and commercial properties they insure. Always remember, an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. So any body shop that signs a DRP contract with and Insurance Company becomes one thing; A sublet employee of that insurance company. 

  Okay, so now you are thinking to yourself, “Why would any Body Shop want to be a DRP for any insurance company when they give away so much of their rights and profits by signing the contract?” The answer is very easy; Volume-Volume-Volume. DRP shops do not have to earn their customers through years of honest hard work and the building of trust as independent shops have to do.           

  By signing the DRP contracts with insurance companies, body shops know that the insurance company they have partnered with and now “controls” them is going to funnel everything their way.

The DRP body shop knows they will stay busy and full because the insurance company is going to “steer” every repair they can to their contracted shops.....because their contracted shops are going to do it much cheaper than an independent shop, and work within a cheap budget allocated by the insurance company. Just think on that for a moment.... In lay-man's terms it is called “double-dipping!”  So as you can see, for reasons that were explained earlier, it is a trade-off. By signing as a DRP with an insurance company, the body shop is pretty much guaranteed a lot of work, a steady flow of work that will keep their shops open. That is why they are willing to do possible substandard work on your vehicle, just so the damaged vehicles will be “steered” to their business by the insurance company. In turn, the insurance company gets a lot for “steering” work to their contracted DRP shops. They get to hand off 90% of the paperwork to the DRP shops who will take care of the paperwork for them. This enables the insurance company to have fewer employees and field adjusters which saves employees they would normally need since the DRP body shop is going to do it for them. By having fewer employees for each territory, they can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per territory per year. At roughly 12-15 territories per State, it does not take much to imagine the savings in tens of millions that totals up to be nationwide.

   In addition, the DRP shops they have contracted are forced to discount the parts, supplies, labor, towing, and many other items involved in the proper repairs of your vehicle.  We all know that everything rolls down-hill to the customer eventually. These DRP body shops are giving away their own profits to the insurance companies just to guarantee a steady flow of work. So these DRP shops have to find ways to cut corners to make up for the profits they are giving back to the insurance company. The only way they can re-gain their profit is by cutting corners in overhead, labor, and unfortunately the repairs to your vehicle. They have to; they have to make a profit to stay in who ends up getting the bad end of the stick from the corners they are forced to cut?  You do, the customer. Imagine the additional massive financial savings that this allows the insurance companies to have. Now, are you beginning to see the big picture? Pretty slick scam right? That's how State Farm can profit in one year alone...5.32 BILLION dollars in one year alone. If you were the insurance companies wouldn't you want to have DRP shops everywhere under contract saving you tons of money? Because saving money, is making money. Either way it is profit. And in America, insurance companies are one of the top 10 most profitable businesses in the history of our country. That is why insurance companies exist. Not to fix your collision damage or scrape on your vehicle, they exist only to make huge profits. Now as Americans we believe in Capitalism and making a fair and honest profit. Without profit, you understand a business will have to close its doors. And the insurance company leviathans will tell you anything you want to hear to get you to send them your hard earned money---only to let you down when you really need them. Insurance companies know they are breaking the law when they steer you to their contracted DRP shops---they skirt around the edge of the law and their employees are well trained to do so. Insurance company employees will be fired if they do not attempt to steer you to the preferred shops in your area. Insurance companies know about the laws and that they walk a very thin line on breaking the monopoly anti-trust laws established by Congress all those years ago. They spend millions and millions on political lobbyist to get the laws passed in ways that increase their profits...and could leave you, the customer, with a bad and unsafe repair.

    Now that you have been made aware of what a “DRP” body shop is, and the type of collision repair you may receive if you use one for your repairs, hopefully you will think twice about letting the insurance company steer you to these body shops. Now, after reading this, you know that you get to make the decision. Insurance companies cannot make you take your car anywhere, that choice is legally yours. Always remember, they will stoop to great lows to try and get you to release your car into their control, so they can increase their profits.  If you are involved in an accident many things will happen very quickly, and insurance companies use the confusion to take advantage of you, they are well trained to do so. Take a deep breath before you commit to anything. Take a minute to check the internet for independent body shops near you and look at their service reviews. Ask a friend or an auto mechanic that you trust to recommend an independent shop that they know is honorable and will repair your car correctly and stand behind their work. Independent body shops will deal with you one on one, and listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Most independent shops offer the same warranty on their parts and labor as DRP insurance owned shops. Many times in fact the warranty is better. To an independent shop owner you are more than a number on a claim form; you are the customer.....and they appreciate your business greatly. They will fight tooth and nail for you to make sure you get only the best replacement parts and proper repair procedures. Independent shops are not owned or under contract by the mobster-type insurance giants. They work for you and only you. Bear in mind that it is against the law for an insurance company to try and steer you away from independent body repair shops, but they want to do so very badly----to keep their profits high by short-changing your vehicle repairs as explained earlier.

  In conclusion, never allow yourself to be steered by your insurance carrier. Not only is it against the law in most states, it is definitely not in your best interests to turn your repair over to your insurance company. By allowing them to steer you to one of their DRP shops you give them great power to decide how your vehicle will be repaired, and surrender away many of your rights as the customer. Do not let the insurance companies bully, threaten, or scare you into taking your vehicle to a DRP body shop that is not going to look out for you. If you feel you are being pressured or steered by an insurance carrier after you submit your claim, in every State there is a Department of The Insurance Commissioner---and then there is the Insurance Commissioner themselves. They are there to help protect you from insurance company steering schemes and take great pride in catching these mega-insurance companies in the act of breaking the law. One phone call to them and you will see a big change in the way your insurance treats you and they will no longer try to steer you to one of their preferred shops that help them make their huge profits each year. Your best bet will always be to place your vehicle in the hands of an independent body shop. Not only for you and your family's safety; but for peace of mind, and to protect the value, appearance, and performance of your vehicle.