Getting into an automobile accident is a stressful time for anyone. First of all, hopefully, no one is injured and there is nothing more than some bent metal and plastic. Worrying about how to get your vehicle fixed comes next. This can be a confusing process since most people don’t encounter it often. When you have insurance there are a series of steps to go through before your vehicle can be repaired.
Contacting your insurance company sets the claims process in motion. This may involve an adjuster coming out to inspect the vehicle or getting an estimate of work from a body shop. You may hear the term Direct Repair Program at some point. It is important to understand what this means and what choices you have when it comes to repairing your car.
What Is a DRP?
DRP collision repair is basically a relationship that an insurance company has with an auto body shop. When you get in an accident and are unsure where to go, then your insurance agent may suggest a shop that is part of their DRP. This program provides some advantages to all parties involved but may also be a disadvantage in some cases as well.
Who Does It Benefit?
A DRP can provide benefits to all parties in some circumstances. Having a relationship with a shop benefits an insurance carrier by being familiar with their work and policies, and ultimately lowering their costs. DRP collision shops get a boost by having their name mentioned by insurance agents when people get in an accident. Consumers may benefit from knowing the shop is trusted by the insurance company, and the process may be more efficient since there is already familiarity between the parties.
Do You Have To Use One?
No. You are not required to use a shop that is part of a direct repair program. The final choice of where the car is repaired is solely up to you. There are actually some reasons you may not want to:
- Convenience – There may be a body shop down the road from where you live or next to your work that is not part of a DRP. The added convenience of using them may be beneficial to you.
- Trust – There may be a shop you have used before or have heard from others is respectable but is not part of a DRP. You can certainly use them.
A direct repair program may not be familiar to people looking to repair accident damage. Knowing what it means is the best way to make the proper choice for your auto repair needs.