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Are you sick and tired of lacking freedom when it comes to choosing your own car repairer? Well now you have a choice! 

Insurance Changes

As of 30th November, a new policy has been put in place that will benefit you as a customer.

Previously, insurance companies have chosen the necessary and preferred repairers for your vehicle based on the location of your home or work. In the circumstances where you have given your insurance company the right to choose your repairer, you would have no say in their choice.

However, from now on, when you contact your insurance company, the person in charge of the claim, will refer you to the insurance company’s authorised repairers in your postcode region. You will then be given different options for panel repair shops from which you can choose to take your car to.

For example, if you have a favourable repair shop, you can continue to utilise their services for your vehicle. So rather than accepting the repair shop that is preferred by your insurance company, why not choose the one that is preferred by you?  

Sometimes you can’t prevent how you end up in a car accident, but you can control what happens afterwards. Now the power is in your hands.

Here are some useful questions you can ask to make sure you are with the right insurance company:

Does your insurance company offer you a courtesy car?

After you take your car in for a repair, you probably don’t want to worry about how you’re going to get around until it’s fixed. Check whether your insurance company offers you a courtesy car in these circumstances as this will enhance your experience of having your vehicle repaired.

Does your insurance company give you the opportunity to choose your repairer?

Being bounded by your insurance company’s choice of mechanic can often be frustrating. However, when the power to choose is in your hands, you will no longer have to deal with the frustrations of an unfamiliar mechanic. Before you sign onto an insurance carrier, ensure you will get the option to choose your preferred repairer within the area nearest to you. 

Should you still be required to utilise their repairer, are you entitled to the quote prior to the service engagement?

When you don’t have the option to choose, the next best thing that could protect your right as a consumer is to request for a quote on the service repair before making the final decision. If the repairer is not willing to provide you with the quote, ask your insurance company for it. In the occasion where the quote is not made available to you, this means that your insurance company is not prepared to undergo the scrutiny that you require.  

If you choose your own repairer, is your insurance company able to transport your car to your desired location?

The first step to getting your car repaired is in transporting the vehicle to the repairer. Despite being able to choose your repairer, insurance policies may sometimes exclude the transportation of your vehicle to your preferred repairer. These may be small details you would overlook in the policies hence, reading the fine details of them are essential before deciding to sign on. 

Does your insurance company make it very difficult for you to exercise your freedom of choice of your preferred repairer?

Even when you have the opportunity to choose your own repairer, make sure to fully comprehend the conditions of it. You may think that you have gained the freedom to choose your own repairer when in fact, your insurance company is still exercising control over your decision by not guaranteeing your repair outcomes, delaying your repairs and settlement and may even threaten to cancel your insurance policy.  

Does your insurance company explain the “excess” rules to you?

An excess is the amount you have to pay for each incident when you make a claim.  While you may not be happy to accept this, asking about this rule saves you the discontentment from being asked to pay for it when you have to make a claim with your insurance company in future. There are several types of excess payable and you might be required to pay for more than one type when you claim. These excess will have to be paid in full before any claim or benefits can be provided under the policy. 

While an accident is distressing, knowing the right steps to take to cover your losses is paramount. Above all, your insurance company has the greatest role to play; therefore choosing the right one can mean a world difference in the treatment of your unfortunate event.

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