Know Your Rights

The auto experts at Riverchase Collision Repair in Birmingham, AL, want you to be completely satisfied and your car to be repaired correctly. We will help you deal with your insurance company, but we do not work for them. You are the customer, and we will help you obtain the best repair possible!

You have rights! Review your policy and understand your rights to get the best repair possible.

  • You are not required by law to get more than one estimate.
  • You may have the shop of your choice make the repairs. You are not required to use a shop selected by an insurance adjuster or any shop recommended by any insurance company. These shops are called DRP shops, or shops who participate in a direct repair program. The insurance company's direct or steer work to them in exchange for certain discounts.
  • Keep in mind insurance company's sell insurance, they do not repair cars.
  • We are the repair experts, not your insurance company. We specialize in repairing your vehicle, while insurance specializes in getting you covered. When pressed, every insurance company will admit to this in court and in front of a judge.
  • All liability of the repair lies on the shop.
  • Insurance companies do not provide the guarantees on repairs, your repair shop does. Do not be fooled when they say they will not guarantee the repair if you do not take your car to their DRP shop. An insurance company cannot guarantee the repair, and they never will be able to guarantee a repair.
  • Only you can select a repair facility and authorize repairs on your vehicle.
  • There are many laws that govern the repair of automobiles including the fair and proper treatment of consumers. Insurance companies and DRP's try to side-step these laws or blatantly disregard their existence.
  • Repair estimates will vary! Some estimates may use inferior parts, imitation or even junkyard parts. Your insurance company may even say you must accept these parts when in reality you may not be required to do so.
  • A lower estimate may not include all the things needed to properly repair your car.
  • Many estimates are often unfairly written low by insurance co.'s and DRP shops because they have been instructed to do so by the insurance co. Many people only take the money and never have the car repaired. This is called cashing out. Insurance co.'s are betting you will just take what they offer and go away.
  • An estimate whether written by the insurance co. or the repair shop is really only a starting point for the repair. Any differences between the original estimate and final bill are itemized on a supplement. Insurance co.'s expect supplements when you have your car repaired.
  • Many insurance co. appraisers and adjusters have absolutely no experience. Either in their own professional or in the fields of automotive repair.
  • An insurance adjuster's job is to see that the contract or policy is followed and complied with. They are to protect the insurance company against fraud, and are the one's who help determine the settlement.
  • An insurance appraiser's primary purpose is to take photos and make notes for the adjustment file. Be sure you always point out all the damage you are aware of. If you don't, it may not be considered or worse yet considered prior unrelated damage.
  • In order for an adjuster to make any determination or judgements beyond your truthful proof of loss, he must by law inspect the vehicle with his own eyes. An adjuster must also provide a statement in writing why a claim or portion of a claim is being denied.
  • The only reason an insurance co. needs to inspect the damage is to verify coverage or liability issues. They write estimates in an attempt to place a value on the loss in terms of money and to attempt to control their loss price with a shop who has never even seen the car.
  • Keep in mind repairers do not have the right to negotiate a settlement for you. A DRP shop works for the insurance company first, not you. A DRP takes on the role of appraiser and often times the unofficial and illegal role of adjuster.
  • The insurance company adjusters and appraisers are professional negotiators. They know every trick in the book. Many insurance representatives are trained and get paid to use these tricks against you.
Remember, insurance companies do not repair cars; they pay for your losses in money. Riverchase Collision Repair will work closely with you to minimize your inconvenience and maximize your satisfaction. It's your car; make sure it is repaired to your satisfaction! Call us at 205-988-3854 to schedule your repair.