…which could be rephrased to “who is the best of the bad guys?”
Customers, friends, family, anyone who has car insurance and knows that I’ve got an autobody shop ask me this question. Especially when their car is in the shop.
In order to answer that question I always recommend that people read their auto insurance contract very carefully before choosing a provider or switching to a new provider. While it may take a little bit of time and research, if you read your contract or proposed contract you will have peace of mind and know what you are dealing with.
I recommend you specifially look at:
– OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) new or used factory parts VS. aftermarket parts. Because at the end of the day it’s about fit & thickness – how well the part fits and how resiliant it is.
This is probably the most important element of repairs. It’s very important to be sure that your insurance company will use OEM new or used.
In Southern California the challenge that tends to show up is that an auto insurance company tries pay as little as possible for your repairs. And part of the way they do that is by authorizing aftermarket parts that generally are not as high quality as the manufactuter’s original parts. Mercury insurance is one of the only companies that actually does not allow aftermarket parts and they make sure your car is restored as close as possible to its pre-accident condition. They even try to save your car by going to an 80% formula for total loss as oppossed to 70% for almost every other insurance companies. Mercury also has very affordable rates.
So if you are in Southern California I would say start with Mercury and then compare them to any other provider you are considering.
For disclosure purposes, please know that I am not an agent of Mercury and am a fully independent shop.