Consumer Rights

The Right to Choose

It is your right to choose your own collision repair facility and to have the insurance company pay for safe and proper repairs to your vehicle so it retains its value and meets important safety standards…

However, insurance companies often do not volunteer to train you on how to collect what your entitled to or your rights after a loss. They may never tell you what is at stake in the selection of a repair facility. Instead when you report a loss and need information about how to get your vehicle repaired efficiently and effectively, the insurance representative is likely to tell you about referral shops – so called preferred shops or programs. They may try to provide a list of shops that have agreed in advance to insurer price controls and corner cuts. These cost controls may not be in your best interest.

Know Your Rights

In New York you have the absolute right to select the collision repair shop of your choice to make repairs. No insurance company, independent agent, representative, appraiser , adjuster or staff member of an insurance company can legally force you to or away from any specific repair shop, require that repairs be made by a specific repair shop or individual. Nor can they require you to have your vehicle inspected at their drive-in claims center. If you request it, your insurer must inspect the damage to your vehicle at your chosen location or collision repair shop. (Regulation 64)

Control Your Decision

Exercise Your Rights: Don’t allow the insurance companies to make decisions for you. Don’t be intimidated – steering is illegal in New York. Don’t allow insurance companies or agents to steer you to a specific shop rather than a trusted shop of your choice. The practice of steering places insurance company profits ahead of public safety and penalizes repair shops that place safety first.

Preserve Your Rights

If you feel your rights have been violated, let state regulators and legislators know what happened and that you understand and value your right to choose.

Make Informed Decisions

There are compelling reasons to chose a trusted repair shop who you know will make sure the vehicle is truly restored to its pre-accident condition. Factors to consider include: