You have the legal right to choose your own repair facility. Your insurance company may strongly suggest their recommended shop, but insurance companies can’t tell you where you have to have your repairs done.
In most cases your vehicle will have to be looked at before repairs can begin. Some Insurance companies prefer to have a vehicle disassembled at a repair shop before they give you an estimate of the damage.
You should notify your insurance company as soon as you can. The repair shop can write an estimate before you contact the Insurance Company, but in most cases the insurance company will want to look at the vehicle before any repairs are started.
Every vehicle’s damage is inspected thoroughly once disassembled. Any damage found will be brought to the insurance companies attention for a “Supplemental Estimate ” at no additional expense to the customer.
Every vehicle repair is a little different. The time depends on any additional damage found as well as the timeline with the insurance companies for Appraisers and Supplements needed. We always try to make the whole process as easy as possible. We make all the phone calls and even reserve Rentals cars if needed.
Unfortunately, depending on the State, year of the vehicle, and miles on the vehicle. The insurance company is allowed to use non OEM, aftermarket or used LKQ (Like Kind Quality) parts in some repairs.
It is best to have your repair shop look at the vehicle before the insurance company to try to prevent the appraiser from writing what we call a Short Estimate. This is when a number of parts or labor are not written in the appraisal. If a Supplement Appraisal can be avoided this can shorten the repair time at the shop.