So there you are sitting in your car, minding your business at a traffic light, when the next thing you know, you're halfway through the intersection. What the hell happened? You quickly realize you were rear-ended. Lovely.
As a smart citizen of the world, you move your car (if possible) out of the middle of the road after evaluating the situation and briefly speaking to the other parties involved. Well prepared for any eventuality, you pull out your accident-report documents and hand one out to the others. Once dutifully filled, the one dreadful phone call remains; you have to ring your insurance company.
Dreadful because most people are almost apologetic when they call the big bad insurance company to make a claim. The agent at the other end of the line is well aware of the insured's state of mind and they take full advantage of this. They've been trained to manipulate us into doing what they want us to do even though we're the ones paying for coverage.
Nearly right away, they suggest “recommended shops” or “network repair centres” and use scare tactics such as warranties, quality, and service. The fact is they are trying to cut costs, control and be in charge of the situation.
As a paying “customer”, you have the right to select whichever body shop you want. Many of us know someone that knows someone in the business that is trustworthy and should we feel that this is where we want our precious automobile fixed, we have every right to do so.
If you do choose to express your wishes, the agent on the other end of the line will surely bring up potential warranty issues. Truth is the garage is the sole entity responsible for guaranteeing the quality of the work. The insurance company has nothing to do with it.
It's terrible when you think about it. Here we have companies to which we hand over our hard earned money and in which we cannot and do not trust.
Remember, any time you pay for something, you are in charge.