In today’s highly competitive auto insurance industry, joining an insurance company’s direct repair shop list can make a significant impact on your collision center’s success. Getting your shop on a list can present a few hurdles, but our article below is full of tips to help your business become a direct repair shop.
Here’s everything that auto body shops in Stoughton, Brockton and Randolph need to know about joining an insurance company’s direct repair program.
What is a Direct Repair Shop?
A Direct Repair Program is a network of insurer-approved dealerships and auto repair shops. Insurers put these programs in place to give their customers quality car repairs at a competitive price.
Before getting added to a direct repair program, shops are vetted by insurance companies to ensure their policyholders receive quality repairs and reliable service. Though policyholders are free to work with an auto body repair company of their choice, many receive a lifetime guarantee on workmanship if they use DRP shops.
Becoming a direct repair shop can expand your customer base and grow your business.
How Do I Join a Direct Repair Program?
Joining a direct repair program can take time. But with some persistence, your shop should be able to join one that’s right for your business.
1. Make a List of Insurance Companies
Think about the insurance companies you do the most business with and how your experience has been working with them. Chances are, the companies that you work with the most and have positive relationships with are the best targets, especially if their adjusters are in your shop on a daily basis. Insurers will have an interest in adding you to their direct repair program to save the cost of sending adjusters there every day.
2. Find Out the Needs of Insurance Companies
When you have a list of insurance companies put together, have a discussion with their adjusters about what they’re looking for in direct repair shops. Each insurer has different needs, so find out what they are and decide if the relationship is worth pursuing.
3. Create an Application
Your business should create an application that explains why you’re qualified to be a direct repair shop. You should include any certifications, equipment lists or photographs that tell your shop’s story. You should also show that you can meet an insurance company’s needs and that you’re qualified to join a DRP list.
4. Meet with Insurance Company
You should also present this application to each insurance company’s DRP coordinator in person. Arrange a meeting with them to present your case, discuss why your shop can meet their needs and clear up any questions they have about your business.
The real purpose of this meeting is to get an agreement with the coordinator to visit your shop for an inspection. You probably won’t get added to the list, but this agreement is an important step forward in the process.
5. Keep Your Shop Ready for Inspection
After you’ve presented your application, make sure your shop is prepared for inspection. You never know when your DRP is going to stop by, so everything has to be running effectively.
When they do arrive, show them around your shop and focus on the areas that demonstrate value to the insurer and their policy holders. You should also give them a log with the number of visits their adjusters make to their shop, a report comparing their cycle time to another company’s and why becoming a DRP repair shop is worthwhile to them.
At the end of your visit, make sure you get a copy of the insurance carrier’s direct repair program application. Try to get it in an electric format. You don’t want to submit a handwritten application, so scan it and finish it on a computer if that’s not possible.
6. Deliver Application and Request a Contract
Arrange an appointment with the DRP coordinator to hand deliver the completed insurance company DRP application. You should also include your original DRP application. Review each with your insurer’s DRP coordinator.
At the end of this meeting, try to get a copy of the DRP contract. The coordinator is probably considering adding your shop to their DRP list if you’ve gotten to this point, so be persistent if they push back.
7. Review Contract
Once you’ve received a copy of the contract, have an attorney and liability insurance carrier review it. There could be hidden performance requirements or liability issues, so don’t sign the dotted line until you’ve read the fine print.
8. Make a Deal
Make the deal with an insurance company if you decide that joining their DRP program is in your best interest. Make sure you negotiate any issues you’ve spotted in the contract in order to reach an agreement you feel comfortable with. Once you’ve gotten to this point, go ahead and sign the contract.
Find Out More at Collision 24
Collision 24 is a repair shop serving Brockton, Stoughton and Randolph that works with all major types of insurance companies. If you have any questions about our direct repair shop, please call us at (508) 586-2010.