Factory Certified or Insurance Approved? There are a few state & federal regulations governing the way body shops repair your vehicle. This is why there are two categories: factory certified & trained body shops like Don Thornton Certified Collision vs. Insurance approved shops. The main difference is the factory certified facility repairs your vehicle according to manufacturer crash test standards utilizing OEM new parts focusing on your safety while the insurance approved facility focuses on higher volume repairs using untested & inferior crash parts while providing discounts to the insurance company disregarding your safety.

Which is better? It depends on your perspective - are you an insurance company, the manufacturer, or the owner of the damaged vehicle? If you're an insurance company then controlling the cost is the primary concern while collecting as much in premiums as possible. Meanwhile, the manufacturers & vehicle owners primary concerns are quality & personal safety. Factory certified repairs doesn't always mean a more expensive repair but it can. For instance, genuine vehicle manufacture parts are crash tested & proven to be more reliable than the aftermarket part that has not been crash tested compromising occupant safety. Another example is factory certified repair facilities have the latest in equipment,tooling & training. Our technicians are factory trained welding technicians qualified to work with today's complex vehicle materials versus an insurance approved shop that qualifies by just having a welder from a farm store.

About factory certified shops you'll find that factory certified shops are not as common as an insurance list of approved shops. Becoming a factory certified shop isn't easy. The body shop must complete extensive specialized manufacture training, have international certified welders & purchase special equipment. The certification process can take years to achieve. To get on an insurance list of approved shops you need to offer discounts and agree to use inferior sub-standard parts .

It is your choice to choose a repair facility and your choice to choose an insurance company

Most insurance companies try to push or persuade you to use a specific repair shop, this is called steering. They say carefully worded phrases to avoid conflicting with Oklahoma rules to scare customers into thinking they won't receive payment for their claim. Some insurance companies rank their approved shops based on how cheap they perform repairs vs. Concerns for consumer safety. Those shops generally rank among the top of the insurance list and get recommended first.

Phrases you may hear from the insurance company and explanations: 'the repair shop is not on our network shop list, so we can't guarantee repairs'. The insurance isn't performing the repairs, we are. Our repairs come with a written lifetime guarantee. 'repairs will take longer if you take it to the shop of your choice' this is another tactic to persuade you to discounted shop. Do you want it fast or correct? 'the shop charges for things that are not necessary' we use the factory repair procedures engineered by your manufacturer for your safety. Our goal is your safety; not profits.

Facts regarding your vehicle repair

  1. It is your choice to choose a repair facility. Take care in choosing the right repair facility...

  2. Take care in choosing the right repair facility...

  3. Take care in choosing the right repair facility...Your safety depends on it.

  4. Review your insurance policy, especially regarding replacement parts and rental.

  5. Due to the complexity of the vehicle safety systems it is hard for all parties to properly assess the damage to your vehicle without research or disassembly.

  6. You only need one estimate to start.

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