What are “direct repair programs” DRP

On April 21, 2014, in Blogs, by Administrator

I found this article very interesting:

 

A direct repair program is the general name used to describe insurance companies’ circles of collision repairers willing to sign an agreement with an insurer agreeing to adhere to the insurer’s “guidelines” setting parameters and limitations on the type of repair you will receive in exchange for the insurer referring you to them.
Unlike in the health insurance arena, your premium for auto insurance is not based on your agreement to patronize an auto repair equivalent to a health maintenance organization (“HMO”).  It’s like you paid your premium to go to any collision repair shop you choose, but now the insurer is trying to force you into using one of its HMO shops.  If your insurer succeeds in convincing you to utilize a “DRP” shop, it is able to exercise more control over the repair you actually receive.  That control is about saving the insurer money, not about ensuring you receive the best possible repair.  In fact, some of those repairs coming out of insurer “preferred” shops are downright dangerous and render the vehicle unsafe to drive.  That is because the shop is trying to please the insurer by keeping costs down, and sometimes the only way it can make money is to skimp on your repairs.

That doesn’t mean that all collision facilities participating in insurer DRP programs do poor work, or that all non-DRP shops do great work.  What it does mean is that the shops participating in the DRP programs are far more likely to think of the insurer as the customer rather than you and more likely to give the insurer what it wants — a cheap repair — rather than what you want — a safe and proper repair.

Also of concern is that the insurer forces the repair shop to indemnify it for claims made against it about your vehicle repair.  This can put the repairer’s own garage insurance at risk and your ability to recover against the shop if something goes wrong.

 

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