Tony’s Auto Body Shop, Inc. is a second generation family run business that has been serving the colliding Washington metropolitan area since 1950. My sister Jo and I have co-owned and managed the business since the passing of our father, Tony Sr., in 1978.
Unlike most major collision repairers in the area we have never participated in a direct repair relationship with any insurance company for a good reason. Those arrangements directly conflict with our old school business ethic of putting the customers’ best interests first. When an insurance company is sending a body shop volumes of crashed cars to repair, that insurance directed repair facility will always be required to watch out for the referring insurance company’s best interests. In other words, the insurance company becomes the body shop’s customer. That would translate to cutting costs wherever and whenever possible.
Next time your favorite TV program is being interrupted by another one of those cutesy car insurance commercials, pay attention to what they don't say. If you can find me one that offers to fix your damaged car in the best way possible, I’ll give you a free paint job.
CNN's Anderson Cooper recently did a story highlighting some of the direct repair facility practices. It’s all about the money, and in many instances it’s shameful what’s going on. It is also important to know that Maryland law requires an auto insurer to give the owner of the vehicle free choice as to where the vehicle is to be repaired. This law applies whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
If you were hurt in a car accident, would you want to be treated for your injuries by a doctor that was recommended by the insurance company paying the bill? I hope not...
The choice is yours to make. I hope this helps.