Your rights

Knowing them makes a difference

As a consumer, you have the right to select the body shop of your choice to have your work performed adequately and thoroughly. You do not have to go along with the repair shop suggested by your insurance company. Although it may be more "convenient", they do not always use OEM parts or guarantee repairs as we do.

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Your Obligation

If the damage to your car exceeds $1000.00 N.Y. State requires you to fill out DMV form 104.

Your Agent

Your insurance agent or claims representative will determine the coverage you are entited to, based on the type of insurance purchased by you. Once properly notified by you, the insurance company has six business days to inspect your vehicle (if more damage observed after being dismantles, it has two more days to re-inspect it, once adequately notified). Always remember that your agent must negotiate in good faith with you. You are entitled to a prompt, fair settlement to repair your car to its pre-accident condition. This includes parts of like, kind and quality equal to original equipment.

Your Options

Keep in mind that, despite the agent’s suggestions, he cannot dictate to you just where your vehicle should be repaired. He – or the claims representative – may try to steer you to one of its drive-in service centers, but you have the right to shop around, if you do not know a local or favorite repair-shop.

Written Estimate

While you are not required by law or your agent or claims representative to get more than one estimate, you may do that.

Your Repair Shop

You have the right to legally designate the repair shop you have selected to negotiate a fair claim settlement with your insurance company.


Remember, you must give your permission for the work to proceed, preferably by signing off on the work order prepared by the repair shop.


It’s important to keep all the paper work associated with the repair of your vehicle, in case you have a complaint or misunderstanding about the scope of the repairs.

Review Invoice Carefully

Look over it carefully. It will tell you about the parts replaced, their cost, the labor charges and our warranties. Compare it with the original estimate prepared for you.


If you do have complaints about how the insurance company or the repair shop that handled your case, you may contact the:

N.Y. State Department of Insurance

25 Beaver Street, N.Y. 10004

The Consumer Services Phone Number

212 / 480-6400

About Auto Body Repair Shops

Most are small, privately-owned companies who stay in business as a result of the high quality work they offer and their ability to remain competitive, even as they stay up to date with the latest developments in automobile design and technology.