Now that you’ve ticked the insurance box, the next major aspect that you should carefully consider is whether getting choice of repairer as an add-on is worth it. In some cases, policies already come with choice of repairer as standard which just means you don’t need to worry about switching or adding it on.
What about for budget policies, you ask? Well, it really just depends on what you feel is best for you and your car. Put simply, by getting insurance, you cover the costs of repair but by getting choice of repairer on your policy, you empower yourself to decide on the repairer that would give you the right repair experience. It’s very common for customers to decide on a policy before fully considering their repair experience. And we totally get it! It’s not a situation that you’d WANT to picture yourself in. To help you get a better understanding whether adding choice of repairer is the right fit for you, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons.
Disclaimer: If you are NOT at fault, you ALWAYS have the choice of repairer. In the event that you end up AT fault, you won’t have any choice but to stick to whatever your policy repair method is that’s why it’s important to think ahead before deciding on a policy.
No Choice of Repairer
This is often termed as ‘preferred repairer’, ‘partner repairer network.’ Removing the marketing fluff, it essentially means you have to go with insurance’s preferred repairer. These tend to be the basic, no-frills, budget-friendly policies.
The process can be streamlined as there is little to no negotiations on the repairer’s quote required.
The premiums can be slightly cheaper.
Many insurers offer their own guarantee on the repairs carried out.
Preferred repairer can be in a location that’s far or hard to get to.
The time it takes for the repair might be a lot longer due to the large amount of repairs they receive from the insurer.
Preferred repairers may not have expertise in repairing your specific vehicle.
You have limited control over the repair, repair method and overall customer experience.
No choice of repairer always tends to be the best budget option. If you have a high level of trust in your insurance company, to look after you then there's absolutely no harm in taking this route.
No Choice of Repairer
Choice of repairer as the term suggests allows you to choose your own repairer. By having this on your policy you have more control over your repairs by virtue of choosing the repairer that fits you and your vehicle’s requirements.
More control over your repairs and overall customer experience.
You can do your own research and go with someone you can or already trust.
You can get your repairs in sooner by opting for a repairer that can accommodate your timeframe.
You can select a repairer closer to your location.
Some policies don’t offer this as standard which means you’d have to put this on as an extra or add-on on your premium.
It can take time to shop around and look for the ‘best fit’.
In any free-market model where customers "decide with their feet", it's the business that offers the best value proposition, customer experience and quality service that always wins. The biggest drawback we find with the preferred repairer network scheme is this: do the repairers work for you or do they work for the insurance companies? If it's the latter, then do they really have your interests at heart? Now does that mean you'll be treated like a number and not have a great customer experience? Of course not! But with choice of repairer at least you have the power to decide the quality of your experience and the fate of your car.
There’s a saying in the industry that you don’t really know your insurance company until you need to make a claim. By considering choice of repairer you are dictating what kind of experience you want to have. At the end of the day, it’s about choosing the best option that best suits YOU.