Insurance Help

At Dorn’s we work well with all major insurance companies such as State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, USAA, Nationwide, Chubb, Erie, Travelers, Ameriprise, Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, National General, Met-Life, Kemper, Selective, Safeco, Southern Insurance, Farmers, Alfa, Virginia Farm Bureau, Elephant, Auto Owners, Esurance, and many others.

We work with all insurance carriers to insure that your vehicle is returned to you in its “pre-loss” OR “pre-accident” condition. Sometimes there are instances such as deductible(s), betterment(s) or wear item(s), where your insurance carrier will require you to accept a portion of the final cost. This is something that should be mutually agreed upon by you and your carrier from the beginning of the repair process.

What is Betterment?
A provision, often found in the physical damage section of automobile insurance policies, which stipulates that if the repair or replacement of the damaged parts results in better than “like kind or quality,” the insurers will not pay for this net improvement.
What are Wear Items?
A provision of an insurance contract that states that the normal, expected deterioration of the insured object will not be covered by the policy. Wear and tear is excluded from insurance policy coverage because items degrade over time. Items, such as tires, that wear over time would not be covered to replacement as new if damaged in the accident.

Some insurance carriers do not understand the complexities of today’s newer vehicles and in some cases take a stand that “One size, one price fits all vehicles.” If only this were true!  Vehicles vary in cost from year to year and model to model, so it would only make sense that the repair costs and repair times would vary as well. With EPA mandates of 53.5 MPG in 2025, vehicle manufactures must “lighten” the vehicle with Ultra High Strength Steels, Aluminum, Carbon Fiber or mixtures of all of these.

Complexities in vehicle technologies create variables in repair times, procedures, correct certified equipment and the cost to repair. Technology is changing at light-speed and, unfortunately, many shops and insurers are still repairing vehicles the same way that they did 5-10 years ago. This why we want you to know what we are doing and more importantly WHY we are doing it. The wrong parts or the wrong procedure and your vehicle’s safety system (Air-Bags/Supplemental Restraints) may not work or may not be timed correctly. This causes  more potential harm to you or your family.

Keep in mind, most insurers understand these principles and allow for the time and expenses to make sure that the vehicle is repaired correctly. Conversely, there are some carriers simply looking for body shops that will “cut corners” or agree not to perform all of the OEM procedures as required. It doesn’t mean that the shops have bad intentions; in most cases these shops (even Dealers and Multi-Store Chains) are untrained and simply do not know what they are doing is wrong or even dangerous.

Repair shops are pressured by these carriers to keep costs low and rush the repair. Those same carriers know that the fault and burden (Liability) will fall on the repair shops’ shoulders if and when it fails and not on their pocketbooks.

At Dorn’s we also want to keep costs low, because this benefits everyone. However, we will not compromise safety, quality and procedures for low prices. The good news is that there are many carriers who still believe in doing the right thing for the claimants and insureds.

Again, not all insurers employ these deceptive practices just as not all body shops are the same. We consistently hold classes for insurance carriers and their staff to make sure that they know the latest advances and what we must do to safely get you back where you were before the loss. Education goes a long way! This is all the training that some of these adjusters/estimators will receive in a given year.

Insurance Steering

Now let’s discuss what is known as “Insurance Steering” or pressure to go where they want you to go regardless of your concerns. Some carriers do not honor the freedom of choice even thorough it is Virginia law that the choice is yours. They may want you to go to their preferred body shop? Why? First, the vehicle is yours, you can have your vehicle repaired wherever you wish. It is illegal to be forced and made to believe that you have to go to any particular repairer. Keep in mind, IT IS YOUR VEHICLE. You are the one who paid for it. You control this process from start to finish.

Why do some carriers want you to go to certain places?

Sometimes it is due to a special arrangement that the shop has with the carrier that is based on trust. We actually are in two different programs like this. These two carriers put the customers first and want the vehicles repaired correctly utilizing certified repairs.

Generally, the real reason some carriers seem as if they are insisting (Usually at a call center over the phone or at the estimator/adjuster level) is simply to contain costs. Now where do those costs come from? Do you think the insurance shares this with you? Do you think this repair facility will put your best interests as the first concern or the carrier who is sending them numerous repairs?

There are other carriers that simply put their own bonuses, profits and own needs first to artificially lower the cost of repair. Keep in mind, you’ve already paid for the coverage and now all you are doing is asking for them to do what they agreed that they would do if you had a loss. Some of these carriers systematically ignore or refuse to pay for required procedures needed to properly return your vehicle back to certified repair condition. They will tell you that some shops charge too much? They claim that “other” random repairers in the marketplace do not charge for these operations. They always seem to know a “shop” that can/will do something cheaper? They will claim that labor rates are not competitive or too high? Ask for the written proof. Ask for the documentation? It doesn’t exist.

Make no mistake. We prove each day why we do the things that we do. Some in the insurance industry are still trying to have repair facilities repair vehicles the way that they did 20 years ago?

Unfortunately, you have some repair facilities still doing this each day. We actually see this weekly when we re-repair a vehicle that was repaired somewhere else first. The cost of the repair is just that, the cost of repair. The difference is piece of mind, safety and quality. It will cost you the same regardless. Be advised, there are times that some carriers simply will not pay for required labor rates, procedures equipment needed to repair your vehicle.

We will escalate this up to higher management however ultimately, the responsibility is up to you as the vehicle owner to pay the remaining balance if any. At Dorn’s we don’t want you to pay anything out of pocket for the repair, however, some carriers pay their adjusters bonuses based on amounts that they do not pay out. This forces some of them to be “creative” in the estimates process.

Also keep in mind, today, many adjusters have little “hands on” experience repairing vehicles. They simply went to a week or two week insurance training class and were sent to write estimates. Some will claim that they “used to work on cars” before becoming an adjuster? As we all know, with technology changing at a rate of every 90 days in the automotive world, someone who worked on a vehicle just 3-5 years ago may be completely out of touch with what we are required to do now.

Talk with our Repair Process Managers, they will be glad to go over all that you need to know. We would much rather have you be prepared and informed and that way, you make the best decision for you and your vehicle.

Hyundai Certified Collision Repairs performed exclusively at Dorn’s. We helped develop the Hyundai certified collision repair program at the beginning. In fact we were the first Hyundai certified repair facility in the USA. Hyundai has strict standards for the body repairs to their vehicles that most collision repair shops cannot meet. Hyundai has special repair techniques that are required for the Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Equus and Hyundai hybrid vehicles.

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