What should I do if I am involved in an accident?

No matter how minor, it is wise to report every accident to the police. Then, contact Ace Auto Body. We can assist you with the processing of your claim, answer your questions, and advise you to ensure safe and proper repairs are made to your vehicle.

Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims center or get multiple appraisals?

No. If you request it, your insurer must inspect the damage to your vehicle at your chosen collision repair shop rather than at their drive-in claims center. They are legally prohibited from coercing or using any tactics intended to prevent you from seeking damage appraisals from your own body shop rather than their drive-in facility. [MGL 26 8G]

Do I have to use a specific collision repair facility?

No. In Massachusetts, you have the absolute right to select the collision repair shop of your choice. When your insurer gives you a list of registered repair shops, they likely will have indicated those shops which have entered into a contract with them. The contract determines how your vehicle will be repaired and encourages the use of imitation replacement parts. By choosing an insurance preferred or referral shop, you may be giving up your rights in the repair process. [Reg 212 CMR 2:04:(c)]

What is "steering"?

Steering, as defined by the Massachusetts Auto Damage Appraisers Licensing Board, is the act of directing a claimant to or away from any specific repair shop or requiring that repairs be made by a specific repair shop or individual. Steering is illegal in Massachusetts.

How do I know if I am being steered?

If you are told that it will take longer to get your car repaired or cost more if you choose your own shop, BEWARE. You are probably being steered. Comments such as “We won’t reimburse paint and materials,” “We don’t pay that rate,” “We won’t guarantee the work if you bring the car there,” or “We won’t pay the difference” are misleading and usually untrue.

Why choose my own collision repair facility over one "suggested" by the insurance company?

There are compelling reasons to choose Ace Auto Body, we will make sure the vehicle is truly restored to its pre-accident condition. Insurance appraisers work for the insurance company. Ace Auto Body works for you. We are looking out for your best interest. Ace Auto Body will negotiate directly with the insurance company for the proper repairs so that your vehicle is safe for you and your family. Ace Auto Body looks out for your interests and will serve as your advocate in the repair process.

What are imitation or non-OEM parts?

Imitation parts (aka generic, aftermarket, quality replacement or non-original equipment manufacturer) are “knockoff” parts made by a company other than the manufacturer of your vehicle. These parts are made to look like your vehicle’s parts, but may never have been crash tested and are not covered under your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. In its February 1999 issue Consumer Reports, published the results of its extensive study of non-OEM parts. The cover story was entitled, Shoddy Auto Parts: How to beat car repair rip-offs, Bumpers that shatter, Parts that don’t fit, Fenders that rust.

Who guarantees the workmanship for the repairs?

The repair facility is responsible for the workmanship. Insurance companies do not repair automobiles. If there is a concern, even with a facility selected by the insurance company, the facility itself is responsible. Every collision repair shop registered as a Motor Vehicle Repair Shop with the Massachusetts Division of Standards is required to be bonded and is responsible for safe and proper repairs. If your insurance company claims “they will not guarantee the repairs,” don’t worry. Ace Auto Body guarantees the workmanship for as long as you own your vehicle.

What can I do if I believe my rights have been infringed upon by my insurance company?

You can file a written complaint with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs (617-521-7777). You can also call the CARE consumer hotline, toll free, at 1-877-294-3368 for a free brochure or for information about filing a complaint.

What can I do to protect my rights?

Let your state representative and senator know how you feel about big business trying to take even more control of your life. Let them know that you value your rights and do not want to lose them. Remember, you pay for insurance. No one has the right to deny you the repairs necessary to restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition. It is important to voice your opinion and retain your rights!

CARE’s voice is small compared to that of the insurance companies’, but with your help we can protect your rights before it’s too late.

You can file a written complaint with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. You can also call the CARE consumer hotline, toll free, at 1-877-294-3368 for a free brochure or for information about filing a complaint.