DRP or Independant shop, who should I have fix my car?
Lets start this post with Websters definition of Independent:
a (1) : not subject to control by others : self-governing
(2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit <an independent bookstore>
b (1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent <an independent conclusion>
(2) : not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct
(3) : not bound by or committed to a political party
c (1) : not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood) <independent of her parents>
This simple explanation from Websters sets the tone for this discussion.
Along with DRP programs comes “Steering”
A. The Term “Steering”; The First Thing is to Define Steering for Consumers what is “Steering”?
It simply means to: direct, persuade, coerce, force, push, pressure, and intimidate unwary consumers to go to an insurer’s chosen repairer.
(Note:“Steering differs from a “Referral” simply due to the intent of the steering party to gain financially benefit through their success…oftentimes to the detriment of others; “Collateral Damage”)
ii. Who Steers to Whom and From Whom and Why?:
A. Insurers steer unsuspecting consumers to insurer selected repairers known as Direct Repair Providers (DRP) in exchange for deep discounts and concessions to save them money…and to retain those monies as added and often times mammoth profits to their stockholders. Literally; “A Dollar Saved a Dollar Earned”!
B. Participating (Direct Repair Providers (DRP) repairers (of which consumers are steered/directed to) are often forced to cut corners and take repair short-cuts to make up for those deep discounts and concessions given to the insurers; “Good people forced to do bad things”.
C. Participating (Direct Repair Providers (DRP) repairers are often forced to use lesser quality labor, cheaper and untested parts (junk-yard, counterfeit, refurbished etc.) and low cost materials to make a profit. As such they often seek to do more repairs at near break-even pricing and try to make it up in volume. Oftentimes a high volume, low value proposition,
D. These participating (Direct Repair Providers (DRP) repairers become reliant on the insurer directed/steered work and succumb to further cuts by the insurer to remain on as many programs as possible… for their very survival.
iii. Who Benefits from Steering?
A. The insurer benefits thru cost containment whereas unpaid dollars equal enormous additional profits.
B. The more the repairer relies upon the insurer for their work (and existence), the more control the insurer has over the repairer to cut corners & costs the more profit the insurer retains.
C. Counterfeit Parts manufacturers, auto junk yards and parts recyclers sell more of their products through such insurer driven programs.
iv. Who Does not Benefit from Steering?:
A. The Vehicle owner and their families
B. Quality-Oriented Repairers in the market-place
V. When Does Steering Occur?:
A. When insurers have such programs in the consumer’s market
B. When Consumers are most vulnerable and need the most help!
C. When consumers are unaware of the problems associated with steering.
vi. Why do Insurers Steer Consumers?:
A. To save the insurer money in repair costs; often referred to as “Cost Containment” which equates to huge insurer profits. Literally; “A Dollar Saved is a Dollar Earned”…100% pure profit of monies already in their
possession! This is evidenced by insurer’s billion dollar a year advertising campaigns designed to earn consumer’s trust!
vii. How “Steering” May Harm:
A. Poor repair (Insurer’s call for short-cuts and use of untested inferior aftermarket parts and low quality materials, etc.)
B. Safety of the Customer, their family and others on the roadway
C. Loss in vehicle performance and function
D. Loss in Value of the vehicle due to poor and/or insufficient repairs.
E. Potential loss of manufacturer’s warranties
F. Higher ongoing maintenance issues, repairs and costs
B. Secondly: Consumers Recognizing When They are Being Steered?
i. Deceptive word-tracks are often employed by insurers such as:
A. “We can’t warranty the repair of others” (Note: insurers don’t make repairs thus they can’t warranty what they don’t do!)
B. “We will be able to help you faster if you go to our shop.” (Note: “Fast” isn’t necessarily a ‘good thing’ when it comes to your family’s safety and economic well being).”
C. “We won’t be able to help you as effectively if you go elsewhere” (Note: Insurance adjusters are not there to “help you”…they exist to keep costs down to increase insurer profits!)
D. “You may have out-of-pocket expenses if you go elsewhere!”This is a deceptive and often successful scare tactic when
consumers don’t know their rights!
F. The insurer offers a warranty (Note: insurers don’t make repairs thus can’t warranty what they don’t do!) They exert pressures on their chosen repairers to “make the problems go away… or else!”
F. The insurer instructs/directs you where to go for repair (as if you have no choice thus they take your right to choose your shop away!)
G. Some insurer’s provide a listing of their preferred repairers so if and when a problem does occur they can then say the customer chose the repairer all in an effort to avoid repair related liabilities! “Plausible Deniability”.