Does car insurance let me choose my own repairer?
Choice of repairer car insurance gives you more control over who works on your car after an accident – but it can come at a higher cost.
So how does it work and what are the pros and cons? Here’s a quick look.
A choice of repairer car insurance policy lets you decide who repairs your car after an accident or damage.
These policies tend to cost a bit extra compared to policies where the insurer chooses the repairer.
You could still save on a choice of repairer policy if you shop around to find a good deal.
If you’re looking into car insurance, you might see the term ‘choice of repairer’ floating around.
Choice of repairer car insurance, also known as select your own repairer car insurance, lets you decide who repairs your car after an accident. If you want control over who works on your car, choosing your own repairer can pay off in the long run as you’re with someone you can trust.
However, this type of car insurance can be a little pricier and you’ll need to obtain a quote from your repairer to make this happen.
That’s why it’s worth shopping around and doing your research, to find a policy that offers you great value.
What is 'choice of repairer' in car insurance?
When you buy car insurance, you’ll usually be given the option to go with 'choice of repairer' or 'preferred repairer' on your policy.
‘Choice of repairer’ means you get to choose the repairer who works on your car after an accident or damage.
With ‘preferred repairer’, your insurer will send your car to a repairer that they have an agreement with.
If you decide to go with choice of repairer, your insurer will send your car where you want it to go for repairs, even if it costs them more than it would to send it to a repairer in their network.
The catch is that you usually have to pay extra for a choice of repairer policy.
So, if selecting your own repairer is important to you, take the time to compare different policies and see which one works out to be the best deal.
How you can select your own repairer with your car insurance
Most insurers will offer the option to select your own repairer when you sign up for a car insurance policy.
However, before taking the plunge, it’s a good idea to check the insurer's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any limitations on the choice of repairer.
Some of the big ones to watch out for include:
Your repair quote will need to be approved. Some insurers will ask you to get a quote from your repairer and only authorise the repairs going forward if it meets the insurer’s standards for safety, compliance and price. In other words, they could decline to use your repairer if you ever need to make a claim.
You get a cash settlement. If your insurer decides not to use your repair, they could offer you a cash settlement instead, leaving it up to you to get the car repaired and pay any remaining difference.
Is it a good idea to have choice of repairer in your car insurance?
Choosing your own repairer could be worthwhile for a few reasons:
Quality of work. You can pick a mechanic whose work you trust and who you know uses high-quality parts.
Faster repairs. With preferred repairers, your car could be behind a backlog of other cars waiting for repairs. Taking your car somewhere that can get the repairs quickly can cut down the time you're left waiting.
Reduced travel time. A preferred repairer could be quite a distance away from you, whereas with a choice of repairer, you can take your car somewhere in your local area.
On the other hand, there are some potential benefits to letting the insurer choose the repairer instead:
Cheaper premium. It generally costs less if you choose a preferred repairer policy instead of a choice of repairer policy.
Less hassle. Letting your insurer handle the repairs means you don’t have to be as involved in the repair process.
Repair guarantee. If there are any problems with repairs that have been done by the insurer’s preferred repair, the insurer will cover the costs of any faulty materials and workmanship. With your own choice of repairer, you'll usually have to pay for this yourself.
Is there a price difference with choice of repairer car insurance?
As we’ve touched on, it tends to cost more for a choice of repairer policy when compared to a policy where the insurer selects the repairer.
The exact price difference depends on the insurer, the policy and your circumstances.
However, you could still save on a choice of repairer policy if you know where to look.
Every insurer’s offering is slightly different, which is why it’s always worth exploring your options rather than choosing the first policy you come across. It could save you big bucks in the long run.
When it comes to choice of repairer car insurance, you get more control over who repairs your car but you’ll probably pay a bit extra than you would if you let the insurer choose the repairer.
Either way, it pays to do your research before choosing a policy.
Compare Club makes that part easy by allowing you to compare quotes and adjust your cost, coverage and excess in just a few clicks.
You can compare the cost of policies across multiple insurers, as well as the price difference between choice of repairer vs preferred repairer.
There are lots of options to choose from. With Compare Club, you can feel confident you’re getting a great deal for your situation.GET A QUICK QUOTE