// May 13, 2024

What Insurance Companies Offer Choice of Repairer?

When your vehicle is involved in an accident, choosing the right repairer can be crucial to ensuring your car is restored to its pre-accident condition. Many insurance policies direct you to a network of preferred repairers, but what if you have specific requirements, an existing relationship with a trusted repairer, or simply want more control over the repair process? This is where the option of ‘choice of repairer’ comes into play.

What is Choice of Repairer?

‘Choice of repairer’ in car insurance refers to a policy feature that allows you to select the repair shop that will fix your vehicle after an accident. Instead of being limited to the insurer’s network of preferred repairers, you have the freedom to choose a repairer you trust and are comfortable with.

How It Works in Different Policies

Included Feature: Some car insurance policies automatically include ‘choice of repairer’ as a standard feature. This means you have the right to select your own repairer without any additional costs or conditions.

Optional Add-On: In many cases, ‘choice of repairer’ is offered as an optional add-on. Policyholders can pay an extra premium to have the flexibility to choose their own repairer. This option provides more control over the repair process but comes at an additional cost.

Not Covered: Some insurers do not offer a ‘choice of repairer’ option at all. In these cases, you are required to use a repairer from the insurer’s network. This can limit your choices and control over the repair process.

The Importance of Checking Policy Details and Product Disclosure Statements (PDS)

It’s crucial to read the fine print of your car insurance policy and the product disclosure statement (PDS) to understand the specifics of the ‘choice of repairer’ option. The PDS outlines the terms and conditions, including any limitations or additional costs associated with choosing your own repairer.

Knowing these details can help you avoid unexpected expenses and ensure you have the coverage that best suits your needs.

Choosing Your Own Repairer


Personalised Service and Trust with Your Preferred Repairer:

When you choose your own repairer, you can select a shop you trust and have a good relationship with. This can lead to better communication, personalised service, and peace of mind knowing your vehicle is in good hands.

Convenience of Location and Accessibility:

Choosing a repairer near your home or workplace can be more convenient than traveling to an insurer-approved repairer. This can save you time and make it easier to drop off and pick up your vehicle. Part of our stress reduction techniques is offering complimentary loan vehicles, ensuring that your daily routine is not disrupted, pick up and drop off of your vehicle in the Launceston area, one on one consults from our experienced administrative team and proactive and timely communication throughout the entire repair process

Control Over the Repair Process and Quality:

By selecting your own repairer, you have more control over the quality of repairs and the materials used. You can ensure that the repair work meets your standards and expectations. All workmanship guarantees reside with the repairer, not the insurer, therefore choosing the right repairer is important for ensuring the quality and longevity of any repairs or services performed on your vehicle.


Potential Additional Costs if Repair Charges Exceed Insurer’s Coverage:

If your chosen repairer charges more than the insurer is willing to pay, you may have to cover the difference out of pocket. This can lead to unexpected expenses.

Possible Denial of Claims if Insurer’s Standards Are Not Met:

Insurers have specific standards for repair work. If your chosen repairer does not meet these standards, the insurer may deny your claim or refuse to cover the full cost of repairs. This can complicate the claims process and result in additional costs.

Absence of Insurer’s Lifetime Guarantee on Repairs:

Many insurers offer a lifetime guarantee on repairs carried out by their preferred repairers. If you choose your own repairer, you may not be eligible for this guarantee. This means you may not have the same level of protection and assurance for the quality and longevity of the repair work even though this liability truly sits with the repairer, not the insurer.

Insurer-Selected Repairers


Insurer Manages Negotiations and Payments:

When you use an insurer-selected repairer, the insurer handles all the negotiations and payment arrangements. This can save you time and hassle, as you don’t have to worry about discussing costs or settling disputes over the repair bill.

Often Faster Due to Insurer’s Established Network:

Insurers typically have a network of preferred repairers with whom they have established relationships. This can expedite the repair process because these repairers are often prioritised, reducing wait times and ensuring your vehicle is returned to you more quickly.

Lifetime Guarantee on Repairs by the Insurer:

Many insurers offer a lifetime guarantee on repairs performed by their preferred repairers. This provides added peace of mind, as you can be assured that any issues arising from the repair work will be addressed at no additional cost to you. The insurer isn’t usually out of pocket for any rectification work either. They will request the original repairer to rectify the work at their cost.


Lack of Personal Choice and Control:

Using an insurer-selected repairer means you have less control over who repairs your vehicle. You may have preferences based on past experiences or specific repair standards that you cannot ensure with the insurer’s choice.

Potential for Longer Travel Times and Inconvenience:

Insurer-approved repairers may not always be conveniently located. You might have to travel further than you would prefer, which can be inconvenient, especially if you need to arrange transportation to and from the repair shop.

Concerns Over Repair Quality and Possible Cost-Cutting by Insurers:

There are concerns that insurers may pressure their preferred repairers to cut costs, potentially leading to lower quality repairs. This can be particularly problematic if the repairer uses substandard parts or shortcuts the repair process to save money.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Repairer

Checking for Limitations in Your Policy: Before deciding on a repairer, it’s essential to thoroughly check your car insurance policy for any limitations or conditions related to repair choices. Policies vary widely, and understanding the specific terms can prevent unexpected issues.

What Is Covered Under Your Policy’s ‘Choice of Repairer’ Clause: Make sure you understand the details of your policy’s ‘choice of repairer’ clause. This includes whether the option is included as a standard feature, offered as an optional add-on, or not available at all. Knowing these details helps you make an informed decision and avoid surprises.

Quote Approval: Some policies allow you to choose a repairer, but the repair quote must be approved by the insurer. This means the insurer will assess whether the quote meets their standards for safety, compliance, and price. If the quote is too high, the insurer may not approve it.

Cash Settlements: In cases where the insurer doesn’t agree with your choice of repairer, they may offer a cash settlement instead. This means you’ll receive a payout based on what the insurer deems a reasonable cost for the repairs, and you’ll need to cover any additional costs yourself.

List of Insurance Companies that Offer Choice of Repairer

Several insurance companies offer policies that include a ‘choice of repairer’ option. Here are a few examples:

Allianz: Offers a ‘choice of repairer’ as a standard feature in their comprehensive car insurance policies. Although, the repairer must meet Allianz’s standards for quality and safety.

CGU: Please add info about Shannons as they offer choice and is someone we do a lot of work for.

Shannons: Please add info about Shannons as they offer choice and is someone we do a lot of work for.

NRMA Insurance: Allows policyholders to choose their repairer, but this option may require an additional premium. The selected repairer must provide a quote that is acceptable to the insurer. NA in TAS

AAMI: Offers the option to choose your own repairer, but this usually comes with an additional cost. This extra is subject to the repairer meeting their standards and the additional premium being paid. NA in TAS

How to Handle Disputes and Ensure Quality Repairs

While having the flexibility to choose your own repairer can be beneficial, it’s important to choose a repairer that will provide quality service. To avoid any issues, consider the following steps: