9168 Brewerton Rd, Brewerton, NY 13029 | mbell@jeffbellsautobody.com
Jeff Bell's Autobody & Collision Repair
Accidents Happen-We Can Fix Them

Know your rights and make informed decisions.


1. The Right To Choose

New York State Law says: Pursuant to Section 2610 of the Insurance Law an insurance company may not require that repairs be made to a motor vehicle in a particular place or repair shop. You have a right to have your automobile repaired in the shop of your Choice.

No insurance company or independent agent can legally refer or require you to or away from any specific repair shop, or require repairs to be done by a specific shop. They cannot dictate to you where your vehicle should be repaired! Nor can they require you to have you vehicle inspected at their drive-in claims center. It's called "steering" and it's against the law. If you request it, your insurer must inspect the damage to your vehicle at the repair shop you choose. Remember, NYS Law protects you here.

It is your right to choose your own collision repair facility and to have the insurance company pay for safe and proper repairs.

2. Make Informed Decisions

By Law, you are not required to obtain more than one estimate for damage.

Be Cautious if your insurance company tries to pick a repair shop for you. It's called "steering" and it's against the law. In most cases insurance company referral shops offer discounts to the insurance company in order to be on their list. The referral shops make deals with the insurance companys to get on their lists. These "deals" may not be in your best interests. Could this mean discounted quality for you?

On your behalf, we can negotiate your insurance claim for you, with no hassle and with your best interest in mind. If more repairs are required over the initial estimate, we will contact your insurance company for a supplement to be sure your vehicle is repaired with your safety in mind and to its pre-accident condition. We can repair your vehicle properly, with quality and quickly.

Differences in estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessay work. If you are not sure why one estimate is different from another, please ask us. This also includes estimates written by the insurance company.

3. Know Your Rights

In addition to the NYS law requirements above, you have also have the following rights:

-- You have the right to have your vehicle towed to any location you choose
-- You do NOT need to get two or three appraisals
-- Your insurer must negotiate in good faith with the shop of your choice
-- Your insurance company is responsible for payment to restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition
-- You do not have to get your vehicle repaired to receive your payment for damage
-- You have the right to a rental car if the damage was caused by someone else and their insurance company is paying the claim...ask for this.

What you need to know.

10 Things To Know Before Having Your Car Repaired
  • NY State Law says that you, the customer, have the "right" to choose any repair shop you want - you have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop - it is your choice!

  • Your car is the second largest investment you're likely to make. Preserve its value and your safety by having it professionally repaired.

  • Never drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages.

  • Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your car repaired. You can do this, or you may leave your car at our shop and ask that the insurance company inspect the car here.

  • There is no law requiring you to obtain more than one estimate or appraisal.

  • Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. If you're not sure why one estimate is different from another you've received, please ask us.

  • Choose a shop that has unibody repair equipment and certified technicians.

  • Ask if the shop will be using genuine manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts.

  • Ask if the shop offers a repair warranty.

  • Let us help you negotiate your claim with the insurance company.
In Case Of An Accident...

Accidents can be confusing. Your Insurance Company's ID card provides information on the back of the card (which should always be in your vehicle) on what to do in case of an accident. Here are some additional tips to aid in your safety and as well as your legal protection.

Never 'Make a Deal' for damages.
Never leave the scene of even a MINOR accident.
Never accept an offer of cash, check or private settlement.
Never disavow injury to you or your passengers.
Never offer to pay ANYTHING even if you think you are at fault.
Never administer first aid unless you are LICENSED to do so.
Always (when conditions permit) move to the shoulder of the road or other 'safe area' to prevent further damage.
Always ask someone to summon police and seek medical assistance....repeat every 5 minutes until they arrive.
Always remember the 3C's: Remain Calm, Courteous, and Consistent in your version of the accident.
Always obtain complete information from those involved.
Always obtain the names of witnesses including addresses and phone numbers.
Always notify the owner of the car you are driving as soon as possible if you are not the owner.