Choosing a Shop

It is your right to have your vehicle's damage estimated and repaired at the collision shop of your choice

The Insurance Act: Market conduct Regulation requires that if an insurance company recommends that you have a particular shop estimate your claim or provide repairs, the insurance company must give you written notice of your rights to have your repairs estimated and completed by the shop of your choice.

However, the insurance company may, by giving you formal notice in writing, assume complete control fo the repair process and have the vehicle repaired where they choose. Insurance companies very rarely exercise their right to undertake repairs; since by doing so they assume final responsibility for a satisfactory repair job.

When you select a shop, the responsibility for a satisfactory repair job rests, finally, with you. Any dispute about the quality of the repair or the collision shop's guarantee or warranty is a contractual matter between you and the collision shop.

When an insurance company states or implies that they guarantee repairs if you take your vehicle to a shop they choose, ask about that guarantee. Ask to see the written guarantee. Find out: Who sets the repair standards (you, the shop, or the insurer)? Who decides whether a repair has been properly completed (you or the insurer)? If you are unsatisfied with the repair, who will re-do the work? Often, an insurance company's guarantee is actually the shop's guarantee and the responsibility for a satisfactory repair job will remain a contractual matter between you and the shop - Just as if you had chosen the shop. So, it's in your best interest to choose a collision shop carefully!

  • Look for a collision shop that has a reputation for high quality work and a written guarantee.
  • Check with friends and co-workers for the names of shops they have had agood experiences with, or ask the Automotive Service and Repair Association or the Motor Dealer's Association to provide you with a roster of their members-in-good-standing in your area.
  • Consider a shop that participates in the industry quality assurance program: CCAR. This program is made up of collision repair facilities that are inspect4ed to verify that they adhere to a comprehensive set of industry standards and a code of ethics. These shops are subject to a consumer arbitration process to deal with guarantee disputes. CCAR approved shops can be easily identified by their use of the blue CCAR oval.
  • Provincial law requires that repair shops be licensed by the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council. If a shop is not licensed do not deal with them! The law also requires that collision shops hire only journeymen and registered apprentices to do repair work; so look for the journeyman certificates and other signs of ongoing training.
  • Once you have chosen a collision shop advise your insurance company.