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Choice of repairer car insurance

Choice of repairer car insurance gives you control over the repair process but the insurer's preferred network can be more convenient.

Many car insurance providers have a preferred network of repairers they use to fix your vehicle if it has been in an accident.

Lots of comprehensive car insurance policies let you choose your repairer – in some cases, it's available as an optional extra. If you have a mechanic that you know and trust, or you're concerned about the speed or quality of the repairs, having your own choice of repairer can be worthwhile.

What is choice of repairer in car insurance?

Car insurance policies that offer you a choice of repairer let you choose the mechanic if your vehicle has been damaged. Many comprehensive car insurance policies include a choice of repairer as a policy feature, some don't cover it at all and with others it's an optional add-on. If you don't have a choice of repairer, the insurer will choose the repairer.

Is choice of repairer worth it?

"It's a trade-off between speed and convenience," one of our case studies Samantha Odo says. If you want it done well and quickly, it might be better to use your own repairer. If you don't want to worry about upfront expenses or communication issues between the insurer and the repairer, your car insurer's preferred repairer is probably ideal.

It's an optional extra with a handful of car insurers including Budget Direct and QBE. If you choose this add-on, you can expect to pay approximately 10–20% more for a policy, according to our research.

Pros of choosing the repairer

  • Can be faster as there's less chance of a backlog
  • Can be closer to home than the insurer's repairer
  • You can go with a repairer you know and trust

Cons of choosing the repairer

  • Repairer's guarantee only – not the lifetime guarantee you get with the insurer's repairer
  • You may need to pay upfront and wait for the insurer to reimburse you
  • You may need to negotiate the price with the repairer, not the insurer
Complaints about the insurer's repairer common
According to the most recent Financial Rights report, a large number of Australians have had an issue with poor repairs and complaints to the insurer to insist on repairs. 40% of calls came from NSW, according to the report.

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