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"authorized" repair center?

"authorized" repair center?

I've read some threads about insurance nightmares with collision repairs. I'm awaiting delivery of our MS and talked to our insurer about what body shops they use. Long story short, the insurance company says they guarantee work at their "preferred shops" but no repair shop in our area does aluminum work except one that isn't on their list. I also called a tesla store and asked if a repair facility has to be "authorized" to do work on the car. The person I talked to said only if there is structural work involved otherwise it doesn't matter. Opinions? I'm just planning ahead.

LEvans | June 16, 2014

I think all Tesla owners should, if possible, have a Stated Value Policy to avoid the shenanigans insurance companies seem to be pulling when cars need work.

sberman | June 16, 2014

I think you are using "guarantee" in two different contexts as follows:

1. Insurance company "guarantee". I speculate this means the repair work will be free of defects from the insurance company's perspective. In other words, if they forget to attach a bolt or fail to do some welding, the insurance company would pick up the cost of making the repair right.

2. Quality "guarantee" from the car-maker's perspective. I speculate this means the repair would approximate the way the car had been put together before the crash, at least from a structural perspective. This is in line with the response you received from the Tesla Repair Center.

Again, I am no authority. This is just my opinion.

electric pilot | June 16, 2014

Thanks, my main concern is having a place that I can go where both Tesla and the insurance company agree the work can/should be done,...and know how to do it. I called a few body shops nearby (Southern Wisconsin) and none of them had ever had a Tesla in for body work. I guess we're a little slower here in the Midwest than the coasts when it comes to technology adoption. So, for now, it will be neat to have a car no one has seen much as long as I don't wreck it!

notice | June 16, 2014

Hindsight... After battling it out with my insurance company over a recent hood replacement, I would advise the following:

High end body shops know which insurance companies will work with them without hassles. Call your Tesla authorized service center and ask them who you should use for insurance, and then go get a policy from them. At the end of the day, the most likely reason you will need insurance is due to some collision or other need for body work. You'll want your Tesla in the best possible hands for this, and you'll want your insurance company to pay for it without any hassles.

If you want to go cheap on insurance, you'll get what you pay for, and when you need it, you might regret it.

In my case, the insurance company initially offered $150 plus my $500 deductible to pay for what ended up running about $4500 in damage. They did eventually pay the full amount, but it was a high anxiety battle that I could have done without.

electric pilot | June 16, 2014

@notice

Good advise, thanks, the experience of others is what we are going off of right now. I'm curious who you are using for your policy these days after your experience? Our insurance agent was rather obscure about the whole thing, no surprise there, they were happy to quote me a rate to insure the MS but couldn't tell me anything about where I could have it repaired successfully.

notice | June 18, 2014

I was and am using peerless insurance, a subsidiary of liberty mutual - since they did pay and are now educated on tesla repairs lll keep them.

Also I did not heed the advice of the body shop and should have - if there is damage, have the adjuster see the car at the body shop with their staff (my car was drivable and I didn't want to be inconvenienced) as they are also used to explaining and negotiating with the adjuster and often their management by phone)