Illinois Insurance Facts

Illinois Insurance FactsHere are a few key Illinois Insurance Facts from the Illinois Department of Insurance, that you should know about when filing an auto claim with your own insurance company.

These Illinois Insurance Facts answer common concerns about whether or not you can choose your own auto body shop, whether or not you have to accept aftermarket or used replacement parts, how many estimates you need to get and more.

When your vehicle is damaged or stolen, one of the first things you may have to do is file an insurance claim. Even if another driver caused the damage, you have the option to file the claim with either your own insurance company if you have the appropriate coverages (a “first-party” claim) or the other driver’s insurance company (a “third-party” claim). Insurance laws differ with regard to first and third party claims, so it is important that you understand your rights and duties in both cases. In a first party claim, you have a direct contract that requires your insurance company to fulfill all the conditions stated in your policy. In a third party claim, you do not have a direct contract with the insurance company and their primary obligation is to their own policyholder.

This post contains information publicly available at the Illinois Department of Insurance website. To download and view the Illinois Insurance Facts document in its entirety click here.

  1. How Many Repair Estimates Must I Submit?
    Your insurance company may ask for several estimates. There is no law that states how many estimates you must submit or that limits the number the company can ask for.
  2. May I Choose My Own Repair Shop?
    Yes. You are not required to use your company’s suggested repair shop. However, if your repair shop charges more than the company’s suggested shop, you may have to pay the difference.
  3. Do I Have to Accept Replacement Crash Parts?
    No. Although insurance companies aren’t required to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
    replacement parts, such as GM or Ford, you have the final choice of which parts will be used to fix your vehicle. However, if your company wants to use non-OEM parts, and you request more expensive OEM parts, you may have to pay the difference.

Illinois Insurance Facts; How insurance companies and collision repair shops work together to provide you with auto body repairs:

In common practice based on years of working with auto insurance claims and auto insurance carriers, the number of estimates an insurance company asks you to acquire, are typically no more than two or three.  Usually they will want an estimate from a direct repair shop if they have one. They may also send an independent auto appraiser or an insurance employee designated as an adjuster to view your vehicle, take photos and prepare a damage estimate.

Typically speaking, an insurance company that has direct repair shops will attempt to get you to have your vehicle repaired there. They may employ a number of subtle or direct tactics to accomplish this, however the right to choose a body shop is still yours. This is considered “shop of choice” by the carrier. While they are not required to pay more for the shop of choice’s labor or material rates than they would a direct repair partner, they usually will and consider it a “concession” in the name of customer service and policy holder retention.

Regarding the use of alternate parts, these are referred to as: lkq (like kind and quality parts), aftermarket parts, non oem parts, recycled parts, used parts, reconditioned parts. By contract per your insurance company is only responsible to pay for the most cost effective parts based on your policy with them. In practice, an insurance company will typically work with the auto body shop to acquire replacement parts that will provide a feasible and safe repair. The body shop will make reasonable efforts to obtain and utilize the alternate parts your insurance company will pay for. Occasionally alternate parts are not available or may cost more than what the insurance company provided, in which case the body shop submits a supplement request along with invoices to prove more expensive parts were utilized.


If you have additional questions about Illinois Insurance Facts and repairing your collision damaged vehicle, please feel free to Contact Turk’s Collision Repair!