PITTSBURG — If you need to file an auto insurance claim, your provider will recommend using an auto body shop that’s part of its direct repair program. However, it’s important to realize that you aren’t limited to the options presented to you—you have the legal right to take your vehicle to any shop you choose.

After you file your claim, your insurance provider will send you to a shop in its direct repair program for an assessment and appraisal. Once this is done, you can choose to continue working with that shop or take your car to a different one for repairs. For instance, you may have a preferred auto body shop that you’ve worked with before and feel more comfortable with. Regardless of which option you choose, your provider is still legally required to cover the cost of the repair work (in accordance with your policy’s terms).