Do you want your insurance company to be your body shop?

I didn't realize this, but Progressive actually has its own body shops. The few reviews I've read have been favorable of the overall experience.

On one hand, this makes perfect sense as a cost-cutting measure. Eliminate the markup from the body shop, spend less money, pass the savings on to customers like me. I have Progressive insurance because they gave me by far the cheapest quote, and cutting-edge ideas like this are probably why.

But on the other hand, there's good reason to have a third party involved in your repairs to make sure that everything that needs done gets done and gets done properly. When the company that is responsible for paying for your repairs is also the single entity involved in deciding what needs to be fixed and how, AND performing the repair....they have every reason to cut corners. Fear about how well an insurance company is going to treat you is a very real concern after an accident, and I've heard plenty of stories of folks having to fight just to get what they're owed.

On the contrary, there is every incentive for the independent body shop to find every little thing that needs repair and spend the most time repairing it using the best quality parts and procedures. That could have everything to do with why insurance is so costly though, as more money spent on repairs means higher premiums. And let's face it, body shops and car dealers aren't exactly on the most trusted list either.

I realize that insurance companies are already making decisions on these repairs, that's what the adjuster's job is. But isn't there usually a little back and forth between the shop and the adjuster over how to proceed with the repairs? Or at least a discussion? Isn't the body shop, by negotiating to get the most work for themselves, also working for you to get the best quality repair done on your car?

What do you think about this? I'm mixed.