Think about the last time you purchased an auto insurance policy. What factors played into your purchasing decision? Perhaps you asked one of your friends, or even a trusted colleague, for his or her opinion. But did you consider asking your local auto body shop owner for recommendations?

Chances are, you probably didn’t. And in fact, asking your auto body shop about the best value in auto insurance may even seem counter-intuitive. Yet because auto body professionals are right on the front lines between your crunched bumper and your insurance company’s adjuster, we know which companies prioritize the interests of their insured and which ones prioritize the interests of their investors.

So, you’re probably wondering, which insurance companies do Oregon auto body shops recommend? According to the just-released 2013 edition of the Northwest Auto Trades Association (NATA) Insurer Report Card, the four insurance companies rated highest by auto body shops are:

  1. State Farm
  2. Oregon Mutual
  3. Mutual of Enumclaw
  4. Travelers

It’s notable that, with the exception of Traveler’s insurance, the top four companies are not publicly traded; State Farm is employee-owned, while Oregon Mutual is (as its name suggests) a mutual organization. What it all boils down to is that the best insurance companies are the ones taking the long view, putting the insured’s long-term interests ahead of their own short-term profits.

Continuing that line of thought, as auto body professionals looking to get a job done right, we’re much more productive when working with adjusters who care more about their insured than their corporation’s quarterly earnings reports. In that regard, we auto body professionals are like the physicians of the auto world. Looking to get a good health insurance policy? Ask your doctor – he’s definitely insured by an excellent company because he knows the ropes. But when it comes to an auto insurance policy? Better ask your auto body professional!

Author Ron Reichen is the Chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and is the founder of Precision Body & Paint.