No. If you have been in an auto accident in Austin, under Texas law, you can choose the auto body shop.
Section 1952.301 of the Texas Insurance Code prohibits auto insurance companies from requiring a particular automotive repair facility, supplier or brand of replacement parts. They also cannot require used or aftermarket automotive parts.
Insurance companies often maintain relationships with auto shops in their area. Both the insurers and the mechanics benefit from the ongoing business, making their repair rates more affordable. The insurance company might recommend that shop. But you do not have to take that recommendation.
In general, insurance companies are not evil, they are businesses. Like all businesses, they seek higher profits. In order to do that, they will try to settle an insurance claim for as much as possible. That includes trying to make sure you have your car repaired at an affordable price.
If you choose a shop that charges unreasonable prices, the insurance company may try to deny your claim. However, you have rights against the insurance company, and not just the right to pick your body shop. If you have been in an auto accident, contact the Austin personal injury attorneys at Justinian & Associates. We offer a free consultation to explain your rights under the law.