No, you are not required to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims facility. It is your right as the vehicle owner to obtain an estimate wherever you choose. You are only required to notify your insurance company of the vehicle’s location so that it may be examined by the claims adjuster. However, if you have already gone to a drive-in claims facility, make sure you take a copy of the insurance adjuster’s estimate with you when obtaining repair shop estimates and choosing a facility to repair your vehicle.
Your insurance policy states that your insurance company will pay for the damages to your vehicle, less the deductible amount. You may instruct your insurance company to pay directly to the repair shop of your choice; however, full payment must be arranged prior to your vehicle being released.
A Third Party Claim is where the other person’s insurance is involved as opposed to your own. Try to collect from the other driver’s policy. You won’t have to pay a deductible and are entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired. No accident will be charged against your policy. The insurance company cannot dictate anything to a claimant. The sole purpose of the insurance company in a third party claim is to pay the bill.
No one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the vehicle owner, however, may do so should this be your desire.