I have said before, and I will say it again: you can get your car fixed anywhere you want. If you want to take your BMW to “Bob’s Quickie Repairs” you can do that. If you want to take your Yugo to “Neil’s Premier Auto Body” you can do that. But, does this mean the insurance company pays whatever is charged?
No. The insurance company is requird to pay reasonable repair costs. Reasonable is not $100 per hour or $1,000 per hour. Reasonable also is not $25 per hour. So, what is reasonable? Something between $25 per hour and $100 per hour, of course.
Reasonable means what the going rate is. The going rate is a range. In Sacramento, $70 to $80 per hour is reasonable. $85 may also be reasonable. Anything beyond that would require justification, like a classic car that can only be fixed by someone with special experience.
If the shop charges $100 per hour and the insurance company will only pay $75 per hour, what happens? They usually try to negotiate something. However, if that does not work, the insurance company will pay the reasonable rate. You may end up paying the difference.
Don’t mistake your right to get your car fixed wherever you want with an obligation of the insurance company to pay whatever is charged.