Collision Repair Tips:
Do I have to get multiple estimates on my car?
No, Indiana Law allows the consumer to choose any shop to repair their vehicle. Your insurance company is required to work with the shop of your choice and, in good faith, arrive at an agreed price to repair your car.
The insurance company wants me to go to a shop that I don’t want to use to repair my car. Can I decide who is going to repair my car?
Legally, you have the right to choose what shop you want to fix your car. Your Insurance company is required to work with the shop you choose and to negotiate in good faith.
Should I turn in a claim into my insurance company or pay for it out of pocket?
That is really a question only you can answer based on a number of personal and financial factors. An initial drive-in estimate is typically written as a “visual only estimate”. A majority of the time, the price to repair a car goes up (sometimes increasing dramatically) once it is disassembled and closely inspected. This is due to many very expensive components are situated inside the exterior parts of vehicles and cannot be seen visually unless a vehicle has been taken apart, which is not feasible for a drive-in estimate. Your insurance company has the expertise and is trained to deal with additional damage and part price increases, much better than most consumers. If you have any question about handling the claim yourself or turning it into your insurance company, you should probably let the experts handle it for you, but again that is your choice.
What are OEM, Aftermarket, and Recycled Parts?
OEM– (Original Equipment Manufactured) by your vehicle’s factory supplier.
Aftemarket – Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party supplier. Mainly manufactured overseas and imported into the US.
Recycled Part – An original factory part taken off of a vehicle that has been retired from service
You always have the right to select the type of parts you want used on your vehicle. In Indiana you are required to select the type of parts to be used before repairs begin if your vehicle is less than 6 years old and being paid by your insurance company.
For this reason, you may be better off to file your claim with your insurance company instead of the “other” if they are refusing to pay for your selection.
What is a “Visible Only” Estimate?
A visible estimate is written only for what damage the appraiser can see without disassembling the vehicle. No hidden damage is assumed. Normally drive-in estimates (both shop and insurance company) are written as visible only because we do not want to potentially disable a vehicle while drive estimating. Once a vehicle is in the repair shop, we take all damaged parts off the car and inspect for all hidden damage. This is a normal industry practice.
Should I use the Photo Option Estimate from my Insurer ?
A photo only is two dimensional while your damage is three dimensional. This will not show many types of damage as well as the light level and cleanliness of the vehicle may also not show many damages. However, the photo will also not show any damage behind the panels directly damaged. Often up to 60% additional damage is found once the vehicle area is disassembled to reveal all the damages.
What is a Supplement Damages?
A supplement is typically an estimate for hidden or additional damage, not discovered during the initial visible estimate. Supplements and hidden damage are a normal occurrence because today’s vehicles are designed to crush from the “outside-in” in order to protect the occupants. If a shop finds additional damage, it writes a supplement and notifies the insurance company or customer for approval to continue with repairs.
How long will it take to repair my vehicle?
Repair time is typically a function of labor hours on the job. However, that is taking for granted all parts are available and any hidden damages are identified and approved. Some makes and models or specific parts might not be available locally and we may need to add in days to acquire those parts. Once we have a confirmation on parts and additional damage approvals, we will provide a good target delivery date to you.
Do you repair Hail damage?
Absolutely. We have PDR teams available at our location.
What are the requirements to rent a vehicle?
Most vehicle rental companies will require the following:
- The renter must be 21 years of age or older
- The renter must carry their own insurance policy
- The renter must present a valid driver’s license (check your expiration date) and proof of insurance
- The renter will be expected to provide a major credit card as a security deposit
If you have any additional questions, please contact your rental provider directly.
We can arrange your rental to make it as convenient as possible for you.
How often will I be updated on the repair status of my vehicle?
We will update you on your repair status as often as you have indicated. Just tell us how often and how, and it will happen.
During the drop off of your vehicle, you will be asked how often you would like to receive updates. Every day, every 2 days, every 3 days and so on or not at all. You decide…
What Is Waterborne Paint?
Waterborne paint is a high solids product where water is the carrier of the color instead of solvents. Waterborne paint is cleaner and generates less pollution emissions than that of solvent paint. Most vehicle manufacturers have or are moving to waterborne paint systems. We use it because it is a better, safer product that helps impact the environment less and insures that we will be able to better match factory colors into the future. It costs a little more and requires strict process compliance and that is why mostof our competitors take the easy road and spray solvent, regardless of the long term impacts it causes.
Can frame damage be properly repaired?
The answer is yes, if the frame has not been permanently weakened by a tear or kink. Also, some areas of the crush zone are off limits to repair. Serious damage may require a frame component section or replacement. Today’s light cars are designed with a uni-body structure, meaning most of the vehicle core is part of the body structure. It is very common and safe for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame, or uni-body structure today.
What should i do after an accident?
Get the name of the person(s) driving the other vehicle(s) involved along with their phone number, driver’s license, vehicle license, insurance information. Also try to obtain any witness’ name and number. Note the location, time and date. And, if you have a camera, take pictures. IMPORTANT: If the person(s) driving the vehicle(s) involved is unwilling to provide this information or if they do not have a driver’s license and insurance, then you have a problem, and you should notify the police and your insurance agent immediately.
Contact the shop of your choice and have them set up a tow or appointment to get your vehicle in the shop. If you need alternative transportation and have rental coverage or the other party’s insurance is paying the bill, ask the shop to set up the rental for you.
Contact the Insurance Company responsible and let them know where the vehicle is and/or where it is going and ask for a claim number. If the Insurance Company wants to examine your vehicle at your house or in their claims center, you have the choice of doing this, or you can inform the Insurance Company that you are dropping the vehicle at the shop of your choice and they can see the vehicle there. Remember, you’re free to choose.
Call the shop and give them the claim number. From this point on, the shop will negotiate on your behalf to insure that your vehicle will be returned to pre-loss condition.
What Should i do if my vehicle is totaled?
The Insurance Company responsible for your claim must pay for the cost of an equal replacement vehicle or provide you with a replacement vehicle. It is their choice. (refer to New Hampshire Law)
The Insurance Company may offer you a dollar amount for your vehicle (less the pre-agreed upon amount of your deductible). If you do not feel this is an adequate amount, you will need to substantiate your claim for a higher dollar amount with independent written evidence showing the worth of a similar vehicle (year, model, mileage, condition and options) in the same market area. The market area may be local or regional depending upon the number of vehicles for sale in the area.
Remember, upon extension of their offer to you, the Insurance Company has fulfilled its obligation and can at that time stop payment for rental car expenses. If your vehicle is totaled, visit your local dealerships or go online and obtain information that substantiates your claim of what you believe your vehicle is worth.
Can the insurance company make me to go to their claims cemter for an estimate?
No. You can drop the vehicle off at the shop of your choice and they will schedule an insurance adjuster to come out. If you do go to their claims center, accept the estimate and the check they give you.
However, do not sign anything that states you accept their check as payment in full. The insurance company realizes the repair shop may call with additional damage costs.
How to Choose a Body Shop
You should choose a body shop that provides a complete written estimate, follows a structured repair process for every vehicle and features trained, certified repair experts. A national affiliation usually reflects higher quality repair standards, as does a nationwide warranty. Look for a body shop that uses the highest-quality parts and products to restore your vehicle, who will keep you informed throughout the repair process, provides excellent customer service, delivers your vehicle on time, and conducts a thorough inspection of all repairs before putting you back on the road.
Information about Your Deductible
If your insured vehicle sustains physical damage as a result of a collision with another car or fixed object or your vehicle sustains damage related to some type of covered comprehensive peril (fire, theft, malicious mischief, vandalism, windstorm, hail, etc) your auto policy declaration pages will indicate the applicable deductible. It’s always important to double check the accuracy of your policy information with your insurance company before and after a loss.
Your deductible is due when you pick up the vehicle after repairs are complete. Ask us about our Deductible Forgiveness Special Discount.
Do I need an appointment to get an estimate?
Walk-ins are welcome, although it is best to call ahead so we can advise you of the process and possible wait time.
If I have full coverage does that mean rental vehicle costs will be covered?
Not necessarily, only if it is part of your policy coverage. Check with your agent. If your claim is being covered by the other party’s insurance, they should provide you with alternate transportation for the time of repairs. If you are not covered for a rental, we still can arrange competitively priced rentals.
Do You Provide Free Estimates ?
We provide a detailed computerized estimate for any vehicle 10 years or less, or if one of our Insurer DRPs request it. If your vehicle doesn’t meet either of these, there is a $25.00 fee, but it will be refunded if the vehicle is repaired by us.