I have been receiving multiple phone calls after my accident from body shops, lawyers, and chiropractors all trying to get me to use them. What should I do?
In this industry those companies are known as “ambulance chasers” and usually they don’t have your best interest in mind. Not sure on what the lawyers and doctors try to get you to do, but I have personally talked to customers who received the same calls about taking their vehicle to a body shop who promises to save a deductible or cut you a check back when the car is done.
About nine out of ten people told me that once their car was finished they did not get what they were promised or the repairs looked like a twelve year old was working on their car. Beware of the old saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”
What are OEM, Aftermarket, and Recycled Parts?
OEM – (Original Equipment Manufactured) by your vehicle’s factory supplier.
Aftermarket – 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.
Can the insurance company make me go to one of their required shops?
The decision is entirely up to the client to select an auto body shop of their choice to make the repairs to their vehicle. On the other hand insurance companies usually have a list of approved body shops which whom they work with and that can mean an easier claim process. Our body shop is approved through most insurance companies and can help guide you through the process.
Should I pay out of pocket or let insurance cover it?
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.
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 frame, meaning most of the vehicle core is part of the frame structure. It is very common and safe for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame.
How do you determine how long it takes to repair a vehicle?
Repair time is typically a function of labor hours on the job. Some makes and models or specific parts might not be available locally and a shop will add in days to acquire those parts, but 4 labor hours per day on the estimates, not including weekends or holidays, is a good guide. Some insurance companies and shops will differ. Please ask your Estimator or Service Representative to explain how your shop sets its repair time.
If I have a leased car, is it necessary to get it fixed at the dealership I purchased it from?
You do not have to, but if there are nay problems when you go to trade in or lease return your car, if the dealership body shop repaired it, it should be covered by their warranty and not some independent shop that might not have a warranty.
When choosing a body shop to repair my vehicle what should I look for?
Number one is the quality of the collision repair that the shop does, most shops nowadays have a website that usually has testimonials from customers and/or before and after pictures of vehicles they repaired.
Also be sure to look for certification at the shop (I-car, ASE certification or any frame machine certification). The longer a technician has been doing body repairs also contributes to the knowledge and experience they have with auto body repairs. I also look for a clean and presentable facility (if the office looks like a mess, than usually the shop itself will be in a worse condition) office staff should be friendly and greet you with a smile.
What happens if I pick my car up and find a problem later on?
Most body shops have some sort of a guarantee or warranty for the repairs they perform. If the problem that occurs is related to the accident and not a workmanship problem with the body shop, then you can go back to the insurance company up to two years after the time of the accident for anything else that happens.
Make sure before you take your car to a body shop you research the shop and see what their warranty is and exactly what it covers and for how long. Alliance Coachworks offers a lifetime warranty as long as you own your car. Check out our warranty page for more information.