Navigating the aftermath of a car accident provides enough headaches without your having to fight your insurance company about car repairs. Many body shops, such as ours, do their best to process claims and work with insurance companies to get you the repairs you need done.
However, no matter how involved you want to be with the process, you should know about these common body-repair myths. If you aren’t aware of your rights as a car owner and insurance holder, you could end up paying more than you should.
Your insurance company may suggest where you can take your car. Your agent may even offer towing services to a specific auto body shop. However, you have the right to choose any shop you would like to service your vehicle. Your insurance company will have to cover the cost.
This is useful because not all body shops provide the same caliber of work or provide services for specialized vehicles. For example, if you have an antique vehicle or higher-end sports car, you may have a body shop you use regularly for repairs and paint jobs.
In some cases, it’s better to choose a shop that is out of your insurance network. You’ll still pay for your deductible either way, but by going independent, you can avoid shops that have pre-set rates with insurance companies. Pre-set rates can affect the quality of work and the caliber of the repair materials.
Insurance companies often try to push you to choose shops that provide the lowest bid for the work you need done. Companies may also contest things like time estimates for repairs and whether or not parts should be repaired instead of replaced. Stay involved in the repair process and catch these discrepancies. Usually the restoration specialist’s estimates and suggestions are the best path for your car.
Your insurance company will assess the damage on your vehicle and decide on an estimated cost for repairs. The estimated cost and the actual cost can differ greatly. Many people believe they’ll be on the hook for anything that goes over the original estimate.
This is not the case. Many factors go into price, and sometimes, damage can be hidden or more difficult to fix because of part sourcing or the cost of materials. As the restoration of your vehicle progresses, your insurance company must make concessions for damages that were not assessed properly with the original estimate.
Many people forgo repairing their car entirely and instead use the reimbursement from insurance companies to buy a different vehicle altogether. Usually people do this because they think their car simply won’t ever look as nice or drive as well as it did before the accident.
This is simply not the case. Gone of the days of beating out the dents and touching up with paint that almost-but-not-quite matches. Some cars are damaged beyond repair, but many, even those with extensive cosmetic damage, can look and feel new again.
New technology in collision repair allows the repair specialists to fit your car back to its factory specs. There is no guess work—every repair is measured and precise. Repair shops use the correct color of paint (sourced from the manufacturer of your vehicle) and the exact materials. When a piece is not salvageable, new parts may be used.
Since your car has been in an accident, it no longer has a clean title, which does affect its resell value. However, you have some control over maintaining the value of your vehicle. If possible, ask your auto dealer to use OEM (original-equipment manufacturer) parts with your repair. These will replace the damaged parts with ones exactly like your originals.
Refurbished or off-brand parts will do the job, but they will more negatively affect the value of your vehicle.
Insurance companies can be very strict about parts because off-brand and refurbished parts cost less money. When you are not at fault for your car accident, however, you have grounds to fight for OEM parts in your insurance claim.
Some insurance companies will offer warranties on body work done at networked auto shops. These warranties might seem attractive enough to you to stop you from shopping around for the best shop you can find.
However, warranties are often unnecessary for repair work. For example, some shops may offer their own warranty with the work, or they might provide guarantees on labor and parts. These guarantees could be similar to or better than the warranty your insurance company offers.
For more information on dealing with insurance and after-accident repairs, contact us at Central Body Company, Inc. We can help you get the estimates you need as well as communicate with your insurance company to help you get the most out of your coverage.