Collision Appraisal & Estimating
How to select a body shop.
Often times when people are involved in an accident they think, "the insurance company will take care of it for me." In fact, it is your responsibility to choose who will do the repairs for you. This is not a choice that should be taken lightly, as it will involve protecting a major investment. Be sure to check out our other pages that answer many of our customers Frequently Asked Questions.
The following information is provided to help you make an informed decision when choosing a body shop for collision repair or restoration work.
Your first impression of a facility is significant. Make sure the facility you consider makes an initial impact that is positive. Look for a neat, well-organized facility with modern equipment. In addition, look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area. ASE certificates, Licenses, Customer thank you letters and Community involvement.
Ask to take a tour of the facility, and while doing so, observe a repair similar to the one needed on your vehicle. In addition, pay special attention to see that an honest effort toward cleanliness is evident. A clean environment makes for a quality repair.
Also look for signs that the staff is technically competent, such as trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and training from I-CAR , and ASE certifications - a national standard of technician competence issued by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Ask about years of experience and if the company participation in High School and College apprenticeship programs.
Ask about the parts to be used to repair your vehicle. Accept only those equal to the original equipment manufacturer's or those originally on your vehicle. The use of non-approved parts could void a portion of your warranty and devalue your vehicle.
( A/M ), Aftermarket parts not made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer ( OEM ). These parts have their place in the repair of damaged automobiles, it must be noted that they are not factory parts. Some don't fit as well as factory and some don't have the same finished quality. They are not factory parts but they are new and they are less expensive.
Used parts ( LKQ ) or Like Kind Quality, also have their place, however there is a reason that they come from a salvage ( junk ) yard. LKQ parts provide a cost effective way of replacing damaged assemblies or discontinued parts no longer available from the OEM. They are not always less expensive and they are not new.
Paint match, hue and gloss are the determining factors in the appearance of your repaired vehicle. Today's modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints.
Without the most sophisticated techniques and training, hi-tech factory finishes cannot be duplicated. Make sure the shop you choose to repair your vehicle has made the commitment to both the finest painting equipment and the best technician training.
We use PPG Basecoat Clearcoat Urethane finishes. They are very durable and duplicate the factory finishes exactly.
There is a belief that only the shop with the lowest estimate will be allowed to do the repair to your vehicle. When in reality, many times a cheaper estimate may mean just that...a cheaper job. Most facilities charge roughly the same as any other. The low ball estimate usually does not include all the items a more complete estimate does or perhaps the labor time or parts prices are not accurate and will need to be supplemented after the job has been started. This practice is very common and results in final repair bill prices being higher than the original estimate. In reality the estimate should look very much like the final bill, and should reflect all the labor, materials, parts and other items it takes to restore your automobile.
High or low estimate is irrelevant, so you should concentrate on selecting a shop you feel comfortable with and one you can trust to do the right thing. And of course one that you feel will treat you fairly. Ask friends and relatives for referrals.
We work with all insurance companies which means we can handle the negotiations necessary in securing a fair settlement regarding the costs involved in repairing your car. You should be aware that the insurance company owes the shop nothing. They owe you. Or better said, the person who caused the damages owes you. In many cases we are paid directly by the insurance company leaving only the deductible if it applies, payable by you.
The deductible is the amount you are responsible for if your insurance company pays out on a claim on your behalf. It is important to note that if your insurance company is paying for your damage caused by another party who is at fault, then you will be reimbursed for your deductible by your insurance company when they collect from the Insurance company whose client that was at fault.
It is a violation of your rights as a consumer and state law for an insurance company require you to get more than one estimate or for the insurance company to require you to use one shop or another and more importantly not to use one shop over another.
You don't have to go all over town getting estimates, all you need to do is pick a repair shop you like and leave your car there to be repaired. Be sure to tell your insurance company where the car is being repaired and tell the repair shop what insurance company will be responsible for payment. Be prepared to provide claim numbers, policy info, phone numbers and address to both parties.
You have the choice of getting a good job or a marginal job...for the same price. The amount you pay (usually your deductible) remains the same. Don't you deserve a good job? You have the right to choose the repair facility that will repair your car.
Each insurance company has its own claims handling procedure. Contrary to popular belief repairs are not warranted by the insurer. Only the business who performs the repair can provide a warranty. The best collision repairers will provide a written warranty on repairs and repainting in addition to any warranty provided by an insurer. Don't be fooled by an insurance representative who makes statements to the effect that your repairs will not be guarantied if you have your car repaired by xyz shop. He is simply making an attempt to steer you away from one repair facility and to another.
As our customer, we welcome you.
You will receive the finest quality repairs available. These repairs are made possible only by our continued dedication to the collision industry.
As a member of the business community, we adhere to a Code of Ethics; our pledge to you of honesty, integrity, safety and craftsmanship.
You may have some questions concerning the estimating/repair process. This information page was designed with those questions in mind.
If you have any questions, please ask us. Our trained professionals are ready and willing to help you in any way they can. Please feel free to visit our repair facility for a tour.
For more information be sure to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
For us, satisfying our customers is the most important goal we have.
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