|Choice of Repair Shops
Your car is the second
largest investment you're likely to make. Assure the safety of your family and
preserve the value of your investment by having it repaired
The average vehicle owner
doesn't understand their most important role in the collision repair process --
their selection of a repair shop. For this reason, they often fall
victim to incorrect information, confusing claims processes and sometimes just
plain wrong advice.
Do I have the right to
choose the shop that will repair my car?
Absolutely. There is no law or moral standard says you must have your
vehicle repaired at the "cheapest" shop or one "preferred" by the insurance
company because of a special relationship they may have with these shops. You
should select a repair facility based on their skill, service, knowledge,
reputation and guarantee of their workmanship.
Do I need to get two or
No. Notify the
insurance company responsible, because their adjuster may need to inspect the
damage. If your car is safe to drive and the insurance company has a drive-in
claims service, you should call them for an appointment and take your car there
for inspection. Be certain to get a copy of the insurance adjuster's estimate.
After your claims center appointment, take the estimate and your vehicle to the
shop of your choice.
If you are unable to take
your vehicle to the drive-in claims center, you can leave your car at our shop
and advise the insurance company to inspect the car at our location.
Some insurance agents may tell you to "get two or three estimates." Talk to the
insurance claims office first. Generally claims are handled by insurance
claims departments, not agents.
Differences in repair
estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include operations necessary to
assure a long-lasting repair. If you choose to obtain estimates and unable to
tell the differences between them, please ask us. We'll show you the
differences in black and white, and explain how it relates to the repair
Do not get an estimate
from a shop you would not want to repair your vehicle.
Common Problems You Must Be Aware Of
identified the most common problems consumers face after an auto accident and
tossed into the unknown territory of insurance claims practices.
Understanding Your Policy
Most folks think their
insurance company will take care of everything only to discover "problems" when
it comes claim time. Often their policy gives their insurance company
permission to use imitation parts. Avoid this
problem by reading and understanding your policy before you have a
Call your agent and ask to have it reviewed with you.
Contact us with your questions. We've
likely dealt with your company and familiar with their claims practices. There
are a number of excellent insurance companies and agents that settle claims
quickly and fairly, with their client's concerns and safety in mind.
Problem #2: Making
Decisions on Your Vehicle Repair
Most people are not
prepared for an accident and quickly "forced" into making quick decisions
regarding their vehicle repair. If you were involved in a collision right now,
would you know what needs to be done, or would you rely on your insurance agent
to handle all the details?
Become educated in the
claims process. Know your rights. The safety of your family and resale value of
your vehicle depends upon the choices you make at this critical
Please call or e-mail us
with any questions you may have. We'll be glad to answer them and help you be
better prepared in the event an accident occurs.
Problem #3: Allowing The
Insurance Company to Make Your Decisions
accident, many incorrectly assume the insurance company "calls the shots" when
it come to the repair of their vehicle.
Just because the insurance company is "paying the bill" doesn't give
them the right to select the repair shop and dictate repair quality. Always
remember: it's your car, and your choice. You've paid your premiums; it's the
insurance company's job to fulfill their obligations under your policy. When it
comes to the repair of your vehicle, you make the decisions .
Read your policy. Be certain you haven't signed anything that confines
the decisions you need to make to protect your investment. Contact us if you
would like to know which insurance companies settle your claims without hassle,
and which ones routinely shortcut repairs and attempt to steer you to
shops on "their list."
Facts You Must Know
Must I notify my
insurance company before beginning repairs?
Insurance policies require you notify the company or your agent, provide them
with details about the accident, and advise them where the vehicle may be
inspected. Never drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages from an
Who is responsible for
the repair bills?
You are ultimately
responsible for payment. Your insurance policy states the insurance company
will pay you for amount of the repair work, less your deductible.
Who is responsible for
the quality of the repair to my vehicle?
shop. This is why it's vitally important you select a repair facility that
is trained and equipped to restore your automobile to "pre-accident" condition,
and in the best interest of the vehicle owner.
there is a problem with the repairs, who should I contact?
manager of the repair shop. If your problem isn't rectified, contact the
insurance company's local claims manager or district supervisor. You may also
want to notify the Office of Consumer Protection and the Better Business
What if my insurance
company refuses to pay for the proper repair to my vehicle?
If it is
your insurance company, contact your insurance agent first. If they do not
assist you, contact the branch or regional claims manager of the insurance
company. If your efforts fail, contact the Superintendent of
Let us help you settle your auto
repair claim with the
insurance company. We work for