Top Auto Body Repair Tips for Consumers
Getting into a car accident and then being surprised by a high estimate for the auto body repair costs makes a bad situation even worse. Considering how expensive auto body repairs can be, it is very important to know how to handle a car accident before and after it happens – especially if the cause of the accident was your fault.
Helpful Auto Body Repair Tips
- Anticipate auto body repair costs. Knowing that an auto body repair can be quite expensive. Before filing the claim check to see how much your current collision deductible is on your auto insurance policy. Most deductibles can range from $250 – $1,000, if you chose to file a claim, know that you will be paying the full deductible amount. Keep in mind that if you do file a claim your insurance premium will most likely increase at your next renewal. Therefore you may want to get an estimate from a qualified auto body shop before filing the claim.
- Read auto body repair shop review and recommendations. There are several review sites on the web, but few specialize in auto body repair. With this research available, you can use your best judgment when selecting a shop to repair your vehicle.
- Visit an auto body repair shop. Call or visit auto body shops in your area. The best time to call or visit an auto repair shop is after the morning rush. Visiting an auto body repair shop when they are busy may not be the ideal time to get the full attention of the shop staff.
- Get everything in writing. Most states require that auto body repair shops give you a written estimate. Make sure you have the opportunity to review the estimate before the shop begins your repair. When you pick up your car, make sure you compare the written estimate to the final bill to verify that everything matches. Don’t be afraid to ask the auto body shop about any discrepancies.
- Verify your insurance coverage for a rental car. You’ll need to know what your insurance policy will cover when it comes to getting a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop. For example, if you need a bigger vehicle like an SUV or van to fit your lifestyle, you should be aware if your insurance only reimburses you for the rental of a compact car. By checking your policy in advance, you can reevaluate as needed to avoid future problems and fees.
- Certifications are signs of a reputable auto body shop. When selecting a repair shop, look for certifications. A certification usually means that the auto body repair facility is committed to continuous training of their staff on proper repair procedures. Certifications also show that the auto body repair shop has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. The most common certification programs are offered by I-CAR and ASE.