No matter how safe we drive and how vigilant we are about the safety of our passengers, you’ll still need to visit a collision center every seven years. Good news is that you go to the collision center and not the hospital, or worse, the morgue.
Most people have no clue what to do after an accident. Most people know that they should call the police and get medical attention if necessary. But what do you do next? We have to decide if we call the repair shop, if we want to be directed by the insurance company where to take our vehicle, and if we do not.
We recommend you search for the most reliable shop in your neighborhood and ask them to create an estimate. Most estimates are generated using the same software. Three major estimating software programs are used. Your estimator should have experience in identifying hidden damage to the vehicle so that there are very few differences between estimates. Most insurance companies will have an estimator come to the shop to examine the vehicle, determine the extent of the damage and then submit an estimate. Usually, the carrier will send one of its field personnel to the shop to look at the vehicle with an estimator. At this point, negotiations are often held.
Experienced insurance adjustors and shops will know how to find hidden damage under the main panels. Once hidden damage has been discovered, a supplemental claim may be filed.
The way you are treated at the repair shop is an important consideration when choosing a facility. How were you treated by the staff? You can tell the quality and professionalism of the repairs by the appearance of the office and the employees. Collision repair requires high-level skills and a lot of capital investment. Many shops that are well run will have a waiting room that looks like a doctor’s appointment.
A majority of people who are involved in a motor car accident have collision insurance. Our repair is handled by the insurance company in the same way as our hospitalization. As with medical insurance, we must pay a copay (deductible) and expect the shop not to charge us more than the allowed amount. The only difference is that the shop must repair the vehicle to our satisfaction and keep it within the budget as recommended by the insurance company.
There is often much disagreement between the parties about what constitutes quality repair. We, as consumers, have to demand quality work and be involved in the repair process. You need to choose your repair shop carefully. If there is a discrepancy between the work they want and what you will pay for, get involved and demand quality repairs. Your car is the most important investment you’ll make in your life. Your safety and security are key to your car’s performance. You decide where to repair it. Do not listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.