What are your rights?
You have the right to select the shop that will repair your car. In fact, to make processing your claim easier on you, select the repair shop, leave your car there, and notify your insurance agent or company.
You only need to get one estimate. Your insurance adjuster may need to inspect the damage before approving your claim. If your insurance company has a drive-in claims service, and your car is safe to drive, call them for an appointment, take your car there, make sure you get a copy of the insurance adjuster’s estimate, and take it and your car to the shop of your choice.
Some insurance agent may tell you to get two or three estimates. Talk to your insurance adjuster first. Generally, claims are handled by the insurance company’s claims department, not agents. And in Washington, you only need to get one estimate.
Important Tips To Keep In Mind
- Your car is the second largest investment you’re likely to make. Preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired professionally.
- Never drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages.
- Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your car repaired. You can do this, or you may leave your car at our shop and ask that the insurance company inspect the car here.
- You are not required by law to obtain more than one estimate or appraisal.
- You have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop.
Finding a qualified Collision repair facility….
IMPORTANT: The resale value of your vehicle and safety of your family all depend on the choices you make. Statistics show a vehicle owner on average may be involved in an accident once every five to seven years. So it is perfectly understandable why most people might not be able to notice repairs that do not meet the quality and safety standards of pre-loss condition. That’s why it is very important for you to choose who you believe in and trust to do the work.
REMEMBER: The insurance company is obligated under contract to restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition, nothing less, nothing more.
The following guidelines are designed to reduce your risk of having a bad collision repair experience and help you choose a reputable collision repair facility.
First: ask for referrals from people you know who’ve had a recent collision repair experience. Don’t ask your agent, because once you file a claim your agent now has to protect his employer’s best interests, not yours.
Today’s vehicles are designed with more technology than NASA used to put a man on the moon. If your vehicle is not repaired properly, it may worth less and not as safe. Be sure that the body shop has technicians who are properly trained and certified. Training Certificates should be posted on the lobby walls of the repair facility. Look for:
- A minimum of at least one welding certified technician
A reputable repair shop…
- Is staffed with courteous professionals who are willing to take the time to help you and walk you through the entire repair process.
- Wants to answer your questions and provide you with an accurate cost of repairs to pre-loss condition.
- Will arrange for towing or pick up at your convenience, and a rental or loaner car made available for your use. Supports all of their work with a lifetime warranty.
- Provides written assurance that the body shop will not begin repairs until they have negotiated a price. Provides a realistic date for completion of the repairs.
- Notifies you immediately of any changes that may cause delays. NOTE: It’s important to understand that proper and safe repairs may take longer than expected for a number of specific and crucial reasons.
- Offers to keep you informed during repairs in the manner you deem best.
- Wants you to know State law prohibits auto body shops use of counterfeit crash parts without your permission, and that you can not be charged the difference for the use of OEM crash parts.
- A reputable repair shop provides a detailed final repair invoice when the job is completed for your review. It includes an itemized list of all parts and materials used and all labor procedures. You are welcome to review all invoices from the parts suppliers as well.
A reputable repair shop has the following minimum equipment requirements:
- A dedicated frame bench for pulling and squaring your vehicle.
- A frame measuring system with a before and after printout to show you that the frame or unibody was pulled and straightened correctly.
- A spray booth with the ability to help perform a clean OEM like finish.
- A mig welder.
- Compliant A/C Recovery equipment to insure that no Freon is released into the ozone.
Important tips when washing your vehicle to make your finish last longer!
1. Avoid washing your car in the sun.
2. Rinse off as much dirt as possible before washing.
3. Clean tires first.
4. Clean wheels to eliminate brake dust and road salt corrosion.
5. Never use household soaps or detergents.
6. Don’t place grocery bags, luggage or other objects on the car top or trunk.
7. After driving in salty conditions, wash your car to prevent corrosion, fading and rust.
8. Get a complete detail once a year.
9. Do not “dry wipe” your car as it may cause scratching.
10. Avoid extreme heat and cold by keeping your car parked in the shade or a garage.
11. Avoid gravel roads which can cause chipping in the first 30 days.
12. Do not park under trees which drip sap.
13. Immediately rinse gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid and windshield solvent spills off your finish–but do not wipe.