Auto Body Repair Frequently Asked Questions
Most of us have limited experience in navigating the process of auto body repairs. At some point, most drivers will encounter some type of damage, but it may be only once or twice during their driving career. So a little apprehension is normal because visiting the local auto body shop should definitely not be a weekly ritual! The auto body repair FAQ hopes to answer some of your questions.
Do I have to use my insurance company’s vendor?
NO! You have the right to choose. Insurance companies have relationships with their preferred vendors, but those vendors are not always going to be right for you. In many cases they will do the minimal amount of work to get your car back on the road. They also tend to be busy and you might end up waiting longer to get your car returned. You can learn more about this question in our article about your right to choose your own auto body shop. But always remember, in most states, you have the right to choose your auto body repair shop.
How does the deductible work?
Every insurance plan will have a different deductible and that figure will be worked out between you and your provider. The deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company chips in. For example, if you incurred $1,500 in damages and have a $500 deductible, you would pay $500 and your insurance company would cover the remaining $1,000.
It’s always a good idea to carry enough insurance to cover your personal liability. As you build assets you will want to increase your coverage to protect those assets. You can visit a handy auto insurance calculator to help you determine a what you might need.
Is it okay to do phone or text estimates?
An in-person inspection is always best. Estimating is an art that requires the experienced estimator to closely inspect the damage and possibly look inside the vehicle. Thorough body shop estimates benefit you. It will be worth the extra time to visit the shop because the auto body shop will have a close approximation of the time and cost to repair your vehicle to pre-accident condition. It is never a good feeling when you get an inaccurate estimate, and when you go to pay, find that costs and or time greatly exceed expectations.
Who pays for a rental car if I need one?
This is another individual insurance question. Some policies cover rentals. Some do not. Most people tend to wait until an accident happens to find out which applies to them. If your policy does include rental cars, then your insurance company will arrange a car for you. Otherwise you may be required to secure your own rental and pay out-of-pocket. Your auto body repair shop should be able to help get you set up through a preferred vendor, and may be able to help save you some time and money.
My car is a unique color, can you match the paint?
All paint is a unique color. There are different shades of white, gray, red, etc. No two colors are the same. Technologies now exist to microscopically match paint. We are also fortunate enough to live in an era where auto manufacturers publish detailed information on their paint swatches and make available replacement paint for just this purpose. So odds are, unless you spray painted your car with some 1970’s spray paint you found in a barn, then your paint color can be matched to precision. (And yes, the spray paint story does happen!)
Quality Assured Collision Center has been serving the Long Beach, CA community since 2004. We specialize in collision repair, body work, dent repair, car restoration, and mechanical work. We can offer towing, drop-off and pick-up and even perform a free 15-point inspection on your vehicle. As experts on all insurance situations, we will help guide you through the process and we work with all types of financing situations for those paying out of pocket.
Call us now or text us a picture of your vehicle to (562) 599-0766