After you’ve been involved in an accident, handling your collision repairs can seem like an intimidating prospect. The extent of the damage, the cost of repairs and the amount of that cost the insurance company will cover may all be unknowns. To complicate matters, most folks have little experience with collision repairs, leading to some common misconceptions and a few myths. Here are some of the things you may not know about the collision repair process:
Damage often goes beyond what you see on the surface
Even if you’re fine with some dents and dings, it’s always smart to have your car checked out after a collision. For one thing, even minor issues like paint damage can cause you expensive repairs down the road. But more urgently, your car may be damaged in ways that aren’t immediately visible. Your entire vehicle absorbs the impact of a crash, meaning frame damage, sensor problems or alignment issues are all possibilities.
You don’t need three estimates
It’s not a bad idea to get a few quotes on your repair, but the insurance company doesn’t require you to get three estimates from different shops. Keep in mind, too, that estimates can vary considerably based on the experience and skill of the appraiser. An expert appraiser should identify and predict likely repairs, based on knowledge of the vehicle and familiarity with accident damage. Someone who isn’t as skilled may miss things that will need fixing, inadvertently lowballing the estimate. In all cases, there are sometimes issues that become apparent only after the car is opened up and repairs are underway.
You get to choose your body shop
The insurance company might suggest a preferred shop, but that doesn’t mean you have to take your vehicle there. Choose a shop you trust that utilizes technicians who are used to working on similar cars. Ask friends for recommendations, read reviews and don’t be afraid to ask questions about your quote. A reputable shop and skilled technician will always be able to answer why a certain repair is needed.
It doesn’t take much for a car to be “totaled”
A totaled car calls to mind terrible damage and an undrivable vehicle. However, for insurance purposes, a totaled car simply means the proposed repairs cost more than the vehicle is worth. This happens pretty quickly for older cars with low value or even for older luxury cars with expensive parts.
Yes, your vehicle can be as good as it was before the accident
After a quality repair, a car can be as good as it was before a collision. Many repair shops work with automakers to meet certain specifications and standards for repair. A body shop should have several of these certifications, both from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repairs (which issues the I-CAR certification) and individual manufacturers. Due to the limitations that automakers place on repair centers, a shop won’t have all manufacturers’ certifications, but a quality shop should have a mix of popular and luxury brands.
Contact us today for a free estimate
If you’ve been involved in a crash, you need help getting your vehicle back on the road and running safely. At Bavarian Body Works, our trained technicians will evaluate the repair and replacement options with you, always with a focus on your safety. Contact us today for more information.