An automobile accident can be an extremely traumatic event. In a split second, you can be left with thousands of dollars in repairs and be completely unsure where to turn or what to do next. When you need to deal with an auto body shop for the repairs on your vehicle, there are a couple of simple steps you will want to take to protect yourself and your pocketbook.
1. Notify your insurance company of the accident right away. If you are involved in an accident with another person, contact their insurance company as well and make sure they have your information also. In some states you may be able to seek repairs through the other party’s insurance company if they were at fault. If you are pursuing repairs through your insurance policy you may be responsible for a deductible. Take the time to ensure you understand your insurance coverage and the endorsements on your policy that could impact how your vehicle will be repaired and how much you will be responsible for.
2. Understand your shop options. If you are working with an insurance company, ask whether they have preferred shops. Take the time to inquire about warranties on the repairs. Take your vehicle to several shops for estimates, as the cost to repair can vary widely. Speak with the representatives at the shop and make sure you feel comfortable working with the shop on the repairs to your vehicle. Even if you are working through an insurance company, most states have laws that ensure you can work with the shop of your choice. Ask friends and family members for referrals as well, and always read the online reviews available. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for open complaints.
3. Get a copy of every estimate in writing. Review each estimate, specifically regarding parts and labor. Find out whether the shop plans on using recycled, original manufacturer, or after-market parts on your vehicle, as the price and quality of these parts may vary widely. Some insurance companies may not cover original parts, so ensure you understand your limitations and options. If there is a large discrepancy in the man hours on a repair, ask why. It is possible a shop may have overlooked a needed repair that another included.
4. After the repairs are completed, request an itemized invoice, as well as a copy of any warranties that may apply to the parts or repairs, keep these documents on file. In most states, you have the right to inspect or receive any parts removed from your vehicle to ensure replacement was necessary. Before leaving the shop, inspect your vehicle thoroughly to verify that you are satisfied with all repair work.
For immediate repairs contact Marquis Auto at 866-663-2770