- Stay calm.
- Check for injuries. The lives and wellbeing of you and others involved in the accident are more important than property damage. If there are any injuries, or if you are in doubt, call an ambulance.
- If the accident is minor, and there are no injuries, carefully move the vehicles to a safe spot out of traffic. It is recommended to call the police at this point to complete an accident report; that will help determine who is at fault.
- Always be polite and honest. Allow the police and insurance company to determine who is at fault in the accident.
- If possible (and it is safe to do so) take photos of the accident, and make notes about injuries and damage to all persons and vehicles involved. Write down the names, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information for everyone involved. Also, try to get witness information if possible.
- Contact you insurance company as soon as possible and pass on the information collected from the accident.
- Contact the collision repair facility of your choice for assistance in having your vehicle transported from the scene of the accident, or for assistance in working with the insurance company. Let us assist you, we can help make arrangements and help lighten your load in this very stressful time.
- Call or visit the repair center once you have claim information. We would like to go over the damage to the vehicle with you in person before we begin repairs to make sure everything is handled the first time. Also, you will need to sign a work authorization to begin the repair process. Be sure to grab a free cookie and drink while you are there.
Besides the friendly faces, free cookies, free drinks and inviting, kid-friendly waiting area, you’ll find the industry’s top collision repair professionals. If you already have an appointment scheduled, our Customer Service Representatives will introduce you to your Service Adviser who will walk you through your repair process. If you haven’t yet scheduled an appointment, you can do so simply by calling the AutoBody Express nearest you.
No, there is no reason to get three estimates.
First and foremost you should select a shop that you are comfortable will complete your repair to your satisfaction with your safety in mind.
Many repair centers offer free estimates. However, initial estimates vary greatly from shop to shop based on various factors:
- Each insurance company requires certain guidelines be followed when an estimate is written. There are specific requirements based on both the Insurance Company involved as well as the type of coverage you have. These coverages may require certain types of parts and labor rates to be considered to create an accurate repair estimate. Estimates written without this information may make this process seem confusing.
- Experience, quality of training, and thoroughness of the estimator can lead to large gaps in the repair cost from one initial estimate to another.
- Some shops will write initial estimates intentionally low to get the work in the door only to file large supplements on the claim during the process.
Yes, in fact it is required in most cases.
You should obtain approval from your insurance company before repairs begin. Your insurance company will authorize repairs, parts types used, payments, and written /digital photo documentation before and during the repair process.
DRP simply means Direct Repair Program.
Benefits of these programs include additional warranties, more timely repairs, cost savings, and peace of mind for you.
Insurance Companies can provide you with a list of their preferred or Direct Repair Providers in your area.
These chosen providers have met specific requirements in the areas of; training, quality, customer service, and possess the state of the art equipment necessary for the best possible repair to your vehicle and experience for you. AutoBody Express is a DRP Shop for most major insurance companies.
Even if we are not a member of your insurance company’s DRP program, rest assured that your repair will be taken care of with exactly the same level of care (and probably better) than any shop currently on their program. Let us show you why AutoBody Express should be on their list.
Ask people you trust.
- Who does your Insurance Company recommend?
- Have any of your friends, coworkers, or family members ever used this collision repair center’s services?
- Look or evidence of teammate training, industry certifications, and participation in customer satisfaction measurement programs.
- Collision repair providers with lifetime warranties and a substantial number of years in business are a good consideration.
As the vehicle owner, you make the decision. You have the right to select the repair center of your choice.
There are specific laws that give you this right and prevent anyone from requiring you to use an alternative repair facility.
The vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for payment for all repairs.
You may instruct your insurance company to make payment directly to the repair center on your behalf. Usually an initial payment is made for the repair estimate and then during the repair process a supplemental payment will be issued for additional hidden damages or parts cost that are discovered during repairs.
The collision repair center can assist you with clarification on any payments that may be issued. Remember to clarify any deductible amounts or questions you may have as early on as possible. Your portion (if applicable) is not required until the completion of repairs and you pick up your vehicle.
Insurance deductibles are due at the completion of the repair process to the repair center. Your insurance adjuster can answer any questions you may have regarding your policy, coverage, and applicable deductibles.
Be cautious of anyone offering to save you the cost of your deductable! Ask specific questions on how they plan to absorb this cost. Will all repairs be made per industry standard and will all the proper parts be used? This is not usually an offer with your best interest in mind or the protection of the investment you have in your vehicle.
Review your itemized final repair order. Complete a walk-around inspection with your Service Advisor and have him/her explain the repairs that were made to your vehicle.
Look at the paint color and finish, all exterior trim, and proper operation of items involved, such as handles, mirrors, and other moving parts.
If your vehicle has been in a storm, call your insurance company first to report the damage. Take photos of the car where it was damaged, including any branches, water damage, mud or other elements. If your car has been submerged in water, do not drive it as mechanical and electrical elements may have been damaged. Trust your vehicle only to an established body shop business operating in the area prior to the storm. Beware of fly-by-night operators trying to make a quick buck off of large weather events and natural disasters.