Getting a Vehicle Repair Estimate After a Car Accident
Have you just been involved in a car accident? Getting a vehicle repair estimate will be a vital step in getting your car back on the road.
When you’re involved in an accident, one of the first things you want to do is get an estimate for repairs or any other damage to your vehicle. With my way of thinking about getting an estimate, I want to find an auto body shop near me that provides a fair and reputable quote.
If you’re affected by an accident, it can be a frightening and trying experience, plus if you’re dealing with any kind of injury or injuries, you’re not initially worried about getting your car immediately fixed. You know the whole situation means getting involved with insurance companies and the hassle of it all, but you need to take care of your transportation. Go ahead, if possible, and take your car in for an estimate. Patiently wait for the estimate and schedule an appointment for repairs.
When you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll want to find several body shops in the area where you live. One thing is certain, make sure that any shop you choose is well-established, qualified, thorough, and also conscientious enough to pinpoint all the damage to your vehicle, plus give you a fair estimate. With an estimate, you want quality work, a good price, and the timing necessary to accommodate your situation.
In addition, you want to make sure before getting an estimate that you have done your research as far as the reputations of body shops in the area. You’ll also want to read any reviews from other car owners. Do make sure that you get a breakdown of every repair that they will make along with the costs for labor and any parts.
Be sure that the estimate they gave you is the right amount to repair your vehicle correctly. Do comparisons of any estimates you receive on a line-by-line basis. This will enable you to make the best and informed choice, though quality work is your primary goal. Search for shops that offer factory allowed repairs, particularly if the vehicle you are driving is used for business use. Also, remember that the lowest quote or easiest estimate is not always the best. Ensure yourself with the right estimate, one that entails all expenses and real workmanship.
Be careful of insurance adjusters that are acting as a third-party representative. They’ll tell you there are other body shops that can repair your vehicle for a lot less than the other estimates you may have gotten. Some insurance companies will engage in special deals with repair shops that offer low-end work for them. The shops will get more referrals for their less than quality work. None of these cheaper perks offer any guarantees that your inspection is thorough, and the work is of quality.
You also want to get inspections from independent body shops. With independent body repair companies, you can make comparisons with insurance recommended shops. If the independent estimates are higher than the insurance company’s estimate, the insurance company estimate is probably a poor choice. You would prefer that repair work be done by a shop chosen by you. Estimates from independent body shops can help you negotiate your claim.
Insurance Company Delays
An insurance company’s estimates or inspections often help to delay repair work on your vehicle. When your vehicle cannot be inspected in a timely manner, at least within a week of the accident and time has already been set aside for an inspection, plus you have gotten written independent estimates, there are always going to be reasons for delays.
There is almost always going to be a passage of time with insurance companies, which can’t be helped. They are busy handling other cases, so you need to take that into consideration. Be aware of these delays, but remain in contact with your insurance company. Call them with questions in the process and ask them about delays. It’s a standard procedure that an insurance company will inspect your vehicle within a week following the accident. Get written estimates and do what you can to move the process along. Give any pertinent information and answer questions that are put to you by the insurance company.
Don’t enable an insurance company’s estimates or inspections to delay your repair work. When you have heard nothing and you have gotten several estimates you should probably have the repair work done and ask for reimbursement once the work is complete. Again, be conscious of higher estimates, as an insurance company will probably approve the lower estimates and will not settle quickly when the work is complete. Also, most of the time, an insurance company doesn’t have to pay for a rental car or other kinds of transportation.
Just remember that your goal is to receive reimbursement from the insurance company as soon as possible. You want the repair work done quickly so you can return to a normal life. So, it’s usually best to wait, if you can, for the reimbursement check before you have any work done on your vehicle. Ask if they will pay for alternative transportation, like a rental car, while they make your repairs.
It’s Not Always About The Cost
You don’t want to determine your decision purely on price. Estimates vary, but you can’t just assume that a body shop is charging you more than necessary. The same holds true for a low estimate, which could be a tipoff to be wary of. In the end, you get what you pay for along with dissatisfaction with the repair work. Remember the line-by-line comparison with any estimates. Quality should always be foremost in your mind, along with the shop’s reputation.