The need for auto body repair is inevitable at some point, for most people who own a car or truck. That means that there’s no time like the present to learn as much as you can about the auto body repair process and how you can save time, money and maybe even a few headaches in the future.
Know Your Deductible
Do you know what your auto insurance deductible is for collision damage repair? If not, take some time to revisit your insurance coverage and familiarize yourself with this important information. Should you ever need body work, especially if the accident is deemed your fault, you will be required to pay this amount out of pocket before most body shops will begin work.
If your deductible is higher than you would feel comfortable paying, consider revising your coverage to lower your required contribution.
Understand the System
Your car insurance company has a list of approved repair shops, and they may imply that you’re obligated to use a company from the list. Usually, however, you are legally entitled to select your own collision damage repair company.
In many cases, those shops contracted through your insurance carrier have agreed to accept reduced fees from the insurer. This can sometimes result in shortcuts or inferior repairs. Take the time to locate a locally owned and operated body shop in your area, so you can feel comfortable that your repairs will be done right. A local shop will stand behind their work, because they rely on their reputation and customer relationships.
Obtain More Than One Estimate
Most consumer experts recommend that you get more than one estimate for damage repair, and that you obtain a copy of each — in writing. Carefully compare each estimate’s scope of work to ensure a thorough repair. Ask whether the work is guaranteed and, if so, for how long.
Verify the Quality of Replacement Parts
Know the difference between generic parts, salvage, after-market and original equipment manufacturer parts. Manufacturer parts are usually the most expensive, and your insurance company may not want to pay premium costs for premium parts. Consequently, you may not have much choice in what parts are used, unless you’re willing to pay the difference. But make sure you find out if you do have options, as inferior parts can undermine the safety of your car.
Know Your Shop’s Reputation
Before you choose a shop to fix your car, be sure to check out its reputation and complaint history. You can do this by checking with the Better Business Bureau and other sources that track customer complaints and feedback. (For example, GephardtApproved.com is a great source for business evaluation information in Utah.) You can also check with the attorney general’s office or the consumer affairs department to get more information.
In the Salt Lake City area, Dent Master is your premier choice for collision damage repair, auto body work, auto painting and paintless dent repair. We stand behind our work and we guarantee your satisfaction. Contact us today for all of your auto body repair needs.