Beware When Selecting a Body Shop

Since there are several choices, how does a person go about choosing a body shop? Well, since those involved in a auto accident will be speaking with their insurance company representative, in many instances they are going to patronize the shop advised by their insurance agent.

Insurance agents are quick to suggest an auto body shop when a customer is in need of vehicle repairs resulting from an automobile accident. However, it could turn out very badly for the client if he takes his car to the shop his insurance company representative has advised. Let me explain:

When your insurance company representative steers you toward a repair shop, it’s going to be a shop within his company’s “direct repair program.” The program consists of an agreement between the insurance firm and the repair shop. Under the agreement, the shop must repair the cars of customers sent by the insurance firm. In turn, the insurance carrier must point their clients to the member body shop.

Additionally, the auto body repair shop must estimate the price of vehicle repairs using aftermarket car parts. But there’s still more – should a lawsuit result because of substandard vehicle repairs, the body shop is under agreement to indemnify the insurance firm and bear liability.

But you may be thinking “So why would I care if the body shop fixes my car using aftermarket parts?” Just what does that mean to me?” The answer is “LOTS!”

Aftermarket car parts, otherwise known as replacement crash, salvage, or rebuilt parts, are auto parts that are created by a company other than the original maker or vendor. They are typically produced in Taiwan.

They are less high-priced compared with the parts manufactured by the car maker (to the delight of your insurer) and using them means you insurance carrier will have to pay out less in claims. But regrettably, this is a case of “you get what you pay for” as the aftermarket car parts are frequently of lesser quality. They are more inclined to fail, resulting in added repair work being needed, and in a worst case scenario, can mean that the “fixed” car is dangerous to drive!

Given that there are legal issues involved if auto repairs are done in a substandard manner, for what possible reason would a body shop willingly enter into the insurance company’s direct repair program to start with? The answer is simple: they don’t want to be forced out of business! Because it’s a matter of the survival of their business. After all, if the vast majority of body work is sent by insurance representative referrals, what does that mean for those repair shops who won’t “sign on the dotted line”?

Suppose you need repairs and choose to patronize a body shop outside the company’s “network”? Your insurance firm may well play “dirty tricks” to convince you that you made the wrong choice. Perhaps they will hesitate at paying for repairs – or maybe drag their feet about sending out an adjustor to check out your vehicle.

Does this result in a hassle for you? Sure. But it’s well worth it when the only other choice is to go to their “preferred” body shop and have to endure the potential results.

In conclusion, when you’re in need of an auto body shop, know your rights! If the shop your agent recommends is using aftermarket auto parts, find another shop. And if your insurance representative says “They won’t agree with our appraiser”, “We can’t work with that shop”, or “We won’t guarantee the repair when you go there” be aware that these and other similar statements are misleading at best, and at worst, outright falsehoods!

Auto Body Work Done the Right Way

Auto Body Work Done the Right Way

Cars are everywhere. This means that thousands of accidents happen around the world daily. When you have an accident, of course the first priority is to ensure that everyone is OK. Eventually you will need to take care of the damage done to you car. Heading to an auto body repair shop can be an unpleasant experience with the industry constantly fighting speculation of poor quality work, overcharging for work done and dishonesty. Knowing when your car has had auto body work done the right way is crucial. Here is what you need to look for.

Research Online

The internet is a great place to get information on anything and everything. A quick browse of car related forums can enable you to find out what you should expect. Posting a photo to a forum of the damage that needs to be repaired will see you receiving estimates from people who love anything and everything to do with auto-body work repairs.

Word of Mouth

It is old school, but people still do talk to their friends (or post on social media sites). Asking your local friends both online and offline, which auto body repair shops they recommend is a great way to started. At worst you will find out the body shops you want to avoid, you may get an earful about good and bad experiences they have had.

Consider the State of the Business

Price is always a consideration when getting auto body work completed. It is not something that you shop for regularly, so knowing what to expect price wise is tough to gauge. Two key influencers on price are shop format and location. In prime locations, prices are higher as a result of rental costs. In terms of shop format, if there is no admin staff or large overhead the costs will be lower.

Shop Around

There is no shortage of auto body repair shops in your area. There is no harm in getting quotes from at least three locations; most body shops provide you a quote for free. When shops realize that you are willing to shop around, you may be surprised how competitive they can get. Remember, the highest bidder may not be the best to go with simply because of pricing, and the lowest bidder may not have the man power to get the job done on your schedule.

Ask Questions

Going in with your wallet open ready to fork out whatever is required is a bad idea. Asking questions is good. You’re the buyer, putting them under pressure will quickly let you know whether you can trust them or not. Top three questions to ask:

– Does you service have a warranty?

– Are you able to provide references I can call?

– How long will my car be in service for?

Dealing with auto body repair shops can be frustrating. However taking your time and really considering the above points can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Ultimately, you can do all the research you want (a good idea), however your intuition should never be doubted. If someone has a great price but something smells fishy, move onto the next shop. On the other hand, if someone has a price you feel is high but insists you will not find cheaper, ignore him and find out for yourself. Good luck shopping for the auto-body repair shop that fits your expectations.

How to Choose a Collision Repair Shop

Everybody hates accidents and also vehicles too. When your car gets damaged in an accident it might be quite exhausting for you to face the consequences. You will have to find the right body shop to repair the damages caused and at the same time claim the amount from your insurance company. Finding the right body shop to repair the damages caused to your car can be a daunting task. To ease your worries, I am presenting you some factors that you must consider while choosing a collision repair shop. Apart from the time taken to repair your car, you must consider the price affordability and the quality of service. You should also find out the number of years of experience the collision repair shop has, the type of cars repaired by them, guarantee, provision of supplementary services etc.

Asking For Referrals:

If you wish to avail the services of competent body shop the best thing to do is to ask your relatives or friends for referrals. Your co-workers or friends might be able to recommend you a shop that has previously delivered good service to them. You can also Google out for names of body shops and also go through user reviews. If there are a number of positive reviews then you can give a chance to that specific body shop.

Price Assessment

Price is definitely important point to consider whether you are paying for the services or the insurance company. Before you proceed with a specific shop, you must take price estimates from various shops offering repair service. When you have the estimate from various shops, it becomes easy for you to decide the body shop you wish to go for. However, you must be wary that you don’t go for a collision body shop that offers cheap price for low quality service. Compare each section of estimate to know how much has been allocated for parts, labor and other expenses.

Labor Cost:

The biggest item on a collision repair shop’s estimate is labor costs. It reflects the amount paid by the shop owner both to his workers in the shop and also as overheads. If the shop is located in a posh location and there is huge office staff that works for the shop you might need to pay higher than what you would have to pay otherwise.

There is also a possibility that you might be charged more hours for the same service. Shops usually refer to manual of standard hours to estimate how many hours a specific job SHOULD take. Some shops itemize various components in order to confuse the consumer. The best thing to do is compare estimates.

If you have no recommendations on collision repair shop then you can consider other factors such as the time for which your car will be in the shop for service, the number of years of experience, the auto body technology used by them, number of clients they have etc.