So today I decided to write a little about the process of taking your vehicle to our repair facility. I know that most people haven’t been in a car accident before and this entire process may be quite new. So I am here to let you know that we will do our best to make it as quick and painless as possible. Here is a little outline of how the process works once the accident has happened (and everyone is okay, of course :)).
** This post will be centered around filing a claim with your insurance company in the event that your vehicle is not safe to drive (this is recommended especially for large repairs).**
-Call the number on the back of your insurance card and file a claim . Keep this claim number handy. You will need it.
-If your vehicle is unsafe to drive have your insurance company arrange a tow truck and rental car (as long as your policy permits). The insurance company may recommend body shops to you but by law, you can take it to any shop you want. Let the insurance company know where to have your vehicle towed. (to Sal’s Auto Works, preferably :)) It is a good idea to call us or have the insurance company call us so we know your vehicle is on its way and can get the proper information.
-At this point, if you have rental on your policy, you should have your rental car. We will need a signed authorization from you. We can email it, fax it, or you can stop in to sign it. This will allow us to proceed with repairs once the insurance company approves payment.
-Every insurance company is a little different. Some will send their own adjuster to our shop to write a preliminary estimate and others will have us write the estimate and fax it to them for review. In some cases, we may have to begin dissassembly of the damaged area in order to get an accurate assessment of the repairs needed. We will work out all of these details for you.
-If you are filing a claim through YOUR OWN insurance, you are the insured. This means you will usually be responsible for your deductible even if you are not at fault. The insurance company usually pays for the repair cost only after the deductible is met. The most common deductible amounts are $250, $500, or $1000. Check with your insurance company to be sure of how much yours is. Once the accident happens, you cannot change the deductible amount.
-If the other person’s insurance is paying, you are the claimant. This means you will not be responsible for the deductible.
– Once we have a written authorization from you, the owner, as well as approval from the insurance company on their payment, we will order parts and start any repairs we can right away.
– We will keep you updated while your vehicle is here by phone or email and as often or as little as you would like.
-Once repairs are complete, we will call you and schedule a convenient time for you to come pick up your car. If you have a deductible, we will need to collect that at this time. We take cash, credit, or debit.
-If you have a rental, you will need to make arrangements with that company on how to return the vehicle. Most rental companies require the rental vehicle be returned when your vehicle is completer or perhaps by the end of the next day. It would depend on the company.
-Upon your arrival to our shop for pick up, we will have your vehicle ready, washed, and waiting for you. We offer a lifetime warranty on all insurance repairs and will gladly go over any questions you may have.
We understand nobody really wants to have to come to an auto body repair shop but in the event that you do, we hope we can be your shop of choice.