DAN"S BODY SHOP understands that this is a very stressful time for you and so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help ease your mind. Not finding the answer you seek? Give us a call or fill out a contact form and we will be happy to walk you through the process of getting your vehicle back on the road fast, pain free, and better than ever!
A: Legally, you have the right to choose what shop you want to fix your car. You should feel comfortable with the shop of your choice. Your Insurance company is required to work with the shop you choose and to negotiate in good faith.
A: That is really a question only you can answer based on a number of personal and financial factors. An initial drive-in estimate is typically written as a "visual only estimate". A majority of the time, the price to repair a car goes up once it is disassembled and closely inspected. This is due to many components that are situated inside the exterior panels of vehicles and cannot be seen visually unless a vehicle has been taken apart, which is not feasible for a drive-in estimate. Your insurance company has the expertise and is trained to deal with additional damage and part price increases, much better than most consumers. If you have any question about handling the claim yourself or turning it into your insurance company, you should probably let the experts handle it for you, but again that is your choice.
Q: WHAT IS A VISUAL ONLY ESTIMATE?
A: A visual estimate is written only for what damage the appraiser can see without disassembling the vehicle. No hidden damage is assumed. Normally drive-in estimates (both shop and insurance company) are written as visual only because we do not want to potentially disable a vehicle while estimating. Once a vehicle is in the repair shop, we take all damaged parts off the car and inspect for all hidden damage. This is a normal industry practice.
A: A supplement is typically an estimate for hidden or additional damage, not discovered during the initial visible estimate. Supplements and hidden damage are a normal occurrence because today’s vehicles are designed to crush from the “outside-in” in order to protect the occupants. If a shop finds additional damage, it writes a supplement and notifies the insurance company or customer for approval to continue with repairs.
A: OEM: (Original Equipment Manufactured) by your vehicle’s factory supplier.
Aftermarket: Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party supplier. Mainly manufactured overseas and imported into the US.
Recycled Part: An original factory part taken off of a vehicle that has been retired from service.
A: The answer is yes. Most of today's vehicles are of unibody construction which consists of several pieces of sheetmetal welded together to form the frame structure. When damaged, we will pull the pieces back into factory specifications, measure, cut out and weld the new pieces in. It is very common and safe for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
A: Get the name of the person(s) driving the other vehicle(s) involved along with their phone number, driver's license, vehicle license, insurance information. Also try to obtain any witness' name and number. Note the location, time and date. And, if you have a camera, take pictures. IMPORTANT: If the person(s) driving the vehicle(s) involved is unwilling to provide this information or if they do not have a driver's license and insurance, notify the police and your insurance agent immediately.
Contact Dan's Body Shop and we will set up a tow or appointment to get your vehicle in the shop. If you need alternative transportation we can set up the rental for you.
Contact the Insurance Company responsible and let them know where the vehicle is and/or where it is going and they will give you a claim number. If the Insurance Company wants to examine your vehicle at your house or in their claims center, you have the choice of doing this, or you can inform the Insurance Company that you are dropping the vehicle at the shop of your choice and they can see the vehicle there. Remember, you're free to choose.
Call Dan's Body Shop and give them the claim number. From this point on, we will negotiate on your behalf to insure that your vehicle will be returned to pre-loss condition.
A: Repair time is typically a function of labor hours on the job. Some makes and models or specific parts might not be available locally and a shop will need additional days to acquire those parts, but 4 labor hours per day on the estimates, not including weekends or holidays, is a good guide. Some insurance companies and shops will differ. Please ask your Estimator or Service Representative to explain how your shop sets its repair time.
Q: WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO RENT A VEHICLE?
A: Most vehicle rental companies will require the following:
A: Dan's Body Shop will not need to write another estimate for you, but we will want to review your insurance estimate along side the vehicle prior to scheduling the vehicle for repairs. This will allow us to gather any information we may need to preorder the exterior parts necessary to repair your vehicle.
The Insurance Company may offer you a dollar amount for your vehicle (less the pre-agreed upon amount of your deductible). If you do not feel this is an adequate amount, you will need to substantiate your claim for a higher dollar amount with independent written evidence showing the worth of similar vehicles (year, model, mileage, condition and options) in the same market area.
Q: CAN THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAKE ME TO GO TO THEIR CLAIMS CENTER FOR AN ESTIMATE?
A: No. You can drop the vehicle off at the shop of your choice and they will schedule an insurance adjuster to come out. If you do go to their claims center, accept the estimate and the check if they give you one. But do not feel that this is the final settlement as a supplement is possible.
Q: WHO PAYS THE TOW BILL?
A: The Insurance Company responsible for paying for your repairs is also responsible for paying the tow bill to the shop of your choice. Dan's Body Shop will initially pay the tow bill and get reimbursed from the insurance company or the party responsible.