We hope that repairing your vehicle beyond general maintenance is something that you never have to deal with. Car accidents can be scary, stressful and expensive. No one wants to experience a car accident, but if you are involved in a collision there are some myths we need to debunk about the auto repair process. It’s inconvenient enough that you have to go through the repair process at all, so don’t make it worse by believing one of the 6 most common auto body repair myths.
Your Insurance Company Chooses The Auto Body Shop
False. Although one of the most common myths in the auto body repair industry, it simply isn’t true. It is common practice for insurance companies to provide customers with a list of auto body repair shops in their area, but these are just recommendations and you are not limited to these locations. Legally, you have the right to choose the repair shop of your choice. Some body shops may already be affiliated with your insurance company in order to speed up the process or keep the cost of repairs down, but these may not always be in your best interest.
Asking for suggestions, checking reviews online and doing your research is always a good idea. You may already have a shop in mind, and it is your right to choose, just keep in mind that if you select an auto body shop that isn’t affiliated with your insurance company it may take longer due to third-party appraisal services. You are never required to use the repair shop your insurance company recommends, and the final decision is always your own.
Only The Dealership Can Return Your Vehicle To Like-New Condition
Debunked. Dealerships are far from the only place that can carry out proper collision repairs, returning your vehicle to its previous condition. While you may want to try and ensure that you are receiving OEM (original manufacturer) parts, the dealership is not the only place with access to these parts, or the ability to install them. Before getting too far into the OEM parts discussion, it is important to check your insurance policy and determine whether or not it will cover OEM parts.
Some policies will only cover cheaper, aftermarket parts for collision repairs. Although most auto body shops will offer either OEM or aftermarket parts, matching the quality of repairs from the dealership, it is definitely advisable to do your research. Check reviews, ask friends and find a local body shop like Southern Auto Body that is willing to put the time and effort into returning your vehicle to pre-accident condition. Any good body shop will have your safety in mind and spending a little extra time dealing with your insurance company is worth it for everyone.
Your Insurance Company Will Always Cover All Damage And Repair Costs
Busted. Unfortunately, not all vehicle insurance policies will cover all costs associated with a collision. Although it will depend on your particular coverage, policies will often include liability, comprehensive, personal injury protection and uninsured motorist protection. The costs of repairs and damages that your insurance company will be liable for will be dependant on the extent of your policy coverage.
Before committing to any collision repairs, car rentals or costly personal rehabilitation you should discuss your policy with your insurance company and have a full understanding of what may or may not be covered. There are also a few additional costs which you might not be familiar with. Collision coverage will often cover all damages caused by an accident, but will not cover pre-existing damages or betterment from your vehicles pre-accident condition. What is often referred to as a betterment-fee is charged when repairs cause your car to be repaired beyond the condition it was in before the accident.
For example, if you are involved in a collision and your battery is damaged, but it is deemed that it needed replacement before the collision, you may be on the hook for a portion of the replacement cost. If your vehicle had previously been damaged due to weather or vandalism, the same may apply. The key is to stay educated and understand your policy. If you don’t know, ask. Remember, at Southern Auto Body we will work with your insurance company to sort out all the details so you don’t have any additional stresses in an already nerve-racking situation.
Your Car Will Never Be The Same
Wrong. While it is true that your vehicle may sustain serious damage from an accident there are strict standards regarding what is considered repairable. Accident damage can range from a small scratch to the replacement of major parts, frame straightening and new mechanical components.
Again, depending on your policy your insurance company will work with the body shop of your choosing to ensure that your vehicle is returned to safe and roadworthy condition. When researching a body shop ensure that you are careful to choose to work with a shop that cares as much about your vehicle as you do. Consider the fact that a body shop may only have your car for a week, while you may have it for years. Furthermore, inquire regarding the shops warranty on repairs and how long you have to determine whether there is any hidden or mechanical damage. When the repairs are complete carry out an inspection of your own before accepting the vehicle.
Look at the paint quality, the body panel alignment, and ensure that the doors, hood and trunk all open and close properly. It may also be in your best interest to look in the trunk and under the hood for signs of paint splatter, staining or mismatch. When in doubt, take your vehicle for a third party inspection after speaking with your insurance company and voicing your concerns. Body shops like Southern Auto Body adhere to strict standards, employ only trained professionals and use only high-quality parts and equipment. Trust a good body shop to return your vehicle to pre-accident condition and feel safe driving again.
There Is No Warranty If You Choose Your Own Body Shop
Not true. Your insurance company does not have the right to dictate which repair shop you choose to use, nor are they the ones providing a warranty. Rarely will an insurance company provide any sort of warranty coverage on repairs done to your vehicle, that is up to the body shop that you choose to work with. It is important to choose a shop that offers a guarantee of warranty.
Southern Auto Body stands behind all of our work, who wouldn’t? Whether or not a shop is on your insurance companies recommended list, choose a shop that you have confidence in. Do your research, ask your friends and family for recommendations and look for both good reviews and complaints online. Be proactive and understand your insurance policy, know what it does and does not cover and do the same with the body shops you are vetting. Remember, you are permitted by law to choose your own body shop and it is up to you to choose a body sop that will offer an independent warranty on the work that they complete.
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic, if not life-altering experience, but by education yourself it can be a lot less stressful. Remember that you are the one who has been paying insurance premiums, and it is those premiums paying for any repairs taking place. It is up to you to make the decisions that you are comfortable with to ensure the safe repair of your vehicle. You have options when it comes to choosing the body shop of your choice, whether it is one of your insurance companies choices or not. Do not take the backseat in the decision-making process. Be proactive, be confident, be safe.