Oh no! You or someone you know has been in a car accident. Whether it was a minor fender bender or the accident caused serious auto body damage, the car will need some work to replace or repair the affected areas. Here are a few things you should know about collision repair following a car wreck.
First, make sure you’ve gathered all the relevant information you need from your own insurance company and the other person’s as well, if more than one vehicle was involved in the crash. It’s important to contact your insurance company so that they can send out an adjuster to assess the damage to your car.
Second, the insurance adjuster will ask you questions about the condition of your car before and after the accident. He or she will then do a visual inspection of the car if he or she is able to be in your area, or he or she will ask for photos of the damages your car has incurred. Once the adjuster has compiled complete information, he or she will recommend that you take your car to a contracted auto body shop for an estimate and repairs.
The third thing you should know is that you do not necessarily have to take your car to the shop that your insurance provider suggests. If you have a trusted mechanic that you would like to determine the value of your car and the collision repair costs, then you may make this proposal to the insurance to see if they are willing to work with your preferred auto repair specialist.
Fourth, take your car in for the estimate and repair work. We recommend asking about the parts that will be used for your repairs. You can inquire whether they will be using parts from the original manufacturer, other similarly made parts, or used parts. Sometimes the repair technicians will find additional damage that was not noticeable until they started working on the car. If this happens, then the auto shop should contact both you and your insurance to let the adjuster know about it. Your insurance should then reappraise your costs and adjust their contribution toward the repairs accordingly.
Fifth, your insurance company will either send you a check to cover the costs, or they pay the auto shop directly (usually if you’ve gone to one of their contracted partners). Once your car is repaired and the auto body shop is paid, you can be on your way again!