Is this your first time in a serious automotive accident? If your car is not totaled or it's possible to get repaired and covered by insurance, you might want to start looking around at collision repair shops near you. If you've never used this type of auto shop before, here are some tips to help ensure that you get the most out of your visit and that your car will come back as close to good as new as possible.
Do Your Own Research
When it comes to choosing a collision shop, you have the right to take your vehicle anywhere you like. Your insurance provider may have a suggestion or two or one that works directly with that insurance agency in particular, but make sure they have a solid background you can be comfortable with. Worst case scenario you might have to submit the repairs to your insurer and get reimbursed, but if the insurance agency was going to cover it at the shop they recommended, they are still obligated to cover it at the shop of your choice.
Since you have the ability to look around, you should do just that. Ask for an estimate at multiple shops. If there is one shop in particular you like but the price is higher, get a lower estimate elsewhere and take it back to your favorite shop to see if they'll reduce the price for you.
Ask for a Bumper-to-Bumper Inspection
You might have an idea of what is wrong with the car, but when you are in a collision, there could be damage far beyond what you can see at a glance. Ask for a full bumper-to-bumper inspection and look over the results before deciding to prioritize certain repairs.
Get the Repairs in Writing
You may have already gotten an estimate of what it might cost but before the work actually begins, make sure you know what the repair plan is and have it all down in writing. You should know exactly how much you will be expected to pay when all is said and done. If the shop calls during repairs and says more damage was discovered while the work was in progress, get an updated list of the repairs or parts needed. You need to have an accurate and complete list to give to your insurance agency if you want to be reimbursed.
Follow Up After the Repair
After the repair, take time to drive the car for a bit. Keep the radio off and listen to the car and make sure it feels and sounds right. Don't forget to submit documentation to your insurance agency as needed.
For more information, reach out to an automotive collision repair service.