The Value Of A Good Collision Repair Estimate
If your car has just been involved in an accident, it can be stressful to worry about your next steps. If you were lucky to walk away with no injuries, then getting your car repaired is likely your number one priority. Depending on the severity of the accident, collision repair may involve everything from simple bodywork repairs to major mechanical work and large amounts of repainting. Because there are potentially so many aspects to consider, choosing the right shop and getting the correct estimate upfront is crucial.
When to Get An Estimate
Getting in touch with your insurance company in the immediate aftermath of an accident is generally one of the first things that you should do, but there are a few cases where it might be worthwhile to contact a body shop first. If no other vehicles or property were involved in the accident and you were at fault, then your own collision coverage will be used to pay for the damage. If your deductible is high, then filing a claim may needlessly cause your insurance premiums to increase. Because of this, it may sometimes make sense to contact a body shop and receive an estimate for damage before starting the claims process.
Note that this only applies in cases where no other vehicles, property, or individuals were involved. If this isn't the case, then always contact your insurance company immediately. Filing a claim is essential not only to protect the other involved drivers but to also protect yourself from potential liability issues.
How to Get the Right Estimate
Regardless of when you have your car examined by a body shop, you will want to make sure that the estimate you receive is as accurate as possible. Accidents can cause damage that is more than skin deep, however, making it particularly important that you choose an experienced body shop to perform this service for you. While even the best collision repair experts cannot necessarily find every instance of hidden damage following a severe accident, most will be able to estimate roughly how severe underlying structural or mechanical damage may be.
If you are unsatisfied with the first estimate that you receive, do not hesitate to bring your car to multiple shops for second (and third) opinions. Most shops should be willing to explain their process to you, so it should be clear how each one arrived at the provided estimate. This information can be incredibly useful should your insurance company try to pay out less than the value of the damage.
Questions? Companies like Exoticar Paintworks Inc can help.