Myths about Auto Collision Repairs
Getting into an accident can be stressful and chaotic. In the immediate aftermath, you’ll be thinking about how to get your car fixed as quickly as possible and what’s going to happen with your insurance – and that’s assuming that no one has been hurt. The process can be even more stressful and chaotic if you are being swayed by the misinformation surrounding collision repair.
Don’t let these myths keep you from getting the repairs you need fast! Get a little information under your belt so you’re prepared the next time you get in an accident (knock on wood). Here are some of the top myths about auto collision repairs in Mesa – busted:
Myth #1: You Don’t Get to Choose the Body Shop
A lot of people believe that the insurance company tells them where to take their car to be repaired, and that if they don’t go to that body shop, the insurance company won’t pay for the collision repair. Part of the reason this myth grew legs is that many insurance companies have preferred collision centers to which they recommend customers. But these are just shops that they have a relationship with – not shops that are required providers.
Legally, you have the right to take your car to any shop you like for your collision repair. You can take your car to any shop for the estimate and any shop for the actual repair. They can be the same shop, or they can be different shops.
Myth #2: You Need to Get Multiple Estimates
Before the insurance company will cut you a check to repair your vehicle, you have to get an estimate from a reputable body shop. Some people believe that you have to get multiple estimates for the repairs. That’s what most people would do if they were paying for the repairs themselves, so they assume that it’s what the insurance company requires also. The truth is the you need only one estimate.
The body shop will typically submit the estimate for the auto body repair to your insurance company directly, and once the claim and estimate are approved, the insurance company will cut you a check. You can choose to cash the check and take care of the repairs however you want (or not at all), or you can sign the check over to the body shop.
Myth #3: You Must Accept the Insurance Company’s Estimate
Once the insurance company knows what repairs your vehicle needs, it will put together an estimate of its own. The estimate is based on the typical charges for repairs, or what the insurance company deems “reasonable.” However, these estimates do not always accurately reflect the true costs.
If your repairs are going to cost more than what the insurance company estimates, you don’t have to accept its estimate. You can challenge it by offering a few estimates from local shops that say the repairs will cost more.
Myth #4: You Get Only One Insurance Check
You get your estimate, the insurance company approves it, and you get the check for the repairs. That’s it, right? Well, what happens if the body shop finds that more repairs are needed than originally expected? Are you just out of luck (and out of your own pocket)?
You can submit the new information to your insurance company to get the additional repairs covered. Most collision centers have experience with insurance companies, so they can handle these communications on your behalf in most cases.