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February 27, 2018



You would never go to a doctor before checking their credentials and references, so why wouldn’t you do the same when taking your car in for collision repair?

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers the following tips for getting to know a collision shop before turning over your car to them.

“It’s all about doing your research, making sure they are well-trained, certified and financially solid, and confirming all of the details of the repair process in writing,” said Dean Fisher, Chief Operating Officer for CARSTAR.  “Just doing some homework in advance can save a lot of headaches and money in the long run.”

When you choose a body shop for repairs, remember:

• Do your homework and check out the shop, their reputation, the business or trade associations they belong to and if their technicians are certified by industry organizations like I-CAR and the vehicle manufacturers (OEMs).  You can frequently find certified repair facilities listed on the websites for your vehicle brand.

• Look for a facility that shares their detailed repair process and how your repair will be handled from start to finish.

• All reputable repair facilities will offer a warranty of some sort for the work that they complete…make sure it is in writing and well explained to you.

• Look for repair shops that are approved to work with insurance carriers.  This can help ensure the facility meets high repair standards.  In addition, the facility can coordinate your repair with your insurance company for you.

• Only trust your vehicle to an established body shop business. When there are weather events like hail storms or tornadoes, be leary on taking your vehicle to facilities that don’t have a history of operating in the community.

• Visit the body shop and survey the location.  If the lobby, customer areas and repair bays are clean and well-organized, it’s more likely the business is run well.

Once your car arrives at the body shop for repairs, there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure you receive a quality repair:

• Review the estimate in detail, but remember that it is for the visible damage and what it will take to repair the vehicle to pre-accident condition. If the estimate does not cover the full extent of damage, a Supplement will be created, submitted to your or the other person’s insurance company for approval.

• Get a detailed description of the parts to be replaced and whether they are OEM, new or refurbished, and in what condition the car will be returned to you.  Most insurance policies specify pre-accident condition, so confirm what repairs will be covered.

• Get the timeline of when the work will be done and when the job will be completed, but understand that any additional damage discovered during dis-assembly or delays in parts could extend that repair time.

• Detail the payment terms and methods, including downpayment, final payment and costs for any follow-up work before you agree to the repair.

• Ask the store manager for regular updates on the job, and require approval for any work done outside the original estimate.

• Don’t be pressured to accept the completed repair if you don’t think it’s right.  A high-quality repair facility will review your repair with you and address any concerns you have.

While your car is in the body shop, it’s a good time to have other dents and dings repaired.  It should be more cost-effective and your car will ultimately benefit.

“Taking your car to a body shop doesn’t have to be an intimidating or frightening process,” Fisher added.  “A good collision center is your partner in repairing your car and returning you to the road safely.  You want to make sure you do your research to find a partner that truly fits your repair needs.”

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