In the period following a mishap with your vehicle, collision repair decisions are stressful. A lot of people offer advice. Some based on experience and some on misconceptions of what you can and cannot do. When faced with these decisions in Madison WI you have options. Among the first item on your agenda is a call to your insurance company. From there you have decisions to make.
There are many misconceptions that influence decisions on car repairs. Sorting out the real from the mythical is essential if you want to get your vehicle back on the road without breaking the bank.
The No. 1 Myth: You must accept your insurance company’s chosen auto body shop. You have the legal right to pick any body shop you choose. Many insurance companies have predetermined relationships with agreed-upon fees to keep repair costs down. Their insurance adjusters push customers toward these preferred shops but legally, they have to cover accident-related costs done at any reputable shop.
Major Myth No. 2: Insurance always pays for everything minus your deductible. Read your policy closely. Collision coverage pays for damage related to the incident – but nothing that existed before the accident. Liability coverage policies take care of the other vehicle if you caused the accident but don’t cover you. If a repair costs less than your deductible, you pay 100%. Some collision coverage has a maximum it will pay. Before you need it is the best time to review what your policy does and does not cover.
Collision Repair – Choosing A Shop
What insurance companies cover and how they operate is the main topic of conversation surrounding an accident. Where to get repair work done is a close second.
Insurance Company Myth No. 3: You must get 3 estimates for repairs. Shopping around for estimates may uncover a “good deal” but it isn’t required. You need only one if you’re satisfied with it. Most auto body shops work with insurance company representatives. As long as you’re getting work done by a recognized professional shop the insurance has to pay. Take care in choosing a shop based only on price – get references and make sure the company isn’t low-cost because it cuts corners.
Repair Myth No. 4: Only a dealership does the job right. It’s true a dealership has immediate access to original equipment parts (OEM) to replace anything you need. However licensed repair shops can order and use the same parts. In addition, their technicians have the same training and equipment found in a dealership. And, they may have more experience with the repairs you need. Also understand that body shop repairs are not like most other repairs. Dealerships often subcontract body work and repairs to independent body shops.
Repair Myth No. 5: All parts are created equal. Not necessarily. OEM parts are created to exactly fit your make and model. Generic, aftermarket parts claim to have the same exacting specifications. They usually cost less and many shops prefer to use them.
Minor Damage Is Not Necessarily An Easy Fix
Modern technology has expanded the range of auto body repairs that fall into the category of minor damage. Even minor body work is best left to professionals. Consider:
- One of the most important advances is the development of paintless dent repair. Unfortunately, many do-it-yourselfers think they can cut corners and handle the job. It is easy to make matters worse without proper training. Poor workmanship and the wrong tools can lead to cracks and flaked paint and rippled metal.
- Scratches and Dings are not the same thing – a “ding” is really a small dent and can usually be repaired via paintless dent repair On the other hand, a scratch is a break in the clear coat surface that requires at least touch up paint, and probably attention from a body shop technician.
What Does ‘Totaled’ Really Mean
A huge misconceptions swirling around vehicle repair is the idea that a vehicle declared a total loss cannot be fixed. Of course, depending upon the extent of the collision, this might be true. But just because an insurance company says your vehicle is “totaled” doesn’t mean it is gone for good. Some insurance companies declare a vehicle a total loss of damage estimates come to 51% of more of the pre-accident Blue Book value. Some use higher figures and some lower. If damage isn’t critical – just costly – you can keep and repair the vehicle. But, keep in mind:
- Insurance will only pay to value of the vehicle. If repairs cost more than that you have to pay the difference.
- The title on the vehicle has to be modified. It will have to declare the vehicle “salvaged” and the car or truck must be inspected before allowed back on the road. Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles for details on what must be done to put a salvaged vehicle back on Wisconsin roads.
Collision Repair Professionals
When your luck turns bad and your vehicle needs attention, visit either AutoColor Madison area location for auto body shop services – West on Parmenter Road in Middleton and East on Stoughton Road. While we cannot fix everything, our range of services covers a wide range of repair demands. Consult our specialists whenever you need collision repair in the Madison WI area.