There have always been some misconceptions when it comes to auto body repairs and insurance coverage for such. Even if you have experienced an accident before and dealt with the repairs, how it was managed then versus how it is now co
There have always been some misconceptions when it comes to auto body repairs and insurance coverage for such. Even if you have experienced an accident before and dealt with the repairs, how it was managed then versus how it is now could have changed dramatically. The industry is ever changing, just as cars and their internal components and repair needs have changed with time as well. Here are 8 auto body myths that we have debunked. Hopefully you find this information helpful, especially if you find yourself in an auto accident or in need of some kind of auto body repair.
- You can only get a repair at an auto body shop chosen by your insurance company.
As a consumer and the vehicle owner you have the legal right to select any body shop you wish to perform your repair. While the insurance company may suggest a shop you are not obligated to get a repair there. Many insurance providers have agreements with direct repair facilities that can speed up the process and reduce repair costs, your insurance company will honor your decision and choice on a repair facility and cover any accident-related repair expenses.
- You need to get 3 estimates to turn into your insurance company.
Years ago, this was something that insurance agents would ask their customer to do, but that was back when your insurance agent was the one who personally cut the check for repairs. This is not a “thing anymore”. Most insurance companies will now do one of the following to determine the cost of your collision repair:
- Ask you to upload photos to an app where they will do a desk estimate and send you an estimate of record and a check for repairs.
- Send out an insurance adjuster to determine the damages. He or she will create an estimate and cut you a check.
- Your insurance company will request that you set up an estimate appointment with a participating auto body shop (direct repair facility) to have an estimator create your estimate of record, which will serve as the estimate of record. You can then take this estimate to any repair facility or have that company who did the estimate handle the repair in their facility.
- Take your vehicle to the auto body shop of your choosing to write an estimate and take photos. The shop should upload or email your estimate along with photos to the insurance company for approval before beginning the repairs.
- Auto Body Shops total vehicles. Auto body shops do not make money on totaling a vehicle, they only make money on vehicles they repair. Insurance companies usually have a threshold percentage they use to determine if a vehicle should be repaired or replaced. While the auto body estimator writes an estimate which the insurance company will use to determine reliability, it is the insurance company that deems a car a total loss or not. The threshold percentage varies but 70% damaged is typically the tipping point.
- Your vehicle will never be the same after an auto accident.
This may be true years ago, but auto body repair today isn’t like it was 20 or 30 years ago. The technology today in the collision repair industry ensures that your vehicle is put back to its pre-accident condition. And in many cases, it looks better than it did before the accident. Most people will never realize the car was in an accident once the repairs are completed.
- The insurance company will take care of everything.
This isn’t necessarily true. If you are claiming on your policy, they insurance company will only pay what your policy specifically covers. This means if you waived rental car coverage at the time you purchased the policy, the insurance company won’t cover it. Additionally, if you are claiming on your policy, you most likely have a deductible that you will be out of pocket. If you are claiming on the other driver’s policy, you should be covered for everything except for betterment. Betterment is not a common thing to have, however, it does occasionally happen. An example of when betterment may come into play is if a tire needs to be replaced as part of the accident repair. Your original tire may have had very little life and tread left in it and during the repair it was replaced with a new tire. Some insurance companies will charge you a betterment fee for coming out better than what you had pre-accident. This fee is the difference in what your tire was worth before the accident versus what the new tire cost.
- If you take it anywhere other than a dealership for the repair, it will void your warranty.
This is absolutely a myth! It is illegal for a car maker to void a warranty simply because you had your repair done somewhere other than the dealership. It isn’t unheard of for a misinformed salesman at a dealership to tell you this, however, its just not the case. A quality repair facility knows how to repair your vehicle to manufacturer specifications. Look for an auto body facility that is I-Car certified – this is your sign that they have all the education and training necessary to repair your vehicle exactly the way it should be repaired.
- You need to get your vehicle repaired at a dealership if you want OEM parts.
This is not true. All auto body shops can and do use OEM parts. OEM means original equipment manufacturer. Meaning if you have a Ford truck being repaired, Ford brand parts would be called OEM parts. AM parts means aftermarket parts. Most body shops would prefer to use only OEM parts, however; depending on your insurance policy AM parts may be utilized unless the shop can do a price match for OEM upgrades, or you are willing to pay the price differences to upgrade to OEM. We typically will do a price match request for OEM parts whenever we can but understand that it is your insurance company and the auto policy you purchased that determines parts for your vehicle – not the body shop or the dealership. Some insurance policies automatically covered OEM parts up to a certain year model of vehicle or you can get an OEM endorsement added to your policy to ensure you always get OEM parts.
- If the insurance adjusters estimate is less than the auto body’s estimate you will be on the hook for the difference or need to get an attorney to fight the insurance company.
Estimates not matching at first is very common. It is especially common if you get an insurance adjuster to write your estimate of record that it shows less than what an auto body shop will write. This is for a few reasons, however; what matters is that your vehicle is properly repaired and restored to its pre-accident condition. You do not need an attorney to get your car repaired properly or to fight for price differences. Your auto body shop estimator will handle this on your behalf. Most of the time sending photos and showing why a repair costs more than the initial estimate is all that is needed to remedy this situation. This remedy is known as a supplemental repair estimate and its common place in the auto body and insurance industry. It will require you to drop your vehicle off for repair in most instances, and in some cases the insurance adjuster will need to come to the auto body shop to manage this supplement increase.
Hopefully you found these debunked myths useful to know. We hope you are never in an auto accident to put this knowledge to application, however; if you find yourself needing auto body repair, know that the team at OKC Auto Works is ready and willing to help you get your vehicle back on the road. Additionally, you may want to read some of our other articles such as “You’ve been involved in an auto accident – now what?“. Or just call us and let us walk you through the process. (405) 634-8200