From the Blog
Getting a Vehicle Repair Estimate After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident, whether it was your fault or not, is a scary experience. On top of dealing with any injuries you may have, you have to worry about getting your vehicle fixed. If you’ve been in an accident before, you know how much red tape dealing with the insurance companies can involve. You have to first bring your car in for an estimate, wait for the estimate, then make an appointment for the repairs.
Well, one part of that process should be easy. Here at Hance’s Uptown Collision Center, we offer a mobile estimating app for your convenience. No need to always come in: now we can send you a link so you can get a preliminary estimate from the comfort of your home.
Here are some tips for getting a vehicle repair estimate after being in a car accident. Often times, the car insurance companies drag their feet during the estimate process, so here’s how to protect yourself against a low-ball offer.
1. Get a Quality Estimate
Take the time to get a thorough, quality estimate, not just an easy one. After your accident, seek out estimates for repairing vehicle damage only from places where you intend to have the repair done. It’s always helpful to have a trusted mechanic in your back pocket for situations like these. If you don’t, you’ll have to do your research. Ask around, go online, visit some shops, and ask questions.
Make sure that the repair shop is qualified and experienced in finding and assessing all the damage. The estimate quoted should be an amount that’s sufficient to repair the car to the highest standards. If a piece of business equipment or a vehicle is damaged, for example, get your estimate from a factory-authorized repair facility. Here at Hance’s, we are an I-CAR and ASE certified garage.
Don’t forget to shop around for reputable, quality, experienced collision shops who are known for their attention to detail. You want your mechanic to find all damage from the accident, and this takes a thorough and steady eye. Make sure the quotes they give you will reasonably cover all repairs.
Here’s another tip: don’t get an estimate solely from your insurance company. It may not be enough to cover the repairs you require. Estimates from other shops will help you negotiate the claim. Get at least three written estimates that detail the cost of repairs, labor and parts so you can show it to your insurance company.
2. Be Mindful of Delays
The technicians at Hance’s will do their part to move the process along. We work for you, negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. We never enter into contracts that put either you or us at a disadvantage. That being said, we can’t always help delays by the insurance companies. Be mindful of these delays and stay in touch with your insurance company if you have questions about the process.
The insurance company should inspect your vehicle within a week or so after the accident. Get written estimates and do all you can to move things along smoothly. Provide any information needed. Answer all questions they ask of you.
The end goal is to get reimbursement from the insurance company as soon as possible so you can get the repair done and move on with your life. It’s usually best to wait for the reimbursement check before getting any work done on your car. Find out if they will pay for alternative transportation, such as a rental car, while yours is being fixed.
Just keep in mind that delays are usually nothing personal. The insurance adjuster could be working on more than 100 other cases at the same time. Translation? It could be a while before you get your appraisal. If a week has gone by since the accident and your insurance company still hasn’t inspected the damage, call them. If you still don’t hear anything, and have received at least two estimates, you may want to move ahead with the work.
After you’ve repaired your car, call and demand compensation from the insurer. Send everything in writing too. Just be mindful that your insurance company may only reimburse you for a lower price if you took your car to a shop with the highest estimate. Fixing your vehicle before agreeing on an estimate will remove the incentive for your provider to settle your case promptly. Weigh this decision carefully before moving ahead.
3. Don’t Just Consider Price
Try not to base your decision on price alone. Collision repair estimates do vary greatly, but don’t just assume a high estimate means a particular repair shop is overcharging you. Likewise, a low-ball estimate could be a red flag. If your insurance adjuster recommends a shop with a substantially lower price than other estimates you have received, be wary. You always get what you pay for, and this means you may be less than satisfied with the end result. Instead, make sure to do a line-by-line comparison of all estimates so you can make an informed choice. Just remember, quality should be your top priority, as well as the reputation of the shop.
Once you have gone through these steps carefully, you should be in a good position to choose an auto repair shop!
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center in Dallas and Plano
Hance’s Uptown Collision Center can address all your repair needs in one place. Contact us to book an appointment for an estimate, check out our new mobile app, or visit us in our new location in Plano at 1201 E Plano Parkway.