Auto accidents happen to most everyone at some point. Dealing with the aftermath can be stressful and inconvenient. Finding an auto body repair shop to bring your vehicle back to life can be a daunting task. With a little preparation, you will know what to look for so you can make the best choice.
Do I need to use the auto body repair company my insurance company recommends?
Legally, it is your right as the consumer to choose your repair shop. The insurance company can inform you of their “preferred” shops but you are not obligated to use them for your repairs. It’s best to find a company that has experience working with many insurance companies but is not connected to any one insurance company. This way you can ensure the auto body repair company is working for you, as their customer, and not being swayed by the insurance company. If a repair shop is guaranteed business by an insurance company, they are more likely to work within the insurance company’s limited repair scope instead of doing what is best for your vehicle.
How do I find a reputable auto body repair shop?
Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, and Facebook are good places to start. Look for well thought out reviews that give specific information. Avoid one liners and unsubstantiated assessments of the company.
Word of mouth is also reliable. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations. A company that has a history in the community will have many satisfied customers more than happy to sing their praises.
An auto body shop that is able to provide a complete online photo assessment will make shopping around much easier. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this will ensure you are able to get multiple bids in the safest manner possible. The lowest bid is not necessarily the best. Take into account the quality of the parts and warranty offered.
Research before you repair. A respected auto body repair shop will have the restoration of your car as their first consideration. They will use quality parts, work with not for your insurance company, and have an invested reputation of honoring their work.
Promises to get your car back to the “pre-accident condition” are vague and disputable. Most auto repair shops offer a warranty for their work. A one year warranty is standard. A reputable company will go beyond for this for metalwork. Another consideration is if the work being done will void the manufacturer’s warranty on your car. Aftermarket or used parts may compromise the original warranty. Make sure you have a conversation about specifics of the auto body shop’s warranty before work begins.