Most of us loath making arrangements for car accident repair. It can be a very stressful and confusing ordeal, often occurring at the most inopportune time. Sit back, relax and follow these simple steps to getting your car, and yourself, back on the road again.
Work With Your Insurance Company
Maintaining a good rapport with your insurance company will speed up the process of getting your car repaired. Keep in mind, however, that your insurance company is interested in keeping costs down while your interest lies in the quality of work performed on your vehicle. Most insurance companies will have a list of “preferred repair shops”. Typically, these repair facilities have earned their “preferred” status through the quality of their work and high level of customer satisfaction. Always keep in mind that although these preferred repair facilities may work with the insurance company, they still work for you.
Know Your Rights
Don’t select a repair facility simply because they are on the list of “preferred repair shops”. Each state has different laws that address the rights of car owners and the responsibilities of insurance companies, but most, if not all, allow the car owner to choose where the car will be repaired. This is a powerful right granted to the car owner and one that should not be overlooked. You, as the car owner, have the final say on where repairs will be made.
Do Your Homework
Since you have the right to choose where the repairs will be made, be sure to take full advantage of it. Word of mouth is usually your best avenue towards finding the highest quality repair work in your area. Surely you know someone, or someone who knows someone, that has recently had satisfactory repair work done on their vehicle. Most owners who have had an especially good experience with an auto body repair shop are more than happy to make a recommendation.
Visit the Shop(s)
If you are compiling your own list of repair shops, it is critical that you speak to, and if at all possible, visit each shop on your list. You’re looking for a pleasant office experience and a clean workshop. If the shop is not attentive to your needs during an impromptu visit, imagine how receptive they will be to your phone calls while your car is in their shop. This is especially important if you were unsuccessful with your word of mouth research.
Don’t Forget the Little Guy
Don’t limit your selections to only the big chains. Many smaller, local facilities provide first class service and quality repairs. These types of facilities are especially proud of, and survive off of, their reputation. Although all repair facilities strive for excellent customer service and the highest quality repairs, this is the lifeblood of the local repair shop.
While this is undoubtedly a trying time for you as an owner, and your only wish is to get your car repaired and your life back to normal, following these simple steps will smooth out this process and ensure that the end result is achieved in a timely fashion with a minimum of hiccups along the way.