Tag: auto body
Being in a wreck is stressful. Among those stresses is having to choose a repair shop. Most insurance companies will recommend repair shops for you to choose from, but you have a choice of where you want your car repaired – recommended or not.
You might see that some shops have certifications. That means their technicians have been trained by the manufacturer to know how to properly repair that specific model of vehicle. If your recommended shop is not certified in your vehicle make, you might want to take a look to see if there are any shops nearby who are.
What a recommendation means
When your insurance recommends an insurance company, that means they have an established relationship with that shop. These relationships help make the repair process easier for the customer and allows insurances to recommend shops they trust.
The recommended shops also typically meet the insurance company’s deadline to repair the car quickly and keep costs low. However, faster is not always better.
A recommendation does not mean this is the only shop your insurance will work with, but it’s important to ask about how
Does ‘recommended’ mean ‘guaranteed’?
In many cases, the insurance company will guarantee the repairs made to your vehicle as long as you own it. Should the repairs not hold up after a certain period, the repairs can be fixed at no additional cost to you.
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By now you probably know how insurance works (hopefully). You pay monthly for a certain amount of coverage, and depending on what you pay, your insurance will cover part, or all, of your accident damage. But if you get in an accident that isn’t your fault, the other driver should have insurance to cover the damage.
Unfortunately, even though car insurance is required in almost all states, many drivers go without. This can result in additional fines or even a suspended license for uninsured drivers.
In some states, uninsured drivers are still required to cover certain costs of your accident. In New Hampshire, for example, insurance is not required, but a financial responsibility law requires individuals to show evidence that they have the resources to cover damages should an accident happen. However, buying the minimum car insurance policy is still easier and more financially responsible.
Some states also have no-fault insurance, which means that instead of determining who was to blame for the accident, each motorist is covered by their own insurance company. Your insurance pays regardless of who was at fault and you won’t have to prove it was the other driver to get covered. Texas is not one of these states, but they include Florida, New York, and Massachusetts among others.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
When you purchase your insurance, you’ll have the option to get uninsured motorist coverage (UIM). This will cover your costs if you get in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance.
UIM is required in some states and required to be offered by insurance companies in some states. It’s basically an extra guarantee that your accident costs will be covered should the worst happen.
If you get in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can also file a lawsuit against them. You have to build a case that shows that the other driver was at fault. This isn’t a guarantee you’ll get your bills paid, however. Many drivers don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it, let alone your medical bills. This route is often for more extreme cases of negligence and serious medical bills.
In Texas, we have a minimum requirement of bodily injury and property damage liability. This will cover up to a certain amount of damages to the other driver’s car damage and medical costs. The Texas minimum coverage is 30/60/25, which means it will cover the other driver up to 30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damages.
It’s important to know what kind of insurance you have and how it will supplement your accident costs.
UIM coverage is not required in Texas, but it is a good idea to have it anyway. Even if the other motorist in an accident does have insurance, but it doesn’t fully cover your costs, UIM can make up the difference.
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Have you ever wondered who requires collision repair shops to be in compliance with regulations? The real answer is that there is not a comprehensive law in Texas that governs collision repair. However, there are still inspections and regulations shops must meet.
Any time you have an issue with auto body repairs made to your car, you should always speak with the management first. If this doesn’t resolve your situation, depending on the issue, there are state agencies and organizations that can assist.
Not What You Paid For
It’s always good practice to review your bill before paying and take a close look at the work that was completed. Contact the Texas Attorney General’s office if you believe you were over-charged or given repairs that weren’t needed,. They can determine if your circumstance falls under the Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act.
The body shop’s business practices need to be reviewed because it’s possible this may have happened to more than one customer.
Requirements for Body Shops
A body shop also has to follow environmental rules established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
These rules focus on air quality, proper waste disposal, water, and other regulations having to do with the effect on the environment. The agency ensures businesses, including collision shops, follow these rules.
AMM Collision is here for any of our customers should they have a concern over their repairs or our procedures. We welcome feedback so we can continuously improve and provide customers the best quality collision repair.
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When a car has been damaged in a wreck, some of the damage will be obvious, such as a broken taillight or a dented door. What is not immediately noticeable, and may be invisible unless you are a trained auto body expert, is any damage that may be behind the body of the vehicle.
Technicians are trained inspect for damage in the operating parts and the computer system within a car. They know if there is further damage beyond the cosmetics of the vehicle. This is why it is important to get an expert to estimate your damage and recommend a repair plan.
A dent may not be just a dent
Never assume that if a collision is minor the damage is simply cosmetic. For example, if someone backs into your car and puts a dent in your door, there could be further damage inside the door, such as the power windows not operating properly.
If the dents are much larger and more caved in to the vehicle, a technician should inspect the car for safety reasons.
Review the estimate
When you bring your vehicle in to a body shop, the location should give you a repair estimate. Most repair shops provide free inspection estimates for customers. This estimate explains the cost for parts and the labor to repair the vehicle. Be sure to review the estimate and ask questions before the work begins so that you have a good understanding of what needs to be fixed and where the costs are going.
AMM Collision has a simple way to get the estimate process started. Visit our new Smartphone Estimating Tool and you will get a repair estimate within 24 hours of submitting photos. This estimate is preliminary to give you an initial idea of the cost because it is based on damage that is visible in the photos. Once a technician takes a close look at the vehicle, they can determine if there is further damage underneath the body of the car.
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A road trip is intended to be fun. No one plans on getting in an accident, and few people think ahead to what they might do if they get into one several hours down the road.
The first thing you should do is check with your insurance agent. If you need a tow, you’ll want to tow it to a nearby shop. If the vehicle is driveable, you can choose to get your car repaired where you are or back home.
Insurance coverage on a road trip depends on where your trip takes you. Before you leave on your trip, check your insurance policy to see where you are covered and review the details of your coverage plan.
If you travel anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, you are likely covered. If your trip is to Mexico, Central America, South America, or any other location, contact your insurance agent regarding coverage.
As you travel, remember that laws are different from state to state and different in other countries. Check the driving laws for the location you are going and all points in between, plus the insurance laws for those areas. The minimum requirements for coverage vary in different areas.
No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.
Schedule a repair
If you need a tow, most insurance policies will cover the cost within a certain radius from the accident. The insurance company can also schedule the tow no matter where you are located and can reserve a rental car for you, if needed. If you choose to have your vehicle towed back home and you are far away, discuss the coverage with your insurance agent. It’s likely you will have to cover the cost for a long-distance tow.
AMM Collision is an Austin and Central Texas auto body repair shop. We will arrange a tow and rental car for you if you choose us for repair.
Been in an accident? Get a quick and easy estimate using our free estimating tool today!
As a driver in the busy Central Texas area, it can be overwhelming to find a quality collision repair shop that you can trust. Getting the best value for what you pay is also important since collision repair shops charge different prices.
It takes some research and plenty of questions to narrow down the right body shop that will meet your needs. As you search, keep a few steps in mind that will help you determine which is a quality auto body shop.
Everyone wants to find a repair shop that is convenient to them: one of the biggest factors here is the location. It may be more convenient to go to the closest repair shop, but prices in that area may also affect the price of your repair. If it is in an area where property is more expensive, they may charge more per hour for labor to cover the overhead costs.
2. Ask about certifications
When inquiring about auto body shops, find out if the shop is certified by the maker of your car. The certification verifies that the shop has the equipment needed to repair your vehicle and the technicians are trained properly. Manufacturers will train techs themselves to make sure their repairs meet manufacturer standards.
3. Get recommendations
Talk to people you know to find out where they take their cars for auto body repair. One of the best ways to find a good shop is to go where someone you trust has also had a great experience.
There are also plenty of reviews online via Google and Yelp, and possibly the auto body shop’s site. Also, the Better Business Bureau can let you know if a body shop has multiple complaints. If there are several good recommendations for the same shop from sources you trust, it’s likely that shop performs quality work.
A reliable collision shop stands behind the work it does to a vehicle. Inquire about the warranty to body repairs and to paint on your car. Find out specifically how long the warranty lasts and what it covers.
5. Ask about estimates
When inquiring about estimates, find out if the repair shop offers free estimates, and ask if they use the insurance company’s estimate or their own.
You’ll want a repair shop that provides their own estimate based on the technician’s interpretation of repairs, rather than the insurance company’s estimate of what work needs to be done. The insurance company has an interest in keeping their cost as low as possible, sometimes causing them to skimp on what is needed.
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If you have small dents on your car, it may be hard to bring yourself to get them repaired. The smaller dents may be the result of hail, or a minor accident, and is often cosmetic.
You may choose not to make the repairs on dents, especially if they cost more than the value of your vehicle. But paintless dent repair is quite affordable.
What is paintless dent repair?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a process of removing dents from a vehicle without altering the finish on the vehicle. Technicians use specialized tools to remove small dents. PDR works best on vehicles when the paint is not damaged from the dent.
Auto body or paintless dent?
With damage from a major collision, the repairs must be made at an auto body shop. For smaller dents you have more options. Some repair shops that don’t specialize in body work will do PDR, but it’s important to ask for an opinion from a local body shop as well as others.
With any auto body repair, get several estimates to compare prices. You may decide to use paintless dent repair on your vehicle because it is cheaper, but listen to the recommendations from auto technicians. If more than one suggests collision repair over PDR, it may be because the damage is greater than it appears.
For example, a dent in a door may not look significant, but it could have caused damage to the mechanisms inside the door that can’t be seen. This type of damage that would be better off as an auto body repair.
Ask about guarantees and warranties with any work you have completed on your vehicle. Some shops offer lifetime guarantees on their work. Warranties will cover any problems you may encounter with that part later down the road (pun intended).
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