What is the first thing I should do if I am in an accident?
Make sure everyone is alright, then exchange insurance information and call the police. If you're not at fault you may need the police report to prove to the other party's insurance they are liable.
Most insurance companies will need to speak with their insured to verify facts of the loss, and confirm who is at fault. Once this happens you will be provided with a claim number, and let you know how to get an estimate on your car.
You can choose your repair facility at any time during this process. Some insurance companies will request that one of their employees inspect and appraise the vehicle, others will allow the shop of your choice to handle that. Either way remember – IT IS YOUR CHOICE, WHO REPAIRS YOUR VEHICLE.
If you need a tow, we can arrange it for you or you can have it towed to our shop.
What should I know about insurance?
Insurance companies have the obligation to repair your vehicle back to the same condition it was in, or better than, before the collision. You have the right to decide who repairs your vehicle. Insurance is a business and companies will be concerned with the bottom line. Not all insurance companies are equal.
While your agent works for you, the adjusters do not. Common insurance practices often lead to less-than-perfect repairs in order to save some money. As well, some shops have agreements with insurance companies to help more profit off of your inconvenience
Auto body shops will often offer discounts to insurance companies and will be required to use a certain amount of used or aftermarket parts to offset costs.
Insurance companies will drive customers to these shops because of their special relationship. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO USE THE SHOP YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY SUGGESTS.
What is a DRP?
A DRP is a Direct Repair Program, an agreement between an insurance company and auto body shops where the insurance company will direct work to the shop in return for discounted rates and concessions like using aftermarket and used parts. The shops have to meet quotas on their prices, so corners are cut and sub par methods used. The insurance company is in total control of the repair process this way and it can make it seem like other shops are charging too much because they are not cutting corners and using aftermarket and used parts.
Do I get a rental car if I have no transportation during my repairs?
Check your policy. If you don't have rental on your policy, contact your agent. Rental insurance is very inexpensive to add on. Insurance companies are businesses, and watch their bottom line. In many ways, having Rental Coverage will hasten the repair process.
How do I know where to have my car repaired?
You can choose whichever shop you like. The insurance company cannot force you to go to a certain shop. Check reputation, longevity in the market and which shop provides lifetime warranties and the best service.
Will my paint match after my repairs?
Yes. Our shop relies on the Prospector color match system and computerized paint mixing. We take the extra time to do sprayouts and make any corrections as they may be needed.
What if my car has frame damage?
The best auto body shops have the latest equipment to repair your frame back to factory specs. Our shop is equipped with computerized frame repair, allowing us to see any deviations. Shops like ours will do an alignment and provide you with printouts of the frame and alignment specs. We will warranty the repairs for as long as you own the vehicle.
Do I have to take my vehicle to the repair shop my insurance company tells me to go to?
No. In the state of Colorado you have the right to take your vehicle to the body shop of your choice. We suggest you check around. Look for reputation, longevity in the market, and lifetime warranty. Pick the body shop you feel will best serve your needs.
My insurance is telling me I have to get 3 estimates.
Colorado State law requires you get only 1 estimate and you may have the repair facility of your choice repair your vehicle.
The Insurance company tells me I need to take it to there preferred repair facility, if I don’t I may have to pay extra money and I will have no guarantee of repairs.
Again, it is your decision to have your vehicle repaired at the facility of your choice. Choose a shop that you are comfortable with. Set It Off Paint and Body will never charge our clients any money above your applicable deductible and/or betterment(s). We warranty our work and focus on customer satisfaction over pleasing the insurance companies.
What does my deductible cover?
First, a deductible applies only to the vehicle you insure. If you hit someone else you will only have to pay a deductible to fix your car. If someone else hit you and their insurance is covering the cost of repairs, you will not have to pay a deductible. Deductibles are the amount pre-set in your policy that you are responsible for. If you have a $500.00 deductible, you are responsible for the first $500.00 in damages.
What is betterment, and why am I responsible?
In some cases the insurance company may charge you betterment on wear items such as batteries, tires, exhaust, etc. These items are routinely replaced based upon their life expectancy under normal use.
For example: You purchased a set of 4 new 60,000 mile tires last year; one of your tires was damaged in the accident and now you have to pay a 25% betterment. You’ve driven 15,000 miles since having them replaced, thus 25% of the tire has been worn off. The insurance company is willing to pay to replace the remaining 75% of the tire life expectancy on your new 60,000 mile tire.
What about after the repairs are completed?
After the repairs are completed we will contact you so that you can make arrangements to get back into the comfort of your own vehicle. We can also make preparations in advance for you to pickup your vehicle outside of business hours.
Any money owed will be due only after you are completely satisfied with the work done to your vehicle.
How long will repairs take?
Repair lengths have many factors that will affect it such as: when the parts will arrive, is there additional damage that we can not see at the time of the original estimate? -- These will all contribute to the length of time your car will be in the shop. The best way to try and plan for the time you will be without your car is to bring it by our shop for an inspection and FREE estimate.
Insurance and shops estimate the number of days a repair will take by dividing the total hours by 5 hours a day because of the many parts and fixes that require dry times and waiting for other processes, as well as insurance approval. Example: 20 hours of work = 4 days in the shop.
Please note that many insurance companies write out their initial estimate for cash.
What if my vehicle is considered an Economic Total Loss?
Economic loss is the process of replacing your vehicle when the costs to fix the vehicle reach a certain percentage of the value of the auto.
Insurance companies use several guidelines to determine what your vehicle is worth. We suggest you do your own homework as to what your vehicle is worth and take time to make the best decision possible. Do not give the insurance company permission to have your vehicle picked up until you are settled with the settlement.
- You can let your insurance company take the vehicle off your hands through the standard settlement process.The insurance company will offer you what they think the vehicle is worth. Once the value is agreed upon, you will be paid that value plus taxes for a new vehicle, minus the deductible if it is applicable.
- You can “owner retain” the vehicle, which means that you agree to keep the vehicle “as-is” for a reduced settlement. This allows the owner discretion to fix whatever they decide, after bank loans are first paid off.
What if the insurance check is not enough to cover the final cost of repairs?
Don’t be surprised, it is typical for an estimate to vary to some extent by the time the car has been completely repaired. There are several reasons this can happen, remember it is only an estimate until the work is completed. Every insurance company may complete the payment process a little different. Most insurance companies send payment to the shop directly to eliminate any complications during delivery.
If you have additional questions about your specific situation please feel free to contact us at 970-493-1860.