Collision Repair 101

Know your options and rights after an accident

Car accidents: they’ve happened to everyone, unfortunately, to some degree. There’s much to deal with to get your car repaired and running again–the stress of having your vehicle towed from the scene if needed, securing a rental car, getting an estimate, and dealing with the insurance company. One thing many people may not know is that you are not required to take your vehicle where the insurance company tells you to.

“Your vehicle is your vehicle. You pay the insurance company only to insure it and assist if necessary. This is not saying you can’t take your insurance companies’ advice, but we strongly advise doing your own research as well,” Chris Jones, Precision Collision owner, says. “There are many quality body shops like Precision Collision that are partners with insurance companies’ “Direct Repair Programs” (DRP). We are not part of every insurance companies’  DRP. If we were, our lot would be overflowing, due to high volume, and it would take longer to get your vehicle repaired correctly and back to you. Although, we are not a DRP for every insurance company, we still give a lifetime warranty to all of our customers, no matter what insurance company they are with. We work with all insurance companies.”

In some cases, depending on your insurance coverage, a brand new car can be repaired using after-market parts, which are not OEM parts. When you have a brand new car, you more than likely want brand new parts from the manufacturer. Not all insurance companies have a policy covering this, but looking into what your policy actually covers can help keep your car brand new even after an accident. To avoid after-market parts on your brand new vehicle, talk to your insurance agent.

“Call your insurance agent or representative and make sure you have an ‘OEM Replacement Policy’ (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Though not every insurance company offers this policy, we advise you to be proactive. If you want only factory (OEM) parts, call your agent, and see if this policy is available to you. Then, you can have a piece of mind that your vehicle will be brand new again,” Jones says.

Another costly effect of a car accident is a rental car. Most people do not have an extra vehicle sitting around to use when one car is in the shop, and rental car prices can be expensive.

“Call your agent and make sure you have rental insurance on your policy. This is one thing that most of us forget about until the need arises and then it’s too late. The average cost for rental coverage is only about $30 annually (only $2.50 a month), depending on the insurance company and coverage you chose,” Jones says.

Finding the right collision repair shop to fix your car can be challenging. Sifting through all the different shops and the programs/certifications they have or don’t have can be confusing if you aren’t aware of all the standards and rigorous training that is involved in becoming a trained, qualified collision repair shop to ensure a safe, quality repair.

“Precision Collision is one of only 10% Aluminum Repair Certified shops in the entire nation, and we are also I-Car Gold certified. We’ve also launched our mobile app, which allows you to directly send us pictures of the damage. We can then get an idea of cost of the repair, even before contacting your insurance company. Simply scan the QR code and download to your smart phone,” Jones says.

“If you have further questions about customer rights or certifications please visit our website at or feel free to call either one of our two locations in Pleasant Valley and Gladstone. We care about educating the customers on their rights and repair concerns when choosing their collision repair shop,” Jones says.