Getting into an accident is a scary and traumatic experience, and the moments after the accident will test your patience and stress levels. You’ll give your insurance provider a call and if you have coverage, the insurance pays for the repairs.
That’s about it, right?
Nope! While the insurance company will take care of the repair bills, choosing who will do the repairs is most likely your responsibility. In this case, it can be quite overwhelming to find the right auto body repair shop, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some key factors that will help you choose the suitable auto repair shop after an accident.
1. Communicate with Your Insurance Provider
Depending on your insurance policy, you may be required to present some documents to your provider when hiring a body shop for repairs. It helps to know these requirements ahead of time.
In some cases, your insurance provider may suggest or even require you to use authorized body shops. Therefore, it’s best to clarify this with your insurance company. The last thing you want is to end up paying out of pocket just because the paper trail doesn’t add up.
2. Compile a List of Options
Don’t settle with the first auto repair shop that you come across. Shop around for more options so you can choose one that best fits your needs. Chances are, there’s not a huge difference in price but you can always choose based on other factors like a faster turnaround time.
On top of researching on your own auto repair shops, you may also ask your family, friends, co-workers, and even your insurance company for recommendations. Getting first-hand accounts of their experience is a good way to filter your options.
3. Ask the Right Questions
Once you have a shortlist of potential collision repair shops, it’s time to gather some key information. One of the first things that you should ask is if the shop routinely handles your vehicle make and model. Next, you can request a quote for the required repairs. They will likely not give you the exact price but at least you have the general idea of what to expect.
The next thing to ask about is the turnaround time. You need to know when you can realistically get your vehicle back on the road. Other questions that you should be asking include the payment agreement, forms of payment, and many others.
4. Check for Industry Certifications
At the very least, your auto repair shop options should carry industry certifications. These certifications may come from organizations such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), and Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR).
These certifications will let you know that the shop technicians are qualified to perform the repairs.
Find a Reliable Auto Body Repair Shop
Post-accident repairs don’t have to be stressful. With these tips, you should be on your way to finding a reputable repair shop to help you get back on the road. Contact your insurance company and an authorized auto body repair shop to get the ball rolling.