Frequently Asked Questions:
I wrecked my car over the weekend, and it was towed to a shop/storage lot that I do not prefer to do my work. Do I have to let them do the repairs?
If you weren't able to get in touch with the wrecker company of your choice and/or the vehicle was towed by the wrecker on call that weekend you need to remember this:
The vehicle has your name on the title and it is your right to have repairs done where you choose to. No one has the right to pressure you in anyway to have repairs done at their facility. Since most shops are closed on the weekend, as soon as possible get in touch with the shop you prefer to do your work. Let them know what has happened. Contact the shop/storage lot where your car was towed; tell them you want your car released to the shop of your choice. You may have to go there and sign a release. The charges for towing on your vehicle will be paid by the shop of your choice; they in turn will add them to the estimate of repairs for your insurance company. It is advisable to get the move made as soon as you can to avoid storage charges that accrue daily, and avoid any misconception of who you prefer to repair your vehicle.
What does it mean when a vehicle totals? What happens then?
An appraiser will judge the value of your car based on age, mileage, cleanliness, etc. and an estimate of the actual cost to repair your vehicle is written. Every insurance company has different percentages and procedures. If the cost to repair your vehicle is too close to the value it holds, then most likely the company would deem it a total loss. This means the insurance company will pay you the value of the vehicle, and then they will have the car picked up by a salvage company. You are now free to buy the new car of your choice.
Why do estimates vary from one shop to another?
1. Labor times for straightening are a judgment call by the estimator. So what one person perceives to be a 2 hour dent, the next could call it a 5 hour dent, figuring on the amount of time to repair it.
2. Did one shop figure used and/or aftermarket parts, where another figured new parts?
3. Be leary of an estimate that has parts left off, that another has on them. Know that just because it is a cheap bid, does not mean that there has been enough figured to achieve the best result on your repair. Ask questions of the person writing the bid, compare with the other bids.
4. Some insurance companies require you write only visible damages. An experienced estimator may know that there is damage underneath, but unless he tears the car down and can verify the damage, he isn't allowed to put it on the estimate. In this instance, supplements are required and happen daily.
5. You can't understand all you need to know? Come by and let us help you!