What do I do after an accident?
- Stay as calm as possible.
- Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
- If the accident is minor, and there are no injuries, move the vehicles to a safe place out of traffic.
- Make sure you call the police.
- Make notes about the accident including specific damages to all vehicles involved. Write down the names, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers for all involved. Get witness information if possible.
- Don’t publicly make any statements either accusing the other person of causing the accident or take all the blame yourself. It could open you up to legal problems. Allow law enforcement officials and the insurance companies to determine who is at fault in the accident. Be polite and always be honest.
- If you have a camera or camera phone, take pictures if it can be done safely.
Contact the repair facility of your choice to schedule your vehicle in for repairs or assistance in having your vehicle transported from the scene of the accident. Let the collision repair center help you. They can make the arrangements to make things easier for you.
- Notify your insurance company, even if the accident was not your fault.
- Make sure you understand how you’re covered, and ask the insurance company to explain the conditions of your coverage and payments.
- Be aware that the insurance company can recommend a repair center, but you are under no obligation to use its services. You have the right to select the repair center of your choice.
- Call or visit the repair center once you have claim information. You will need to sign a work authorization to begin the repair process.
Do I need to obtain three estimates?
No, you do not need to get three estimates. One estimate is all you need. The most important thing is for you to select a repair facility you trust.
Many repair centers offer free estimates. However, there are specific requirements based on the Insurance Company involved and the type of coverage you have that require certain types of parts and labor rates to be considered for providing an accurate repair estimate. Estimates written without this information may make this process seem confusing.
Can I take my car to the repair facility of my choice?
As the vehicle owner, you make the decision. You have the right to select the repair center of your choice. Choose the shop you feel most comfortable with and trust your vehicle with.
Do you work with my particular insurance company?
Yes. We work with all insurance companies. We know their adjusters and their processes. You can take advantage of our existing relationships within the insurance industry; we will be your best advocate in the repair process.
Who is responsible for the guarantee of workmanship and the safety of my vehicle repairs?
Your insurance company most likely offers a warranty on repairs if you use one of their preferred or Direct Repair Providers.
The collision repair center is ultimately responsible. You should choose a provider with a warranty on all work performed.
Will my rates go up if I turn in a claim?
Any questions regarding potential rate increases should be directed to your insurance agent. This can vary depending on who was at fault, the circumstances of the loss, and your insurance policy.
Will I have to pay for towing?
The cost of towing, when necessary as the result of an accident, is usually covered as part of the loss. The body shop will include this expense in the estimate that is submitted to the insurance company.
I was not at fault in the accident. Should I file a claim with my insurance company or the other driver’s company?
If the other person’s insurance company admits fault and is willing to pay for the repair, it is usually better for you to collect from them. In this case you will not have to pay a deductible and should be supplied with a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired. Discuss this with your insurance agent before making a final decision.
How long will my repairs take?
Each case is different; we will give you an approximate time frame at the time of your free estimate. We’ll work hard to repair your car’s body correctly and as soon as possible. You will be notified of your car’s progress. Hidden damage is occasionally discovered once the repair process begins, you will be notified immediately if such damage will lengthen the process.
How soon will repairs start?
Repairs will start as soon as you sign the repair order. Your parts will be ordered when you drop off your vehicle.
What if damage is found during the repair that is not on the original estimate?
This is very common. The body shop will contact the insurance company and obtain authorization to pay for all supplemental damages.
I’m not sure my vehicle is safe to drive after the accident. What should I do?
If in doubt, don’t drive it. Have it towed to a collision repair shop or if you have not yet determined who you want to perform the repairs, have it towed to your residence until that decision is made. Additional damage caused by driving a vehicle after an accident is usually not covered as part of the original loss.
Who is responsible for payment to the repair facility?
The vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for payment for all repairs.
You may instruct your insurance company to make payment directly to the repair center on your behalf. Usually an initial payment is made for the repair estimate and then during the repair process a supplemental payment will be issued for additional hidden damages or parts cost that are discovered during repairs.
The collision repair center can assist you with clarification on any payments that may be issued. This can also get you back into your own vehicle in a timelier manner.
Remember to clarify any deductable amounts or questions you may have as early on as possible. Your portion (if applicable) is not required until the completion of repairs and you pick up your vehicle.
Do I have to pay for a rental car?
Rental car coverage is an optional coverage available from your insurance company. Verify your coverage and the amount covered per day for a rental vehicle while filing your initial claim.
If your repairs are being paid for by the other parties’ insurance company, you should be provided with a similar vehicle during the time your vehicle is in for repair.
If you need a rental vehicle, I-70 Auto Body staff can help you make the necessary arrangements.
When is my deductible due and how do I know how much it is?
Insurance deductibles are due at the completion of the repair process to the repair center. Your insurance adjuster can answer any questions you may have regarding your policy, coverage, and applicable deductibles.
Be cautious of anyone offering to save you the cost of your deductible! Ask specific questions on how they plan to absorb this cost. Will all repairs be made per industry standard and will all the proper parts be used. This is not usually an offer with your best interest in mind or the protection of the investment you have in your vehicle.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Cash, and Check.
What should I do when I pick up my repaired vehicle?
Review your itemized final repair order. Complete a walk-around inspection with your Service Adviser and have him/her explain the repairs that were made to your vehicle.
Look at the paint color and finish, all exterior trim, and proper operation of items involved, such as handles, mirrors, and other moving parts.
After I pick up my vehicle, do I need to take any precautions with the new paint finish?
Yes. Now that your vehicle has been repaired, here are some helpful tips for your new paint finish!
IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS
- You should not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to cure completely. (Do not use waxes or polishes containing Silicone.)
IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS
- Do not use commercial car washes. Stiff brushes or sponges will mar the finish and damage the paint.
- Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a mild car wash solution. Be sure to use a clean soft cloth or sponge. Rinse sponge with fresh water often.
- Wash the vehicle in the shade – never in the sun.
- Do not “Dry-Wipe” the vehicle – always use clean water – Dry Wiping will scratch the new finish.
- Extreme heat or cold need to be avoided. Keep the vehicle parked in the shade whenever possible.
- Avoid driving on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days, and not covered by your warranty.
- Do not park under trees that drop sap or near factories with heavy smoke fallout. Tree sap and industrial fallout will mar or spot a freshly painted surface.
- Do not spill gasoline, diesel, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or windshield solvent on the new finish. If you do, immediately rinse it off with water.
- Do Not Wipe the surface.
- Do not scrape ice or snow from the surface.
- Rinse bird droppings from the paint surface as quickly as possible. They contain acid that will damage a fresh paint job.
Do you guarantee your work?
Yes, we offer a full warranty on all of our paint and repairs. If you find something wrong with your repair after you leave our body shop, please return and we will fix the problem.