How do I know I have found a quality collision
- A: Ask the owner or
manager about the kind of training the technicians
have. Technicians should be National Institute for
Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified,
and/or Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision
Repair (I-CAR) trained. Also, ask the owner or
manager if they are active members of a local trade
association, career advisory committee, or a member
of the local chamber of commerce. Ask if they
provide a written warranty of their service and for
how long. Check with your local Better Business
Bureau to find out if any complaints have been filed
against the business.
How many estimates do I have to obtain?
- A: You have to
convince the insurance company that the cost of
repairs is reasonable. You do not have to get a
certain number of estimates.
- Q: Do
I have the right to select the shop that will repair
- A: Yes. No one else
may dictate to you where you have your vehicle
- Q: Do
I have to accept used parts?
- A: If you have a new
automobile, no. If your car is several years old and
appropriate used parts are available, then in
certain instances, repair with used parts may be
justified. Ask your collision repair professional
for advice about whether used parts should be placed
on your vehicle.
- Q: What about
parts that were not manufactured by the original
equipment manufacturer (OEM)?
- A: Insurance
companies generally like to pay for the non-OEM
parts, called imitation or aftermarket parts,
because they are often less expensive; however,
policies indemnify or pay to cover a loss and bring
the vehicle back to its preloss condition. Only a
small percentage of non-OEM parts are certified by
CAPA (Certified Automotive Parts Association) for
fit and finish, and there has even been a
controversy surrounding CAPA, which has been funded
by the insurance industry since its inception in
1987. If a choice of parts diminishes the value of
the vehicle, it is not returning the vehicle to its
preloss condition and, therefore, is not fulfilling
the obligation of the policy.
Must I notify my insurance company before repairs
are performed on my vehicle?
- A: Yes. Insurance
policies require that you notify the insurance
company or your agent, make a report, and tell them
where the damaged vehicle may be inspected. /font>
Who pays the repair bill?
- A: You must arrange
for payment. Your insurance policy states that your
insurer will pay you, less any deductibles or
What should I do if I have a problem with the
- A: First contact the
owner or manager of the collision repair facility.
If your problem is not resolved after that step,
contact the local collision repair trade association
if the facility is a member, your insurance company
claims manager, the Better Business Bureau, and the
consumer protection division of your local Attorney
General's office. /font>