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Know Your Rights

How Do I Choose A Collision Repair Facility?
As the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident or submitting an insurance claim, you have the right to choose the shop where you wish to have your vehicle repaired. No law requires you to get more than one estimate, nor are you obligated to have your vehicle repaired at the “cheapest” shop or one “preferred” by the insurance company. You should select a repair facility based on their skill, service, knowledge, reputation and guarantee of their workmanship.

Remember, the body shop is fixing YOUR vehicle for YOU. If you’re making an insurance claim, the insurer pays the bill, but most states prohibit the insurer from requiring you to use a particular shop — that means, ultimately, no matter what you hear, THE BODY SHOP IS YOUR CHOICE.

What Is A DRP Body Shop?
Direct Repair Program (DRP) is another name for an insurance company’s listing of shops, such as: State Farm’s “Service First”, Allstate’s “PRO”, Progressive’s “Total Pro or Concierge”, etc. DRP repair facilities have been solicited by the insurance company which sends customers their way in exchange for discounted repairs, such as lower labor rates or parts discounts. The consumer is not required or obligated to use a DRP repair facility.

Automotive Specialties made a decision many years ago to decline any DRP contracts which allows us to work WITH all insurance companies but work FOR our customer.

Must I Notify My Insurance Company Before Repairs?
Yes, insurance policies require that you notify the company and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected. The insurance company may wish to send an adjustor of their choice to inspect the vehicle or review the shop’s estimate prior to repair.

Who Pays The Repair Bill?
You must arrange for payment. Your insurance policy states the insurance company will pay for repairs less any deductibles or depreciation.

What If Repair Costs Exceed The Original Estimate?
Often times in the collision repair process additional damages are found resulting in more labor and parts needed to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition. Parts sometimes come in at higher prices than quoted. These additional charges are called a supplement and will be covered by the insurance company with supporting paperwork from the repair facility.

If There Is A Problem With The Repair Job, Who Should You Contact?
First, contact the manager of the repair shop. If your problem is not resolved, contact your insurance company claims manager.


Selecting a Trusted Auto Body Shop Following an Accident

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Picture this – you’re out driving, whether to work, school, or just running daily errands, when the unthinkable happens: an accident. No matter the accident’s severity, your vehicle is designed to act as a protective cocoon around you during a collision.

But after the accident, and after you check yourself for injuries, your vehicle is the next thought on your mind. How bad is the damage? Is the car totaled? And one dreaded thought by everyone: what will this cost me, and what will insurance cover?

Automotive Specialties has witnessed many post-collision automotive repair projects since it’s doors opened in 1983. Through years of experience, they have discovered how important it is for their customers to understand what characteristics to look for in selecting an auto body shop to get their repairs done.

Steps To Take Following An Accident

Explore Estimates – Your vehicle may be damaged in a multitude of ways, stirring a bit of panic in your chest. Don’t let that panic cause you to make a rash decision on an auto body repair shop; by law you are not obligated to get more than one estimate and you have the right to choose the shop of your choice, not necessarily one recommended by your insurance company.  Remember, most of the shops your insurance company may refer you to have some type of working agreement that benefits both the shop and the insurance company.  Be sure you are comfortable with the shop you choose.

Warranty Offerings
 – Many auto repair shops ensure the quality of their post-collision repair work by offering a range of warranties for your work. Some even guarantee their job indefinitely with a lifetime warranty, so before you agree to have a shop do the work, ask them about their warranties.

Customer Reviews 
– These can be subjective, but Google or Yelp! Reviews can reflect how an auto body shop has handled past collision repairs. People are quite transparent about their experiences, so if there are enough good or bad reviews about a particular facility, it may help guide your decision.

Your Make and Model 
– There are dozens of different makes and models on the road, so it pays to ask the shops you review if they have experience with yours in specific. You don’t want to bring your vehicle to a mechanic who has never once serviced what you drive, as you then run the risk of a sub-par fix.

Critical Thinking
 – When you are at the shop, consider the environment and look for telltale signs of quality yourself. For example, is the shop busy and operating efficiently, or nearly deserted and taking forever? A lot can be determined from even just the waiting room.

Choose the Specialists at Automotive Specialties!

From fender benders to total body repair jobs, Automotive Specialties works for you, not the insurance companies! Not only can their team of experienced technicians restore your bodywork, but they also offer towing services in the event a collision has left your vehicle stranded.

When you need to repair your vehicle, consider Automotive Specialties! Call (630) 553-0397 or visit their website today to schedule an appointment.