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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.


How To Talk To Seniors About When It Is Time To Give Up Their Driver’s License

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Driving gives a sense of freedom unparallel to other forms of transportation. Vehicles can drive individuals to and fro at the drop of a hat. For seniors, this is especially cherished as they lose control over other aspects of their life. 

However, their health and age may make driving more dangerous for them and others on the road. Though they may be determined to keep driving, those around them hold a responsibility to let them know when they need to stop. For this conversation to be productive, make sure to read the tips lined out in the rest of this article. 

Conversation Tips

  • Find the Right Person
Maybe the senior in your life listens to their spouse before anyone else. Or perhaps they consider their children’s words before those of a doctor. Whatever the case, find the right person to talk to the senior, so they know this concern comes from a place of love and care. 

  • Ease into the Conversation
Similar to the first suggestion, avoid making the person feel as if they are being attacked or ganged up on. You don’t want to spring this conversation on them at the wrong moment or force a conversation. Ideally, you’ll bring up this notion through the stages of the senior’s life, so the both of you can form a plan for when the senior should stop driving. Whether you’ve waited to talk or this has been an ongoing conversation, try to find times when the senior is relaxed and in a good mood. If they seem tired or cranky, steer clear of the conversation until clearer skies. 

  • Expand their Awareness
Instead of outright telling them their driving quality has deteriorated, ask them how they feel about the quality of their driving. They may open up and let you know of the concerns they’ve had. If not, make light suggestions of what you’ve noticed of other drivers. For example, point out how aggressive and fast others drive and how hard it is to keep up. If they agree and acknowledge the difficulty, this can be another opening to start the conversation. If all else fails, provide them with facts and numbers of driving accidents, specifically those involving seniors. 

  • Other Transportation Options
Seniors don’t have to feel like their freedom is being ripped away. There are plenty of other transportation options which may interest them. Provide them with options such as the city bus, car driving apps, bicycles, walking, or even you as a possible transportation source.

  • Show Support
Above all else, remember to show them the love and support they need during this time. Understand they may be angry at you for the suggestion, but in reality, they are just angry at their age for slowing them down. Talking to seniors about when they need to stop driving will benefit them in the long run but may initially sadden them. Be there for them and offer help where needed, so they don’t feel like their freedom is limited. 

Contact Us Today!

Find high-grade professional auto body repair work and experienced technicians at Automotive Specialties. Call us at (630) 553-0397 or email us at for more information. Additionally, feel free to make an appointment using our simple request form on our website! Stop by today for superior service and quality you can count on.