We believe an educated consumer is our best customer. We foster a relationship with customers by empowering them to make informed choices for complete satisfaction. Continuing education of our staff is a key reason we became a certified auto body center.
Who will pay for my repairs?
Ultimately, you, the vehicle owner, are responsible to pay for the repair of your vehicle. Insurance is often is involved in Auto Body repairs and carriers often pay the shop directly minus any deductible. If you are the claimant (not at fault and going through the ‘at-fault’ persons insurance) the other party’s insurance will normally pay in full. It is important to note that we will only repair vehicles according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This can lead to discrepancies in what the insurance will pay for and the proper way the repair needs to be done. If we can not come to an agreement, we will have a discussion with you.
What is the difference between OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), Aftermarket and LKQ parts?
OEM Parts are made by the Manufacturer of your vehicle. They were designed specifically for your vehicle. This means they are created to the exact specifications of the patented part. They were made with quality, safety and cosmetics in mind. They always fit as they should and they have been crash tested as part of a whole safety system. Using OEM parts will get your car back as close to pre-accident condition as possible.
Aftermarket parts are often called “copy cat” parts. They are made by someone other than the original manufacturer. These Aftermarket companies can not make the parts exactly the same as the manufacturer because the OEM has patent rights to their parts. This can result in poor fit, gaps and cosmetic irregularities – these parts do not have to be made of the same material as the OEM part. There is no way for us to know if the part is going to fit the same or respond in the same way an OEM part would in a future collision.
LKQ Parts are recycled parts. These may or may not be OEM parts taken from a vehicle that has been totaled from a previous accident. Most manufacturers do not recommend using recycled parts because no one knows the actual condition of the part or how it may have been compromised in the previous collision.
Insurance normally will write for Aftermarket and LKQ parts whenever possible because they are less expensive. We always give you the option of paying the difference and having your repair done with all genuine factory parts. There are no consumer protection laws in place that mandate the use of OEM parts. You can drive your brand new Mercedes off the lot with three miles on it and insurance may want to use aftermarket or LKQ parts if they are available.
What does DRP (Direct Repair Program) mean?
We are a Direct Repair Facility with many different insurance companies to make sure the claim process is as streamlined as process. By working with insurance companies within our network, this helps us to expedite the repair process by not having to wait on the insurance hired claim adjusters to come to our shop to review and approve the necessary repairs, procedures and parts. Call us to see if we work with your insurance company.
Can I get a free estimate?
We do give free estimates! Call the front office or use our handy online scheduling feature to make an appointment for a time to bring your vehicle by the shop for an estimate. We do self-pay estimates as well as estimates for insurance companies who we have a Direct Repair relationship with. Some insurance companies have something called an electronic open assignment that we can also assist with.
There are a number of insurance providers that will require their own staff to write the initial estimate, in that case we need to use their estimate as our starting point. In those instances, where we did not write the initial estimate, we will want to see the car before scheduling to make sure that the preliminary insurance estimate is accurate.
Can I get an estimate over the phone?
It would be impossible for us to give you any type of estimate over the phone. There are many things to consider when preparing an accurate estimate – parts, repair time, materials as well as hidden damage. We do all of our estimates by appointment because we know your time is valuable. You can be assured you will be taken care of promptly when you arrive.
How long will repairs take?
In sort, there is no easy answer to this question. There are many factors that go into the length of time we will have your vehicle. The extent of the damage, availability of parts and insurance approvals all affect repair time. Sometimes delays happen because of hidden damage. We do our best to keep you up to date with time frames but they can change through no fault of yours or the shops.
Do I have to pay a deductible/Can you hide my deductible?
The amount that you are responsible for is determined by how your insurance policy is written. People misunderstand that body shops can somehow ‘hide’ their deductible by inflating the estimate, but that is insurance fraud. If you have questions about your deductible it is best to connect with your insurance company.