One of our trained, experienced service writers will evaluate the damage and provide you with an itemized estimate. The average estimate takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Hail assessments can take 45 minutes to an hour depending on the severity.
Yes! It’s your vehicle, you get to choose! We recommend you select a repair shop that will be an advocate for you, the owner. One who uses manufacturer recommended repair procedures. This assures the repairs are done based on approved repair methodology of your vehicle manufacturer. Read more on how to choose a shop in our “Tips on Choosing a Collision Repair Facility”.
- OEM – Original Equipment Manufactured by your vehicle’s factory supplier
- Aftermarket – Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party supplier.
- Recycle Part – An original factory part taken off of vehicle that has been retired from service
- Remanufactured Part – An OEM part that had damage that was repaired for resale
Every insurance company will have their own procedures for part usage. We will utilize the requested part (unless the vehicle owner would like to pay the difference for OEM) but will always make sure the part is a good fit and in good condition.
Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process (i.e. tires, batteries and suspension parts). These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles of our vehicle.
A supplement is an estimate that outlines hidden damages or additional damages not discovered during the initial estimate. Supplements are a normal occurrence, especially with today’s vehicles that are designed to protect passengers by absorbing the impact from the “outside-in.” If a shop discovers additional damage, it will write a supplement and notify the paying insurance company or customer for approval to continue with repairs.
A total loss is a vehicle whose damages exceed the value of the vehicle. Each insurance carrier has their own percentage threshold that will deem the vehicle a Total Loss. The insurance company makes the decision, not the shop, of whether or not to repair the vehicle.
No, we mix paint for each refinish job in-house. Our skilled refinish technicians use state of the art equipment to ensure color is matched to the manufacturer’s standards. The following process is used to obtain the precise color match:
- Your vehicle’s information label includes a paint code. This code identifies the color of your vehicle.
- Our computerized paint mixing system includes the standard color for your vehicle, as well as variants. The database of known variants is important because in the vehicle manufacturing process there are some variations that occur between paint lots or between factories.
- The refinish technician tints the color to produce the perfect color match.
- Blending is also used to fade the freshly painted finish to match the original on an adjacent panel.
We accept personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, cash and cashier’s checks. If an insurance company issues you a check, we ask that you hold on to that check and endorse it over to us at the completion of the repairs. This helps keep the payment process simple.
Yes, you can wash your vehicle as soon as you drive off the lot. The paint is baked on as part of the refinish process. We suggest you have it hand-washed or utilize a touchless car wash. It is also suggested that you don’t wax your vehicle for at least 45 days after you pick up your vehicle.
You can have your repairs completed by the shop you feel most comfortable bringing your vehicle to. An insurance company cannot, by law, tell you where to have your vehicle repaired. Some insurance representatives will attempt to convince or steer you to fix your vehicle at their preferred shop and scare you into thinking your repairs will not be warranteed, or you might have to pay for something out of your pocket. The truth is, insurance companies and body shops enter into relationships to help minimize the insurance company’s expenses and these are the shops they will recommend. This does not have to be a deciding factor in where you decide to take your vehicle for repairs. Read more on how to choose a shop in our “Tips on Choosing a Collision Repair Facility.”
No, the state of Illinois allows the consumer to choose any shop to repair their vehicle; you only need to notify your insurance representative as to where you prefer to have your repairs completed. Your insurance company is required to work with the shop of your choice and, in good faith, arrive at an agreed price to repair your car.
There are many different factors that cause estimate differences. Some shops might write a lower estimate to capture the repair job and will leave out necessary operations to do a proper repair. Other factors, especially with insurance appraisals, are part types that are used. Each insurance company has procedures they follow that will result in estimate differences. Generally speaking, the insurance company will write the obvious damage and we will notify the insurance company of any additional damages once the repairs commence. The insurance company will pay us directly for any supplemental damages. If you have any concerns about the difference in estimate totals, bring us a copy of the other estimate and we will go over the differences together.
No, the insurance company may have you sign something indicating that you accept the estimate and corresponding check or send a letter stating something similar. This doesn’t take their responsibility out of the claim. They are required to pay for additional repairs related to the claim until your vehicle is back to pre-accident condition. We won’t proceed with repairs until the insurance company approves the additional repairs and agrees to pay for the supplemental damage. We will communicate directly with the insurance company on your behalf.
A deductible is like a “co-pay” on health insurance. It is a portion of the repair bill that is not covered by your insurance policy. The amount is determined by your insurance policy and is set when you first purchase your insurance. Your deductible is paid directly to the body shop when your repairs are complete. The insurance company pays for the work performed minus your deductible amount.
No, and neither can any other honest repair facility. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance carrier. It specifically outlines what is covered by insurance and what is going to be your financial responsibility.
Today’s vehicles are very complex, so it can be difficult to see all the damage at the time of the initial inspection. Finding additional damage is very common especially when the vehicle is disassembled. If additional damage is found, it is documented and discussed with you and the paying insurance company if applicable. Depending on the insurance company, they may want to send a field representative to come see the additional damage. The supplemental charges are itemized, authorized and billed with the rest of the repair claim.
If the insurance representative does elect to view the additional damage, the completion date might be delayed. The number of additional days needed depends on the nature of the supplement. If parts need to be ordered, it can take 1-3 days to receive the parts depending on the availability. We contact our customers to let them know of the new repair plan and new completion date, if applicable.