Posted on: 29 June 2015
Even a minor auto accident will likely mean a trip to the body shop for paint and collision repair. Although you may have a mechanic you prefer, chances are you don't have a body repair shop programmed into your speed dial. Before choosing a shop, find out the answers to these three questions to make sure you can trust them with the repair of your car. Your goal is to have your car back in the same, or better, condition than it was before your accident.
Question #1: Did your insurance company recommend the shop?
Many people assume they have to use the body shop that their insurance company refers them to, which is exactly what the insurance company hopes you will do. Insurance companies usually have agreements with one or more shops saying that they will funnel work to these shops for a discount. Often, your insurance will present these shops to you as though they are the only choice. Fortunately, you are not required by law to use any of these shops if you would rather use a different one.
Your best option is to get several quotes and to interview several repair shops, not just those on the insurance referral list, before making a final decision.
Question #2: Is the Shop Fully Trained and Certified?
Most auto body shops are proud to display their training and certifications right on the window or front desk. Your goal is to make sure that all the technicians working on your car have the necessary training and certification for the work necessary on your make and model. There are several national and local associations, such as the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA), that verify or grant a shop's credentials. You can check with the associations to verify that the shop is a member and that their certifications are up to date.
Question #3: What tools and equipment does the shop use?
This final question may require some research with your car's manufacturer. Usually you want the shop to use manufacturer's parts, not the generic equivalent or aftermarket parts, to fix your car. In rare cases, the manufacturer may recommend an aftermarket part. In this case, contact the manufacturer to verify this is true.
Each car manufacturer also recommends specific tools and painting methods, along with recommendations on the specific type of paint. Make sure the shop you choose is following these recommendations. You can contact a local auto body shop and they should be happy to answer these questions.Share