You've been in an accident—What now?
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident.
- Your adjuster will take all of the details and try to determine who is at fault. The adjuster will either waiver or apply your deductible accordingly, once a claim has been made. Remember – it is you that decides which body shop will repair your vehicle.
- The adjuster will send a damage appraiser to the collision shop that your vehicle is at to assess and negotiate the repair damage.
- When your vehicle has received approval for repair, the shop will contact you to sign a repair order before proceeding with the repairs.
- Parts are ordered and a body technician is assigned to repair your vehicle.
- Your vehicle is then sent to prep and paint.
- The vehicle is then ready for parts assembly and the detail department clean-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Do I need to contact more than one shop for an estimate?
• If my insurance company does not agree with the amount of the loss, do I have any recourse?
• How can I handle the insurance process with the least amount of hassle?
• Where can I turn if I am unhappy with the repairs done by the shop?
• Where do I get a claim number?
• Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?
• If my vehicle's frame is damaged is it a total loss?
• Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?
• How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
• Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?
• How can I get a rental car?
• How will I know when my car is done?
• Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
• Do I have to pay a deductible?
• Who do I pay my deductible to?
• What forms of payment do you accept?
• Can I wash my car after I pick it up?
Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car or must I use the one referred by my insurance?
ABSOLUTELY YES - Only you may select the repair facility. You have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require that you go to a particular shop. If your vehicle is a BMW leased vehicle, you are required to use a BMW Certified Collision Repair Centre.
Do I need to contact more than one shop for an estimate?
NO - Only one estimate from the shop of your choice is required of you. Obtaining any additional estimates is the obligation of the insurance company. Again, you have the right to choose which shop will repair your vehicle and at no additional cost to you. Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims centre before having your car repaired.
If my insurance company does not agree with the amount of the loss, do I have any recourse?
YES - When the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, both parties are entitled to arbitration. A typical arbitration clause would explain that when the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, either party may demand an independent appraisal within 60 days of the date of loss. The insured and the insurer must each select a competent appraiser, and the appraisers in turn must select a competent and disinterested umpire. Should there be a disagreement as to the amount between the appraisers, they must submit their differences to the umpire.
How can I handle the insurance process with the least amount of hassle?
Your best bet is to select the shop of your choice to do the repairs and assign them the right to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. A reputable shop like Excellence Auto Collision will put your best interests first and will improve your chances of negotiating a fair settlement. Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all the necessary work. If you're not sure why one estimate is different from another you've received, please ask us.
Where can I turn if I am unhappy with the repairs done by the shop?
Your first effort should be to resolve any problems directly with the shop that did the repairs. Involving the insurance company or another shop may only escalate the problem and increase the difficulty in getting it resolved.
Where do I get a claim number?
A claim number is issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just write it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process. Our friendly staff will do the rest.
Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?
We can order most of your vehicle's parts at the time the insurance company authorizes the repairs and then schedule your vehicle for drop-off a couple of days later. However, we will not know all the parts that will be needed until are able to complete the disassembly process and carefully inspect your vehicle for any hidden damage. On modern vehicles, hidden damage is almost inevitable. If your vehicle is found to be unsafe to drive, then we can immediately help you arrange for a rental vehicle or give you a ride home.
If my vehicle's frame is damaged is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company's determined value of your vehicle. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of the-art computer measuring system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?
Yes. Just let us know what other work you would like done so we can make the necessary arrangements.
How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
Your personal contact person here at Excellence Auto Collision can give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete the repairs to your vehicle. Also, you can be sure we will stay in touch with you throughout the course of the repairs so you will never be left wondering how the repairs are going.
Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?
Yes, we would be happy to provide this service to you. We want each customer's visit to be a positive experience and will work diligently towards that goal. We provide a valet pickup and delivery service.
How can I get a rental car?
We deal with Canada Car Rental so if you need a rental car, we can make the necessary arrangements for you to pick one up when you drop your car off (30 minutes notice required). However, your insurance company will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.
How will I know when my car is done?
You will be notified when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your personal contact during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.
Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Yes. Excellence Auto Collision guarantees all repairs with a Lifetime Warranty.
Do I have to pay a deductible?
The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. If you carry broad collision, and you were not at fault, your insurance company most likely will waive your deductible. Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident when you make the claim, and by reviewing the accident report filed with the police department. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether you will be responsible to pay this when you pick up your vehicle.
Who do I pay my deductible to?
If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay Excellence Auto Collision when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.
What forms of payment do you accept?
The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is with a major credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, & American Express. Of course, cash and certified checks are always welcome.
Can I wash my car after I pick it up?
Recommendations and Precautions In The First 30 Days
DO Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade.
DON'T Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. Do not "dry wipe" your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. Avoid parking under trees and utility lines, which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.