How The Auto Collision Repair Process Works

If you've been in an accident and your car has damage, the first thing you'll need to decide is whether you'll file an insurance claim or pay for repairs yourself. This decision is based on the amount of your deductible and the amount of the repairs. You may not want to file a claim for mild damage you can afford to pay for yourself but if your car has major damage, then it makes sense to file an insurance claim.

The first step is to call your insurance company and tell them about the accident and get instructions on how to proceed. Here's how the auto collision repair process works.

Get Estimates For The Repairs

Your insurance company may provide you with auto collision repair shops they work with routinely that can give you an estimate for repairs. You probably won't have to use the shops they recommend, but you might want to if you're not familiar with local auto collision repair shops. If your car is in bad shape, it may have been towed to your driveway after the accident.

If so, the shop might give you a mobile estimate, but it may be necessary to have your car towed to the shop for a thorough inspection. Auto collision shops usually work directly with your insurance company, so they'll provide the estimate to you and your insurance company so they can answer questions the insurance company may have and come to an agreed price for the work.

Have Collision Repair Done

Cosmetic repairs may be quicker and easier to complete than the damage that affects the engine and other car parts. It could take several days to complete the repairs. Some auto collision shops provide rental cars you can use during this time. They may even bill your insurance company for the rental car so you don't have to worry about paying for it and getting reimbursed.

The type of repairs your car needs depends on what happened during the accident. The auto repair technician will explain all of the damage and how the repairs will proceed so you know exactly what's going on with your car.

Pay For The Repairs

Your insurance company should pay the auto collision repair shop directly. They won't pay your deductible, but they'll cover the rest of the cost as agreed upon during discussions with your repair shop. You'll pay your deductible to the auto collision shop directly.

If you have a large deductible and won't have the funds, tell this to the shop at the beginning of your discussions and before they start the work. You might be able to make smaller payments until you get the deductible paid off, so you'll want to see if this works for you. Otherwise, you may need to wait on getting your car repaired until you can afford to pay the deductible.

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Putting a Positive Spin on Car Crashes It's not easy to think of a car wreck as a good thing. People do die in car accidents, and even minor collisions can result in substantial damage to your car. But sometimes, when a car is wrecked beyond repair, there are ways to make lemonade from those lemons. Auto wrecking yards make it happen. They can tow a wrecked car to their yard, and then take it apart into pieces. They can sell some parts for use in repair shops and also recycle other parts. Read more about auto wrecking and the good that it does on this blog.