What You Need To Know
As a full service collision repair facility, it is our job to assist you in processing your claim whenever there is insurance involved. This can be a very confusing and complicated process. The good news is that we do this every day, and we want to help make your overall experience as pleasurable as possible. Our shop has an excellent reputation in the insurance industry for very high quality workmanship, excellent customer service, and most importantly, honesty and integrity.
Because of our excellent reputation, we have a great working relationship with virtually every insurance company that makes the collision repair experience as convenient and efficient as possible.
However, collision repair is an inherently difficult process, and there are numerous aspects to even a simple repair that can each complicate the process. If we just strive to meet your expectations throughout this process, it is very easy to fail and for you not to be as happy as we want. This is why we strive to win every time. Our goal is to EXCEED your expectations. Helping you to navigate the insurance maze is certainly an important part of the overall process. You have to report the loss- we cannot do that for you. But once you have done that, and liability has been determined, we can help you from that point forward.
If you are the insured, you are bound by the limits and language or terms of your policy. Actually, there is a big difference between insurers when it comes to service. Some insurers seem to care more than others when it comes to restoring your vehicle back to pre-accident condition. Unfortunately, there are many ways to interpret that definition.
If you are a claimant against another person's policy, then there are other rights that you have in this situation. While you are at least initially subject to the liability limits of the responsible persons policy, you are not necessarily bound to the language.
Your agent is there to help you if you have one. When you buy insurance direct, you will not have an agent. We work well with the agents to provide you with the best service possible. Usually, your agent can give you advice on whether or not to turn in a claim. A claim is not a claim unless there is payment issued, so just talking about it does not constitute a claim. Some agents may try to persuade you to not turn in the claim because it affects their loss ratio just as it affects yours, so you might be sensitive to that too.
We believe it is entirely possible to restore a vehicle to pre-accident condition in terms of appearance, form, fit, function, and safety. We do this every day and have for almost 30 years. We survey each customer after each repair to make sure they are completely satisfied, and when they are not, we use that information to constantly improve ourselves. Unfortunately, as in any industry, there are many repairers out there that do not perform at a very high level. This has led to what is called Diminished Value, or sometimes referred to as DV. If a vehicle has not been repaired properly, this can certainly affect value. In some cases, there is what is called inherent diminished value, which means that simply by being in an accident the vehicle is worth less regardless of how it is repaired. This is similar to a valuable collectors coin that is worth less because it has been in circulation or has a small imperfection. Any discussion about diminished value should involve an attorney.
Most of the larger insurers have a program where they have chosen certain shops as partners -- we call these Direct Repair Programs. These programs help to streamline the process because they have a standard way to process the repairs and to communicate. They also involve review or audit components that allows the insurer to keep tabs on a larger number of repairs with fewer staff. These relationships are built on trust, where the insurer trusts the shops to follow the procedures and the shops trust the insurer to follow through with their agreements.
Some people will tell you should not trust any insurance company. We believe that while there is a difference between insurers, as a general rule they know they must satisfy their customers in order to stay competitive. And the business of car insurance is extremely competitive these days -- just notice how much advertising there is. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to attract customers, much more than ever before. This is because insurers have finally come to realize that they do need to make sure they keep a customer, and they are all doing a better job of competing. For us as repairers, this is good news. Insurers are more willing to pay for a quality repair than ever before. However, this is still not a general rule and we still need to serve as your representative to make sure you receive a quality auto body repair. The challenge for us is that they all have different standards and expectations. However, we work hard to make sure that our standards are met with each repair and that you are completely satisfied.