What do I do after an auto accident?

  • Stay as calm as possible.
  • Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
  • If the accident is minor, and there are no injuries, move the vehicles to a safe place out of traffic. Many insurance companies recommend calling the police.
  • Notify your insurance company immediately.
  • Make notes about the accident including specific damages to all vehicles involved. Write down the names, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers for all involved. Get witness information if possible.
  • Be polite. Allow law enforcement officials and the Insurance Company to determine who is at fault in the accident. Always be honest.
  • If you have a camera or camera phone, take pictures if it can be done safely. For iPhone users many insurance companies now have iPhone apps!
  • Contact the repair facility of your choice for assistance in having your vehicle transported from the scene of the accident. Let the collision repair center help you. They can make the arrangements to make things easier for you.
  • Call or visit the repair center once you have claim information. You will need to sign a work authorization to begin the repair process

Do I need three estimates?

  • No, you do not need to get three estimates.
  • Many repair centers offer free estimates. However, there are specific requirements based on the Insurance Company involved and the type of coverage you have that require certain types of parts and labor rates to be considered for providing an accurate repair estimate. Estimates written without this information may make this process seem confusing. Some insurance companies do require that they look at the vehicle first to write an estimate and then you will need to take that estimate to your body shop of choice.
  • The most important thing is for you to select a repair facility you trust and inform your Insurance Company.

Am I required to notify my insurance company before repairs begin on my vehicle?

  • Yes.
  • You should obtain approval from your insurance company before repairs begin. Your insurance company will authorize repairs, parts types used, payments, and written /digital photo documentation before and during the repair process.

What is a DRP (Direct Repair Shop) shop?

  • DRP simply means Direct Repair Program.
  • Benefits of these programs include additional warranties, more timely repairs, cost savings, and peace of mind for you.
  • Insurance Companies can provide you with a list of their preferred or Direct Repair Providers in your area.
  • These chosen providers have met specific requirements in the areas of; training, quality, customer service, and possess the state of the art equipment necessary for the best possible repair to your vehicle and experience for you.

What should I look for when choosing a repair facility?

  • Ask people you trust.
  • Who does your Insurance Company recommend?
  • Have any of your friends, coworkers, or family members ever used this collision repair service?

Who is responsible for payment to the repair facility?

  • The vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for payment for all repairs.
  • You may instruct your insurance company to make payment directly to the repair center on your behalf. Usually an initial payment is made for the repair estimate and then during the repair process a supplemental payment will be issued for additional hidden damages or parts cost that are discovered during repairs.
  • The collision repair center can assist you with clarification on any payments that may be issued. This can also get you back into your own vehicle in a timelier manner.
  • Remember to clarify any deductible amounts or questions you may have as early on as possible. Your portion (if applicable) is not required until the completion of repairs and you pick up your vehicle.

Do I have to pay for a rental car?

  • Rental car coverage is an optional coverage available from your insurance company. Verify your coverage and the amount covered per day for a rental vehicle while filing your initial claim.
  • If your repairs are being paid for by the other parties’ insurance company, you should be provided with a similar vehicle during the time your vehicle is in for repair.
  • We work with Enterprise Rent-a-car.

When is my deductible due and how do I know how much it is?

  • Insurance deductibles are due at the completion of the repair process to the repair center. Your insurance adjuster can answer any questions you may have regarding your policy, coverage, and applicable deductibles.

After I pick up my vehicle, do I need to take any precautions with the new paint finish?

  • Yes, we ask that you do not take the vehicle through a car wash or wax it for 6 weeks. If needed you can wash it with a hose and wash cloth. You want to stay away from high pressure washers.