Auto Body Estimates Exposed

Do I have to get three estimates?

According to Arizona state law, you do not have to visit three auto body shops for an estimate. You choose the collision repair facility and your insurance covers the bill, (minus the deductible if you have one). Insurance companies will try to refer you to their select body shops. Remember, you don’t know what criteria they use to choose the select shops. Be careful, always do your own research to see if the collision repair center is reputable and if other customers have had good experiences.

Do I have to go to my insurance drive thru claim center?

No, the purpose of the drive thru claim center is to write an estimate and get you to leave it there. Cars often get shuttled to a body shop from the drive in claims center. Sometimes, customers don’t even know where their car is getting repaired. Again, be careful you should always do your homework before leaving your car at any collision repair facility.

Auto Body Estimates Exposed

I got 3 estimates, how come one is so much cheaper?

Watch out if you are paying out of pocket! Sometimes, auto body shops write low estimates to get the job in the shop. Once your car is taken apart, they call and say it is going to cost more. An honest auto body shop will write a thorough estimate, and will warn you if they are unsure of hidden damage.

My insurance adjuster wrote an estimate, but now the body shop says there’s more damage. How come this damage wasn’t found on the adjuster’s estimate?

The additional damage found may have been simply missed by the adjuster during the initial estimate. Remember, the adjuster cannot remove exterior parts off the vehicle, meaning they have no idea what needs repair underneath.

If additional damage is found, what happens?

If additional damage is found, the collision repair center will write a supplement (additional estimate). This supplement is sent to the insurance company with photos, proving the repair must be completed. The auto body shop then waits for approval from the insurance company before making the necessary repairs.

How come there is used or aftermarket parts on my estimate?

There could be used or aftermarket parts on your estimate for a variety of reasons.  First off, some insurance companies, (or maybe even the policy you chose) won’t pay for factory parts. Other times, a factory part is no longer available and body shops are forced to use non-factory parts. At Airpark Collision Center, we only use quality used and aftermarket vendors. We will simply not accept a low quality part and will return or exchange until we are satisfied.

Remember, it’s your car and safety at risk. Always, make sure you are confident with the collision repair facility. If you have questions, the body shop should have no problem answering them for you. Airpark Collision Center is locally owned and operated, we are always willing to assist our customers.

Tina Small has been part of the Airpark Collision Center team since 2006. Working directly with customers, her goal is to share frequent customer questions, and proper methods of collision repair.