Do I have to Get Three Estimates? And Other Collision Repair Questions


Consumers usually visit an auto body shop only when there is a collision repair need. It is not like walking into a dry cleaner or restaurant where a customer is familiar with the process. Due to infrequent visits (that is a good thing), there are misconceptions. Read on to clear up myths v reality:


Myth: I have to get three estimates.auto_body_information

Reality: There is no law that requires you to get more than one estimate. An insurance company can refer or recommend a collision repair facility. The customer makes the final decision.


Myth: The insurance company says if I don’t pick the collision repair shop on their list they will not offer a lifetime warranty on my vehicle’s collision repairs.

Reality: First, consider why the insurance company is trying so hard to steer or scare you into choosing their “preferred” auto body repair shop. Second, the collision repair shop guarantees the work, not the insurance company. Choose a collision repair shop who has a history of being in business and a lifetime labor warranty.


Myth: Insurance companies cover any and all repairs.Insurance_Estimate

Reality: The damage must be related to the specific claim. If the damage is unrelated, the insurance company will not approve the repair. If you believe it is related to the claim it is advised that you speak with the insurance adjuster and explain why it is part of the claim. The auto body facility has no authority to approve repairs.


Myth: Like Kind Quality means new OEM parts.

Reality: The insurance policy states, “Do you agree on accepting ‘like kind quality parts’? The policy holder signs even though there could be a misconception. Accepting this means you are ok with using aftermarket parts which are not OEM (factory).


Myth: LKQ-like kind quality or aftermarket parts are not good

Reality: Some aftermarket parts are good and some are not. If you chose a quality focused collision repair facility, they will take the time to contact the insurance company if the aftermarket part does not fit or work properly. The improper fit has to be seen and approved by an insurance adjuster. The auto body shop does not have the authority to switch from aftermarket to OEM. The insurance adjuster must determine whether the part fits poorly and warrants the added expense of replacing with an OEM part.


Myth: Auto body shops always say they found damage underneath

Reality: Many times this is true. The insurance adjuster or estimator can only write what he sees externally. Once the technician removes the external part, it may show damage underneath. At this point, the collision repair shop can contact the insurance adjuster to come out and see the damage. Once it is seen, the insurance adjuster can approve the additional work and related parts.


Myth: Only a dealership can repair your vehicle properly.

Reality: An independent collision repair facility with a good reputation for quality collision repair can meet or exceed dealership repair quality. Consider this, a dealer generates revenue from new and used car sales, parts, service, and collision repair. An independent auto body repair facility specializes and relies on only collision repair. An independent facility must do excellent work to continue operation. A quick look around will also reveal who has better equipment and customer service.


Airpark Collision Center opened in 2006 offering stress-free collision repair and excellent customer service. We are industry and manufacturer certified by several brands. Stop in or click for an online estimate.

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.

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