After getting in an accident and reporting any damage to your insurance company, your next step is to get an estimate for repairing the damage to your vehicle. This process can be very confusing and time consuming. Here are a few tips to know before getting an estimate.
Once you have received your estimate there is a lot of information to review. Here are a few things to look for and what they all mean. Each item can affect the bottom line and the kind and quality of repair you are going to get. Also, because of all of the different types of parts there may be a huge price difference between estimates.
What kind of parts are on your estimate? There are several different kinds of parts that can be used when repairing your vehicle.
Check the labor rates. Right above the total amount owed on the estimate will be different types of labor, usually they will be grouped into body, mechanical, frame and refinish. Different shops do have different labor rates. When looking over your insurance companies estimate, they will use what is called a prevailing rate. This is the average rate charged per shop based on surveys that are conducted. Most shops will work with what was written.
At the bottom of most estimates there will be miscellaneous entries. These are for the most part pretty standard practices that pertain to repairing a vehicle, but not necessarily a specific part of a vehicle. Just a quick explanation of these items, flex additive is used for paint to adhere to plastic parts, corrosion protection is used when repairing a part to prevent rust, color tint is extra time set aside for getting a good color match to your vehicle’s existing paint color, a car cover will prevent paint from getting on areas of the car that it is not supposed to be on and hazardous waste is charged any time a body shop paints to dispose of any hazardous materials.
Finally, you may see the acronym R & I Assembly. This stands for remove and install. Some repairs are not able to be made unless the panel has nothing on it. For example, when repairing a door, we will need to R&I the door handle, mirror and any nameplates or moldings before being able to repair and paint the door.
An estimate is really a starting point for your repairs. If items are missing or incomplete your repair may be delayed. When working with the insurance company, regardless of how much the repairs end up totaling, you will be responsible for your deductible. In other words, if you have a $500.00 deductible and you get two estimates with one estimate you get totaling $1,000.00 and a second estimate you get totaling $2,000.00, in both cases you will only be responsible for your $500.00 deductible. If you ever find yourself in a situation and you don’t understand what an estimate says stop by. We are happy to compare estimates and explain what each line means!
At Precision Collision Auto Body we understand the importance of convenient and quality service. If you have been in an accident and need a tow, give us a call at (320) 685-5310 and we will help get you back on the road. We offer free estimates and work with all insurances, and self-paying customers. Click here to schedule your estimate.