After your accident - How to make an intolerable event more tolerable

Few things are more disruptive than a collision accident. Immediately after your accident you are forced to make decisions about collision repairs that will impact your work and family schedules, immediate finances, future finances, your insurance, their insurance and one of your most valuable assets. If you or your family had medical or legal issues resulting from your accident, your stress increases exponentially.

Finding a collision repair facility that will guide your through this process will be your first and most important step - choosing the wrong one can make your event even more unpleasant. Here are the minimum expectations you should have from your collision repair center.

Collision Repairer, Claims Processor and Rental Car Agent - "NOT YOUR JOB!"

Your should not have to become an expert on collision repair, claims processing or rental car reservations to receive what you are entitled to from your insurance company and from the body shop that repairs your vehicle.

You should expect your body shop and insurer to work with your rental company to be sure you can pick up and deliver your vehicle at a time and place that is convenient with your schedule.

You should expect a clean and quite waiting area and restroom, should you or your family have to wait during any portion of the repair process

Once you authorize repair with your body shop, you should expect them to work with your insurer during all phases of the repair from estimate to repair to payment for services rendered without your direct involvement.

You should expect a single point of contact from the body shop so that you don't have to be the means of communication between body shop staff that are not communicating.

You should expect your vehicle to be repaired to its pre-accident condition according to the terms of your insurance policy.

You should expect your body shop to repair your vehicle safely and with high-quality results and keep you informed appropriately during the repair process.

You should expect your body shop to assist you with pickup and delivery of you or your vehicle should your schedule become too difficult to manage.

Collaboration between your body shop, your insurance company and you makes you a "HAPPY CUSTOMER!"

Body Shop Repair - Top 3 Key Considerations

1) Repair safety, safety, safety for you and your family

Safety should be your number one consideration when considering which collision repair shop to choose to repair your vehicle. Everything else is secondary!

You want to be sure your vehicle is repaired according to industry specifications and that the proper repair techniques are followed and the appropriate parts are used on your vehicle.

Industry specifications and guidelines are designed to return your vehicle to its pre-accident condition, be sure to review your insurance policy regarding repair methods and parts replacement policies. Repair techniques and guidelines are essential but they are no substitute for real-world experience. Be sure your body shop has experience repairing vehicles with the types of damages your vehicle has.

Many of today's modern vehicles utilize technologies such as advanced metals and hybrid technologies, which require specialized skill-sets to repair properly. If your vehicle utilizes these technologies check with the body shop to verify they have the ability and experience to perform repairs on these types of vehicles.

Look to trusted and knowledgeable resources for body shops they recommend, you might try your local dealership or your insurance company, rely on others for their expertise and first-hand experience.



2) Repair Quality - great products ensure great results

"Better materials, better results". Be sure your collision paint shop uses high-end paint products to ensure accurate computerized color matched formulas and premium clear coat that can withstand the environmental extremes where you live. The sun can wreak havoc on a low-end clear coat as you have likely seen on many cars.

The top paint vendors offer environmentally friendly alternatives to their paint product lines that still offer the high quality results required. Although these products are typically more expensive to the shop owner, they demonstrate if a shop is progressive in their attitudes toward community and the environment.

Waterborne paint and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) clear coats are currently mandated in California by law, they are not futuristic products available some day, they are available now to those body shop owners willing to invest in a greater good.


Though difficult to determine, look for shops with technicians that are paid well and treated well by their employer. Body shops with health benefits and good pay are usually the healthiest, best-run organizations. Those collision shops have the best technicians with best skills but as with any industry the size of the company does not automatically mean the best final result.



3) Lifetime Repair Guarantee - no "legal-ease" required

"Compared to reputations, vehicles are easy to fix." Any body shop that repairs your vehicle should correct any problem related to craftsmanship at no cost to you during the time you own your vehicle. "No fine print needed."

Parts replaced during your repair have their own manufacturer and distributor warranties. That doesn't mean the body shop lets you solve the problem. The body shop should represent you to ensure that any parts issues that may arise are resolved using the body shops' influence and resources to reach a satisfactory and prompt resolution.

Bottom-line, you should feel comfortable that your body shop is looking out for your interests in addition to trying to run a healthy business. It is in the body shops interest to serve you well and a good indicator is when they are not trying to get the absolute maximum profit out of your repair, but trying to build a relationship with you that will go beyond this single event.