When you’ve had an accident and there is damage to your car, the last thing you need is a problem with the auto body shop. While insurance companies cannot legally tell you which body shop to use, they do have a list of shops they work with. This is a good place to start when you are looking for a place to repair the damage to your car. You can also ask friends and family for referrals. Show them the list from your insurance company and ask if anyone has used one of these shops and what they think. You can also ask for recommendations which are not on the list, especially if someone you know and trust has a strong recommendation for a particular shop.
Your next step is to check out the body shop’s reputation. You can do this by checking with your local Better Business Bureau, your state consumer protection office, and reading online reviews. You should be able to discover if a body shop has complaints and if so, how they were resolved.
Also, check to see if the body shops belong to any of the professional organizations such as America’s Collision REpari Association or the Automotive Service Association. You should also ensure that all of the body shop technicians, at least, those who will be working on your vehicle, are certified by Automotive Service Excellence or ASE when looking for dent removal in Irvine.
If you find a body shop you like and your insurance company allows them to do their own adjusting, you are ahead of the game. This means you will not have to wait for an adjuster to look at your car and since the body shop is in business to make money, they may be a bit more liberal in their list of necessary repairs.
Before you drop off your car for repair work, visit the shop. Check for a friendly, courteous staff and a professional appearance to the shop. Take a look at the cars currently being repaired. Are they newer, nicer cars? This is a good sign. Also, ensure the auto body repair shop frequently works on your type of make and model car and has all the right equipment.
Depending upon the type of car you have, your insurance company may try and pressure you into accepting generic parts. Many times, these types of parts are not as sturdy as the original parts. They are usually much less expensive which is why insurance companies love them. If you must accept a generic part, ensure it has a Certified Automotive Parts Association seal of approval. If it does not, do not accept the part and tell your insurance company it is not a certified part for your vehicle.
If you car is older, you may be faced with using parts from a junk yard. Do not accept junkyard parts if your car is newer. If it is older, it is not a real problem.
When you go to pick up your car, inspect it very carefully. Test all the switches, buttons, and locks to ensure they are working properly. Even test the stereo. Ensure all the doors, trunk, and hood open and close smoothly. Look at the paint in the bright sunlight to ensure the colors match. Once you leave the auto body shop, it is harder to get these types of things fixed, so check them before you accept the car.