Most people have probably experienced some sort of fender-bender or major accident in their life. Whether it's a big car accident or a minor one, the desire to get the damage fixed as quickly and smoothly as possible is usually the goal. There are a few things you can do to make sure you have a really good experience in getting the auto body repair done that you need.
Document Vehicle Damage at the Scene
The first step to getting your vehicle's repairs is to secure the funds from your insurance company. To get full coverage for the damage, you will want to make sure you properly document the damage. This is best done right when the accident occurs. Most insurance companies recommend documenting the damage with a phone camera, both by taking photos and video of any areas affected by the accident. You will also want to contact police to have an official report of the damage, and to get information as to which drivers are responsible for the accident. This is all information your insurance company will need, or the insurance company of another driver who is at fault, in order to flawlessly appraise the damage.
Start Getting Bids for Repair
Once your insurance company is aware of the damage, you can usually start getting bids from an auto body repair shop. Most insurance companies require a bid from at least two repair shops. The only exception to this is if your insurance company requires that you go to a specific shop they have designated that they trust, then you may only be able to get a bid from that specific repair shop. From the official bid, you will be able to get funds for the repairs and schedule a repair immediately. Once your vehicle is scheduled and put in the repair shop, then you can usually get approved for a car rental while your vehicle is being repaired.
Review Repairs Before Leaving with Your Vehicle
Once your vehicle has been repaired, it's important to evaluate repairs onsite. Request that one of the auto body technicians go over each repair with you that was done. Most auto body shops want customers to be satisfied with the work before taking the vehicle away from the shop. If there are any additional repairs needed to be addressed, you can request that further work be done, and keep your rental car until you are satisfied with the auto body work. Leaving with your car before you are satisfied with the repairs could bring into question whether or not any damage you claim isn't repaired was caused after your left.
Being thorough with the above process of documenting damage, getting bids, and reviewing the repairs will ensure you get the best results with repairs. It will mean you have sufficient money from the insurance company, and it will help the auto body repair shop provide the repairs that are to your satisfaction and the insurance company's satisfaction
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