5 Ways to Avoid Collision Estimate Scams

Posted on: September 30th, 2021 by Accurate Auto Body Shop 1 Comment

With hundreds of thousands of accidents in the US every year, there’s a lot of money in the collision repair business. Unfortunately, not all auto body shops want to make their money honestly. Instead, some of them want to pad their profit margin by participating in scams that charge you or your insurance company excessively.

Even if your insurance company is going to pay for auto body repairs, you want to fight fraud. Fraud can lead to substandard repairs and higher insurance premiums in the future. Here’s how you can avoid expensive collision estimate scams.

Only Let a Tow Driver Hook Up Your Car If You Called Them

tow truck pulling a vehicle after an accident If you get in an accident and end up on the side of the road, it might seem convenient at first to have a tow truck drive up and offer to hook up your car to take to a repair shop.

However, there’s good reason not to take the offer from an opportunistic tow truck. Instead of taking you to the closest or most reputable repair shop, a driver might take you to the shop that gives him a kickback. This can be problematic because the shops that give kickbacks to tow drivers like this are more likely to be fraudsters. Once your car is at their shop, they will hold it hostage.

Instead, wait for the tow truck you called, and tell them where to take your car.

Choose Your Auto Body Shop with Care

When your car needs repairs, you need to find an auto body shop you can trust. Ideally, it’s a good idea to do all your research beforehand and have a shop to take your car to in the event of an accident. You can either get suggestions for an auto shop from friends and family who have gotten good work done, or you can do your own research independently.

You can even call people for recommendations or do research while you wait for a tow truck to arrive.

Make Sure All Items on the Estimate Are Necessary

collision estimate scams One of the most common collision estimate scams is to add items to the repair list that aren’t necessary on your car. These are repairs that the shop doesn’t intend to do and/or parts that they don’t intend to install in the car.

If you’re not sure about any items on the estimate, ask the service person to explain them to you and show you the part on the car. If you’re still unsure about the item, use your phone to do a quick search and see if the explanation you’re getting matches up with the information you find.

Never Sign an Estimate without Numbers Filled In

Another type of collision estimate scam is asking you to sign an estimate that has blank spaces on it. Then the mechanic or manager will fill in the information after you leave with whatever numbers they want.

Once you sign an estimate, ask to get a copy sent to you by email and/or take a picture of the estimate with your camera or phone.

Promise to Inspect Work to Make Sure It’s Right

Once you sign the estimate and document it, promise that you’ll inspect the work when it’s complete. This will head off many types of shenanigans, such as not replacing parts they say they are going to, or the common collision estimate scam of including new factory parts in the estimate but using generic or rebuilt parts.

Then do the inspection, making sure that all the replaced parts have been replaced with the promised type.

Trust Accurate Auto Body for Repairs in Denver and Aurora

At Accurate Auto Body, we have been performing honest, quality repairs since 1991. We have earned an A+ rating with the BBB because of the honesty of our work, and our dedication to quickly resolving any problems to our customers’ satisfaction.

We also offer our exclusive Focus on You Service System™. This means that we will:

  • Give a guaranteed damage report and estimate
  • Give a guaranteed completion date
  • Explain all repairs and repair options to you
  • Complete your repairs as quickly as possible
  • Fix your car right the first time

Want to learn more about what makes Accurate Auto Body a reliable, trustworthy auto body shop? Please call 303-344-2212 or use our online form to request a free estimate today.

One Response

  1. Recently, my brother’s car broke down on the highway, so he’s currently stranded while we find a solution to his issue. I’m glad you elaborated on calling a towing service and waiting until they arrive to avoid potential fraudsters, so I’ll call my brother right now to tell him. Thank you for the tips on how to prevent falling for a scam during a car breakdown.

Leave a Reply