Archive for the ‘What to do After a Car Accident’ Category

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

If your vehicle sustained serious damage in a car accident, you may be faced with the possibility that your insurance company will declare the vehicle a total loss. Once you file a claim with your insurance company, they will send an adjuster to assess the damage to your car. In general, your car will be totaled if the cost of repairs exceeds the current value of the car.

Each state has established thresholds which govern when a vehicle is considered a total loss. This threshold specifies a percentage of your car’s pre-accident value which must be exceeded in order to declare a total loss. Fortunately, Colorado thresholds require the damage to equal 100% of the current value of the car for it to be totaled. In some states, this threshold can be as low a 51% of the car’s value.

The current actual cash value of your vehicle is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The age of the vehicle
  • The condition of the vehicle before the accident
  • Market value of your specific year, make and model
  • Resale value of similar vehicles in your area
  • The mileage on your vehicle

Once the vehicle’s actual cash value has been determined, it will usually be a numbers game to figure out whether it will cost the insurance company more money to pay for repairs or pay you for the value of the car. In most instances, the amount of money the insurance company will recoup from selling the car at a salvage auction will be factored into this equation as well.

If your vehicle is declared a total loss, your options may vary based on the specifics of your situation.

How Much Will I Receive for My Totaled Vehicle

The amount of money you’ll receive will depend on several factors, including:

  • The cause of the accident
  • Whether your state has no-fault laws governing car accidents (Colorado is a fault state, which means the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the costs of repairs)
  • The terms of your insurance policy (or the at-fault driver’s policy if you didn’t cause the accident)
  • The amount of your deductible

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?You’re only entitled to recover damages up to the policy limits of the insurance coverage. For example, if the at-fault driver only carries $5,000 in property damage coverage and the value of your totaled vehicle is $8,000, the other driver’s insurance will only pay $5,000 towards the replacement vehicle. In order to recoup the remaining $3,000, you’ll either need to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or collision coverage on your insurance policy.

If the accident is determined to be your fault, the amount you recover will be dictated by the coverage you selected on your policy. If you have collision insurance, you’ll be able to recoup the value of the vehicle up to the limits of your coverage, minus the deductible. If your collision policy pays up to $10,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, the maximum payout you can receive is $9,000 even if the value of the vehicle exceeds this amount. If you don’t have collision coverage, you may not be able to recoup any money for the cost of your totaled vehicle.

In Colorado, harsh weather can also cause serious damage to vehicles. It’s common for vehicles to be totaled due to extensive hail damage. In these situations, you will need to have comprehensive insurance on your policy in order to recoup the value of your vehicle. Your payout will also be dictated by the limits of your coverage and your deductible.

What Happens if I Owe More Money than the Value of My Vehicle?

The insurance company will only pay you for the actual cash value of the totaled vehicle, minus your deductible. If you still owe money on a car loan, it’s possible that this payout won’t completely cover the remaining value of the loan. In this situation, your insurance check will usually go to the lender to pay off as much of the loan as possible. After that, you will be responsible for paying off the remaining balance out of pocket.

Can I Dispute the Insurance Company’s Valuation of My Vehicle?

If you think the insurance company is undervaluing your vehicle, you have the right to dispute their assessment. However, it is usually challenging to prove the vehicle is worth more than the insurance company’s estimate. There are two ways to prove your argument:

  • Provide evidence as to the actual condition of the car – If you’ve made upgrades to the vehicle or kept it in pristine condition, it may drive up the actual cash value of your vehicle. You’ll need receipts for any upgrades performed and photos of the condition of your car to prove it’s worth more than the insurance company initially determined.
  • Hire an appraiser – You can work with a qualified appraiser who will provide an opinion as to your vehicle’s actual value. If the appraiser determines the car is worth more than your insurance company’s estimate, you may have grounds to dispute the settlement offer.

If you’re unable to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement with your insurance company, you have the following options:

  • Arbitration – A neutral third party, called an arbitrator, will determine the value of the vehicle based on the facts presented by you and your insurance company. Arbitration can either be non-binding (you still have the option to pursue litigation if you’re not satisfied with the outcome) or binding (the arbitrator’s decision is final).
  • Litigation – You have the option to have your dispute resolved in court. However, this should always remain a last resort option.

Always consider the costs associated with disputing the value of your vehicle before moving forward. You’ll need to pay for an appraiser in all situations. If you choose arbitration or litigation, you’ll want to have an attorney represent you. When you go to court, there will also be additional fees associated with your case. Often, these expenses will exceed the extra money you’re able to recoup from the process.

Can I Keep a Totaled Vehicle?

What Are My Options if My Car Is Totaled?When your vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company will usually take position of the car and it will be auctioned at a salvage yard. The insurance company keeps the money paid for the car at auction.

In Colorado, you’re legally entitled to keep a totaled car. However, you’re required by law to complete all repairs necessary to restore it to good working condition, and you need to get a Rebuilt Title Established by Salvage certificate for the vehicle before you can drive it.

If you would like to keep your totaled vehicle, you should inform the insurance adjuster of your intentions right away. In this situation, you’ll be entitled to recover the actual cash value of the car, minus the deductible and the amount your insurance company would receive at a salvage yard auction. You’ll then be responsible for arranging for all repairs and paying for them yourself.

When Should I Consider Keeping My Totaled Vehicle?

The decision to keep a salvaged car shouldn’t be made lightly. There are many factors to consider. The most important is safety. If the vehicle contains structural damage that cannot be safely repaired, you should never keep the vehicle. However, there are many instances where making the necessary repairs will restore the vehicle to safe working order. This is especially true if the damage is mostly cosmetic, such as after a hail storm.

If your vehicle can be safely driven after making repairs, the other factors to consider are largely financial:

  • Cost of the repairs – If you’re going to spend more money on repairs than you’ll receive from the insurance company, keeping the vehicle generally isn’t a smart financial decision.
  • Age of the vehicle – Is this an old vehicle that would need to be replaced soon? If so, it’s probably best to let it go now. If it’s a newer vehicle, is your goal to keep it for years in order to avoid car payments? In this situation, paying a little money out of pocket may be worthwhile if it will save you thousands of dollars in car payments over the next several years.
  • Remaining car payments – If you still owe money on a car loan, will the insurance check cover the balance of the loan? If so and you’re ok with making payments on a new car, giving up the vehicle is likely the best option. If your insurance check won’t pay off the loan, you may want to consider keeping the vehicle depending on how much you’d owe the bank to cover the difference.
  • Your financial situation – Can you afford to purchase another vehicle that will adequately meet your needs? This should be factored into your decision to keep the vehicle.

Keep in mind that not all insurance companies will offer you a policy on a totaled vehicle. You should always inquire with several insurance companies, including your own, regarding your ability to insure a salvaged vehicle before you decide whether to keep the car.

Can I Buy My Vehicle at Auction?

In most instances, buying your vehicle at the salvage yard auction isn’t a viable option. In most instances, you’ll need a special license to attend the auction. These licenses are usually reserved for auto dealers and auto salvagers. Make sure you check with the auction house to find out if you are able to bid on your car before assuming you can do so.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

If your vehicle is totaled by the insurance company, Accurate Auto Body shop and collision repair can help you arrive at the right decision. We offer customized auto repair consulting services that will:

  • Inform you of your options
  • Recommend the ideal solution to pursue
  • Answer all of your questions
  • Devise a personal repair plan if you decide to keep the vehicle
  • Assist you with the claims filing

When you work with Accurate Auto Body, you’ll benefit from our Focus on You Service System™, which ensures:

  • You’re treated with respect throughout the entire process
  • Your schedule is accommodated when repairs are made
  • You’re provided with guaranteed pricing and completion dates
  • Your vehicle will be fixed right the first time

Please contact us today to discuss your repair options. We offer collision repair services in Aurora, Denver, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?

Posted on: September 25th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

In Colorado, you’re legally required to carry an auto insurance policy for your vehicle. That being said, you do have a fair amount of control over which types of coverage to include on your policy. One coverage option that can be extremely beneficial in the right situations is collision insurance.

What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance covers the costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle after a car accident. This type of insurance will cover damage caused by:

  • A collision with another vehicle where you are at fault for the accident
  • A single-vehicle collision with a stationary object, such as a tree, fence, car, pothole or mailbox
  • A single-vehicle rollover accident

Is Collision Insurance Required?

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?Colorado does not require you to carry collision insurance as part of your policy. However, there are certain exceptions. You will typically be required to have collision insurance if you lease your vehicle or have payments remaining on a car loan for a vehicle you purchased. In these situations, collision insurance is required to protect the lender or leasing company from financial loss after an accident.

While collision insurance usually isn’t required, there are many situations where it’s in your best interest to purchase this coverage for your vehicle. This is particularly true when you have a newer vehicle that would be expensive to replace in the event of a total loss. Ultimately, you’ll need to crunch the numbers to determine whether the cost of this coverage, which can run several hundred dollars a year, will deliver enough value after a serious accident to justify the expense.

Factors to Consider When Determining Whether to Purchase Collision Insurance

Unless you’re required to purchase collision insurance by a lender holding a lien against your vehicle, the decision should be strictly based on financial factors, including:

  • The value of your car – If your vehicle is still relatively new, the cost to repair or replace it with a car of equal value may be fairly high. However, an older vehicle that has depreciated in value significantly may not justify the expense of the coverage.
  • Your financial situation – Can you afford to pay for costly repairs out of pocket? Will you be able to pay for a new car if your vehicle can’t be repaired? If not, collision coverage can be very important.
  • The cost of your collision insurance – There are two aspects to the cost associated with collision insurance: the amount you pay for this coverage on your monthly premiums and the deductible you must meet before this coverage kicks in. These costs must be deducted from the amount you’ll receive after an accident when determining the value of this coverage.
  • How long you intend to keep your vehicle – Are you hoping to drive your car for several more years in order to avoid car payments? If so, collision coverage may be more desirable. If you’re planning on trading in your vehicle in the near future, it may not be worth paying for this coverage.

You can determine the maximum value of your collision insurance using the following formula:

current value of your car – [the cost of your premium + your deductible]

For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000 and you pay $350 every six months for collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible on your policy, the maximum payout you’ll receive from your collision insurance is $8,650. In this situation, collision insurance would most likely be a worthwhile purchase. However, if your vehicle is only worth $2,000, the maximum payout would be $650 with the same premium and deductible. In this situation, collision insurance may not make as much sense since you won’t receive a lot of value for the cost of the coverage.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Insurance

Do I Need Collision Insurance for My Auto Policy?Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident. However, it won’t protect you from damage caused by issues such as fire, severe weather, fallen objects, vandalism or theft. These situations are covered by comprehensive insurance. As with collision, comprehensive insurance generally isn’t required unless you still owe money on your vehicle to a lender or leasing company.

For newer vehicles, it’s common to carry both collision and comprehensive. As your car gets older and its value depreciates, the value of these coverages diminishes. You may decide at some point that it only makes sense to carry one of these coverages. Which should you choose?

When choosing between collision and comprehensive insurance, consider the following factors:

  • Your driving record – If you haven’t been in an accident that was deemed your fault in years, you may want to bet on your driving ability and opt for comprehensive. However, if you find that you’re regularly causing car accidents, keeping your collision coverage may be more prudent.
  • Where you live – Denver typically gets several serious hail storms each year. If you don’t park your car in a garage, you’re much more likely to sustain serious hail damage in one of these storms. Also, do you live in an area that experiences high rates of auto theft? In both of these situations, comprehensive insurance may make more sense.
  • The cost of each coverage – In general, the premiums for comprehensive are much lower than the premiums for collision. If you’re concerned with keeping your monthly insurance costs as low as possible, this may be a factor to consider.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help

If your car has been damaged in an accident, Accurate Auto Body Shop and Collision Repair can help. We provide a comprehensive array of auto body repair services to address all of your needs. We work with all insurance companies, and our team will help you through the insurance claims process if you have collision coverage. If you don’t have collision insurance and play to pay out of pocket, we’ll provide you with customized repair options to accommodate your budget.

When you work with Accurate Auto Body, you’ll benefit from our Focus On You Service System™ which ensures:

  • You’re treated with the highest levels of respect throughout the repairs process
  • You receive guaranteed pricing for your repairs
  • You receive guaranteed completion dates
  • You receive the proper information necessary to understand all of your options
  • You experience faster turnaround times
  • Your vehicle will be fixed right the first time
  • Your unique scheduling needs are always accommodated to the best of our ability
  • Insurance claims are handled as efficiently as possible (we’ll cut through the red tape to get your claim moving along)

Schedule a free auto repair estimate with Accurate Auto Body today. We offer collision repair services in Aurora, Denver, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Insured vs. Non-insured Collision Repair

Posted on: August 21st, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Insured vs Non-insured Collision RepairAs a Denver Auto body shop, we do get a lot of questions concerning collision repair. And, many of those questions come down to insurance. Is it better to have their insurance cover auto body repairs and pay the deductible, or pay everything out-of-pocket? We call this the great “insured vs non-insured collision repair” debate. Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of each.

Insured Collision Repair Pros

First of all, you have insurance for a reason, and it is the law. But, that does not mean people will actually use their insurance to cover the cost of collision repairs. However, the big pro to using insurance for the repair is the fact you pay less money out of pocket. All you have to do is pay your deductible, which, depending on your policy, could be anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Depending on the severity of the damage to your vehicle, this could be a lot cheaper than paying for the repair yourself.

Insured Collision Repair Cons

While the most significant factor for carrying insurance is the fact that they will fit the bill for repairs, it does come with a downside. When you make a claim with your insurance company, and they cover the cost of repair, they will likely increase your fees. As a result, your monthly bill can go up for a period of time. You will have to weigh the impact of the increased insurance cost versus that of paying out of pocket for your repairs.

Also, when insurance gets involved, they may decide not to repair your vehicle based on the repair estimate compared to the cash value of your car. If repairs, for example, are more than the actual car value, they may decide to pay you the car’s cash value. Typically, if the damage exceeds 65 to 70 percent of the car’s market value, insurance can choose to “total” it.  If your insurance does total your vehicle, you can still choose to have it repaired at your own expense.  However, if it is too much of a financial burden to get it fixed, you are better off parting with the vehicle.

Non-Insured Auto Body Repair Pros

When you opt to cover the repairs yourself, you do have more control over parts and the way you would like the replacement to go. And, you can, potentially, avoid an increase in your insurance rates. However, if you collided with another vehicle and that driver files a claim and has your insurance information, your insurance company will likely be contacting you and will have note of an accident. As a result, you may still see an increase in your coverage. That is why, for a dent or two, or a literal fender bender, you may be able to cover those repairs without the help of insurance. But, if it is a collision that involves other parties and has significant damage to your car, you should consider using insurance for your repair.

Non-Insured Collision Repair Cons

If you get the repairs done without insurance, your insurance may not provide you with coverage on your vehicle. After all, they are the ones who have to ensure the integrity of the vehicle after repairs. So, if you decide to have a car repaired, especially if doing it yourself or at a shop that is not in your insurer’s network, you run a risk losing any coverage you had on the vehicle. That is why if you have anything moderate to significant damage to your car, it is best to have your insurance company handle the repairs. After all, it would be bad to get your car repaired, and yet not find anyone to insure it, putting you at further risk.

Need Collision Repair

If you have any questions about insurance and how they work with auto body shops, feel free to give us a call. And, if you require auto body repair, we do provide free estimates. Schedule your free estimate online today!

Things to Check After Auto Body Repair

Posted on: April 10th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

auto body repair checkHaving auto body repair work done on your vehicle is often such a relief that by the time you get your vehicle back, you’re ready to ride off into the sunset without a second thought. However, even with the most trusted auto body shop teams, it’s important that you take a little time for a post-repair inspection. Not sure where to start? Here are a few key areas to look over and double-check before getting too far down the road.  

The Area of Repair  

Whatever part of your vehicle needed tending to, it’s time to look that area over. Check for dimpling, make sure alignment is correct and the paint color matches. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal. Any auto repair team worth their salt will encourage you to do just that. Looking over the repair area is the first step to ensuring all is well after the repairs have been finished.  

All Electronic Components and Features  

The next step is one that people often forget, only to find out three days (or weeks) later when someone sits in their back seat for the first time that the window won’t roll down or the door won’t unlock like it’s supposed to. Checking all electronic components like windshield wipers, radio, automatic locks and windows, blinkers, etc. Is a critical step that you’ll thank us for later. Often it’s just a matter of connecting a wire that accidentally got left unconnected or flipping a switch that was overlooked in the final check before you were given a call.  

Alignment  

Depending on the work done, your alignment should be checked. Most auto repair shops will ensure that the alignment of your vehicle is adjusted if necessary even if the repairs they’re doing don’t directly affect that. For this step and the following two, we recommend asking your repair team if you can do a quick drive around the block before signing off. Making sure it drives like it should and feels normal is an important piece of the post-repair check puzzle.  

Sounds  

While you’re giving it a test drive, keep the music off (once you’ve checked to make sure all the music inputs and outputs work and the speakers sound like they ought to.) This is important to make sure your vehicle isn’t making any strange or new noises. If you notice anything that you didn’t hear before you brought it in, make sure you bring it up to your repair team so they can check it out.  

Brakes  

Brakes are an essential part of driving safely. Testing your brakes in a few different scenarios is a must-do when you’re checking your vehicle after a repair. Test them normally, and test having to pump them hard. No, we don’t recommend getting yourself in situations where that is required as it’s a very quick way to wear your brake pads out, but should a situation arise where you need to brake hard, you want the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle can do that. And if anything got messed up in the repair, it’s better to know now, in a situation you’re controlling, than last-minute when you can’t.  

Looking over the work done is not an insult to your auto body repair team, it’s a necessary part of the repair process. Conducting a post-repair inspection is expected and encouraged. After all, it’s your vehicle, and you deserve to feel fully confident in the work done. We know the world is a little intense right now, but we’re proud to be essential workers still open and operating for your auto body repair needs in this time. Need an estimate? Wondering how our processes have changed in light of social distancing regulations? Give us a call today or schedule an estimate online.  

Does My Car Qualify for Paintless Dent Repair?

Posted on: March 18th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

paintless dent repair

Dents, dings, and small issues are a common thing all car owners deal with. It’s the nature of being a driver in today’s world. Thankfully, technology has advanced over the years so that not all dents and dings require expensive, overhaul-focused autobody repair in order to get your vehicle back in tip-top shape and on the road again. With paintless dent repair, you have the opportunity to save money and time, but knowing whether or not you qualify can be a little confusing at times. Not sure whether or not your vehicle’s dents and dings could benefit from paintless dent repair? Here are some things to consider.

Model Year

While paintless dent repair may be possible on older model cars, the process itself works best on vehicles model year 1990 or newer. The construction of vehicles and the panels that make them up has changed in that time to make it easier for auto body repair workers to utilize the tools and access the panels of the vehicle the way they need to in order to effectively enact this repair process.

Damage Location

Where your vehicle is dented will have an impact on whether or not paintless dent repair will be effective. Because the shell of your vehicle is made up of panels, some locations on those panels are far easier to fix via this process than others. For example, if the damage is located close to the edge of the panel, it will be more difficult to repair in this fashion because of the internal way experts access the dings in order to avoid needing to paint over the repair.

Panel Status

In addition, the condition of the panel where the damage is located will play a factor as well. It’s easiest to perform paintless dent repair on an original panel that has never previously been replaced. That being said, it is possible to do the repair this way on non-original panels as well, though your repair partner may have different questions or requirements for you depending on the panel’s status.

Paint Condition

Okay, so this one might be a little obvious but it’s worth talking about all the same. If your dings and dents come with damage to your paint, paintless dent repair is likely not your best choice. Though the process could still potentially be implemented, any savings you might have would likely be gone with the additional cost of painting over the damaged paint areas. Because paint is more than just an aesthetic choice on your vehicle, any good repair person worth their salt is going to heavily recommend that you cover any areas where the paint has been chipped or damaged. Your vehicle’s paint protects your car from all manner of elemental wear and tear, so it’s important to keep your vehicle’s paint in-tact.

If you’re dealing with dents from something like hail damage or an unexpected bump into something, and there’s no paint damage around the dents, you may be the perfect candidate for paintless dent repair. Be sure to ask your auto body repair shop about your options! Still not feeling sure about your particular situation? Give us a call today.

Your Actual Options If Your Car Is Totaled

Posted on: November 21st, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

options if car totalled

Totaled Car Options

Unfortunately, not every crash is minor, not every collision repair is simple. Sometimes, you find yourself in a position where your vehicle is “totaled.” If that’s the reality you’re facing, it helps to know what your options are. You don’t have to get rid of it, for example. So what are your actual options? Let’s look a little closer.

Contact Insurance

If you have insurance, the first and most obvious step here is to call your insurance company and begin the process of making a claim. When you do this, you’ll be on the hook for your deductible, but beyond that, the insurance company will be in charge of deciding if the car is beyond repair or not.

How Insurance Decides

This will vary slightly from company to company, but it often comes down to value. If the value of the vehicle itself is less than what it would cost to repair it back to working order, the insurance company will likely declare it “totaled.” In this situation, you have a couple of options. Depending on your insurance, you can work with them to replace your vehicle. Or, if you want to keep your vehicle, your insurance may cut you a check for the value of the car, minus any deductibles you owe. From there, you can pursue repairs on your own.

Consider Vehicle Safety

The first and most important consideration when it comes to repairing a “totaled” car is safety. You may be able to repair the vehicle to a point of functioning again, but that doesn’t mean it’s repaired to a point of being both functional and safe. If the safety of your vehicle cannot be restored through repairs, it might be best to walk away from it and use the insurance money to get a new car.

If you’re uninsured, and repairs are your only financial option, ensure that the safety of your vehicle can be restored and is priority number one for the team you’re working with. If the repairs are prohibitively expensive (getting a car back to safe working order from a totaled state isn’t exactly a cheap task), ask your repair shop if they can work with you to create a payment plan.

Future Insurance

It’s worth considering the fact that your vehicle’s history (and your driving history) is factored into your insurance rates. If you repair a totaled car but it isn’t good as new (which is a very difficult thing to accomplish at a certain point), getting affordable coverage may be difficult. It’s a good idea to factor in potential increases in insurance when you’re looking at the cost of repair versus the cost of investing in a new vehicle. If your car has recently been totaled and you’re not sure what to do next, give us a call at 303-344-2212. We can help provide a collision repair estimate for you so you can make an informed decision.

Things to Consider When Doing a No-Insurance Repair

Posted on: May 21st, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

no-insurance repairGetting your vehicle repaired is always a hassle, but sometimes it’s very necessary. There may be a number of reasons you’re looking into doing a repair without using insurance to cover the costs. Perhaps you don’t have insurance, or the repair isn’t covered. Maybe you simply don’t want to use your insurance to cover the damage in order to avoid making a claim that may affect your coverage. Whatever the reason, when you’re considering a no-insurance repair, make sure you have these bases covered.

Pay Attention to the Full Scope of Repairs

You should always pay attention to the scope of repairs presented to you when you bring your vehicle in for an estimate, but when you’re not using insurance it’s extra important. Ensure that your autobody shop isn’t adding in anything unnecessary or glossing over things that are important. Don’t be afraid to go line item by line item on what’s proposed.

Can it Happen in Stages?

If you’re strapped for cash but know something needs to be repaired now, ask if there is any way to break up the repairs into stages. If possible, take care of the critical items now and circle back when you’ve had time to save a little more money to take care of the remainder.

Be Picky

When you use your insurance for repairs, there are often guidelines in place as to what specific parts must be replaced using OEM parts and what can be replaced using other third-party parts. When you’re not using insurance to complete a repair, those guidelines aren’t in place. You may consider doing some research on which parts its recommended be replaced by OEM parts for your vehicle before signing off on the repairs.

Ask About Repair Options

If the repairs are necessary and you can’t count on insurance to help, but the number on the estimate boggles your mind, consider asking your auto repair shop about options. There can be different levels of repair from good to best, designed to fit your budget. Shops should be able to provide you with options to make sure you can drive safely without diving headfirst into a mountain of debt.

Working with an auto repair shop on your vehicle when you’re not using insurance can be tricky. But if you’re working with a team you trust, and a team that has extensive experience in executing no-insurance repairs with the same level of care and dedication as they do all of their repairs, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re not sure what that team is for you, give us a call today.

Choosing an Auto Body Shop

Posted on: May 3rd, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Denver No Comments

choosing an auto body shopWe get it. It is NEVER fun selecting an auto body shop for your collision repair. But, you always, even with insurance, have a choice when it comes to handling your repairs. So, what key things should you look for when choosing an auto body shop?

Look Before You Need One

We know this seems a little odd, but you really do want to have an idea of what body shop you would use before you have an accident. This will help take some of the pressure off during this stressful time. After all, just having one less thing to worry about is a good thing.

Check Better Business Bureau

If you are just starting your research, one of the best resources everyone has access to is the Better Business Bureau. Here you can see what their overall rating is, as well as how long the business has been accredited. You can see if they have responded to complaints as well as read any posted reviews from customers.

Read Reviews

Take some time to read Google reviews, the good ones and the bad ones. No shop will be immune to bad reviews, but it is easy to see people who may just have an axe to grind. Even with the bad review, it is important to see if the business responded and how it was handled, as that can speak volumes to their professional standards. In the good ones, look at common themes – how the repairs were completed, customer service, communication, and follow up.

Look for Certifications

Ensure that your auto body shop has factory certifications. Usually, this means their team is continually keeping up with manufacture repair stands and keeping them current. So, you will want to look for things like ProFirst, I-CAR Classification, and other factory trained programs.

Insurance

Insurance can have some influence on your choice of shop. You may just want to call a few shops and simply inquire about how they would (or if) they work with your insurance company. You may also want to shop for an auto body shop that has policies in place if you are thinking about repairs without insurance.

Get Estimates

Any body shop worth its salt will provide no-obligation estimates, and even help arrange for towing to their facility if needed. When getting an estimate, however, be wary of just going with the lowest estimate. Oftentimes, assessing the damage is difficult with a simple walk around of the vehicle. Make sure they really take time to uncover other areas of potential damage and explain it to you. Sometimes the cheap estimates end up with the costliest “gotcha” repairs.

Friends and Family

Without a doubt, the best thing to do when choosing an auto body shop is to just ask friends or family. They will give it to you straight. After all, the best option is going to be the one that puts you most at ease, and if trusted friends have a good experience, you will likely have one too.

Again, please take some time before you need auto body repair to do a little research. Know where you would want your vehicle to go, should you need it. If you have any questions about auto body repair, please give us a call at 303-344-2212.

How and Why You Should Get Those Hail Damage Dents Fixed

Posted on: October 25th, 2018 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

fix hail damageWhy Fix Hail Damage

If you drive a vehicle in Colorado, you’ve definitely heard of or experienced hail damage. It’s something countless drivers deal with each year as the unpredictable Front Range storms roll in and out in 20 minutes, leaving dents and paint chips in their wake. Something we get asked a lot is whether or not fixing the hail damage is even worth it – worth the insurance claim, worth the whole process, worth the potential hike in insurance rates. We get it, it’s a hassle, like most automobile repairs, but there are a number of reasons you absolutely should fix hail damage. Here are just a few.

Hurts Resale Value

If you don’t fix hail damage and get them taken care of, and eventually want to sell your vehicle in the future, that damage could cost you big in the form of profit. Hail damage, understandably, hurts the resale value of your automobile. Because it’s so obvious, and the cosmetic can be the maker or breaker of a sale, it’s definitely a tally in the negative column when potential buyers are weighing their options. Even if you’re trying to resell it back to the dealership you got it from, or trading it into another dealership, you’ll get less cash than you would if you had gotten the dents fixed.

Risk of Rust

Those dents sometimes include paint chips, and those paint chips can lead to rust. Rust, of course, can lead to bigger issues, causing damage that goes beyond cosmetic if left to its own devices for too long. When rust starts to rear its head, you’re in the position of having to fix not one, but two problems and insurance is far less likely to help you out.

Insurance Woes

Let’s say you received some hail damage and decided to let it go, not filing a claim and deciding to live with the cosmetic damage. That might be fine and dandy, but what if you find yourself smacked with a second round of hail and want to make a claim?

Because you never claimed the first round of damage, insurance may have a harder time accepting your claim this time around, unsure of which damage was caused by which incident. Oh, and if you’ve heard those stories about people who make the claim, get the insurance money, and pocket it – think twice before attempting that particular strategy – it’s actually insurance fraud and you would be facing very serious consequences if you went down that path.

Unexpected Damage

Sometimes, hail damage goes beyond the cosmetic. Sometimes, those dents, or that hail, manage to impact things under the hood, alignment of your wheels, ball bearings, etc. The list goes on, but if you don’t get your vehicle checked out at all after a hail storm, you might be missing some serious issues that will land you in the shop with a much bigger bill down the road. There’s just no way for the average person to truly tell where the hail damage ends, and whether or not it is purely cosmetic. It’s far better to take it in and get an estimate than assuming the best and having to pay for the worst later.

Hail damage can be a major pain, but there are plenty of reasons to get it handled straight away. If you need a team you can trust, we’d be honored to help you understand the extent of your damage and be realistic with you about what the cost of the repairs might be.

What to Look for After Your Vehicle Comes Out of the Shop

Posted on: September 28th, 2018 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

What to Look for After Your Vehicle Comes Out of the ShopExamining Car After Collision Repair

When you get your vehicle back from an auto body shop, it’s tempting to just breathe a sigh of relief that you finally have it back, and drive away without taking a proper inventory of the repairs and making sure everything looks/feels/operates as expected. The time you have to do this is right before you drive away from the repair shop, so don’t miss that chance. If something is wrong, you want to catch it before the liability is no longer with the repair shop. So what should you do? Here are our tips for examining car after collision repair.

Get the Closeup

Get up close and personal with the work done. Check over the places you knew needed repairs, and make sure to clarify if there were any additional repairs needed that you may not have spotted before you dropped the vehicle off. Keep an eye out for obvious changes in paint lines, or if there are still visible scratches. This is your chance to really examine the details of what your shop did, so don’t be afraid or feel weird about looking with a critical eye.

Take a Step Back

As important as it is to look closely with a critical eye, it’s also important to step back and look from a distance. Sometimes, things that weren’t so obvious up close and personal become clear when you’ve taken a step back. The key to making sure everything looks right is taking a peek from different angles. Each new perspective lets you see potential issues that you may not have seen from another angle.

Examine Alignment

Alignment can sometimes get messed up in the repair process, so examining this is crucial. If your car isn’t aligned properly, you could find yourself back in the repair shop sooner than you think, and you could be damaging your tires, forcing you to replace them before they would have needed replacing otherwise. Not to mention misalignment puts more of the workload on one half of your vehicle, making other parts wear out faster on that half, too.

Be Critical About Color

This is one of the things many drivers don’t realize will bother them until it’s too late to do anything about it without investing more money. Your repair shop should have matched your vehicle’s paint exactly through color matching, but make sure that’s true upon closer inspection. Make sure it doesn’t look drastically different in the sunlight, or from an angle. This is a big deal, and you’re allowed to be extra critical about it. After all, you’re the one who has to drive the vehicle around every day, and if the color is off, chances are it will get under your skin after awhile.

Which Parts Were Used?

Ask about what kinds of parts were used in your repairs. Manufacturer approved parts are the preferred choice. Some shops will use after-market parts that won’t hold up as long, may not fit quite right, and could break down faster, leaving you back in the shop before you know it. At the very least, you should KNOW what parts were used in your vehicle’s repair, and what kind of warranty they may have.

Take it for a Test Drive

Ask if you can take the vehicle for a test drive (if the shop doesn’t offer) before signing away their responsibility. Sometimes issues aren’t obvious until you’re driving and hear a sound that’s off, or feel something pulling one way or another where it didn’t before.

Speak up

If you see any issues or feel/hear anything during your test drive, you have to speak up! Let them know you have concerns about the job done, and ask what can be done to remedy them. You should be able to trust your repair shop to work with you to do the best job possible, and they should be willing to address your concerns with either information to help ease them or a plan of action to correct any mistakes they may have made.

Getting your vehicle back can be an exciting time (you know, minus the repair bill), but don’t let the excitement stop you from ensuring the job was done well, and your vehicle truly is ready to be back on the road.