While auto-body work can be costly, with the help of coverage through auto insurance companies in CT you will have access to several quality auto repair shops and can therefore make some informed decisions on how to proceed when seeking repairs to your vehicle after being involved in a collision.
Deciding on the amount of your deductible
Remember that the deductible determines how much out of pocket expense you’ll pay before your insurance kicks in and that having a lower deductible translates into higher rates. Considering the high cost of auto-body repairs you should be prepared to pay the full deductible amount when found at fault for an accident.
Your agent will help you navigate your way through the system
First, an insurer will suggest a list of approved repair shops, but these dealers receive pre-negotiated rates from the insurance company making those rates slightly lower than what those shops generally receive for this type of job. It is advised that you get more than one estimate, take good notes about what kind of repairs they say you’ll need, and how much those repairs are likely to cost. Then, call a few other shops and compare rates.
Many insurance companies want repair shops to use less expensive salvage or generic replacement parts, so know what to expect since generally, these aren’t original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which match the vehicle exactly and are more expensive.
Get some history on how satisfied former customers were with the work done. For example, check the Internet for information about the shop’s reputation and complaint history. Also, check to see how many consumers have complained about a shop by visiting the “Better Business Bureau” site, or check with the state’s attorney general’s office or consumer affairs department.
You’ll want to clarify how your policy deals with rental car expenses since auto-body repairs can often take longer than expected. Finally, signing off on the work order should be a requirement, so it’s best to clarify with the shop that no work should be started until it has been authorized first. Working with auto insurance companies in CT can make the whole post-accident experience go fairly smooth. Speak to an agent today about your car insurance needs.