Your first step would be to contact your carrier with your auto claim. Some insurers require you do this online, while others opt for the phone route. With a few, you can choose either method.
If you decide to file online, you'll go to the claims filing page of your car insurer's site. While there, you may be asked to provide a user name and password, or perhaps give your policy number.
No matter which method you choose, you'll likely need to provide the following information (with some variations):
- Policy number (can be found on your insurance card).
- Date of the accident.
- Location of the accident.
- Description of how the accident occurred.
- Name, address, license plate, and insurance information for the other party involved.
- Name of the police department involved (if applicable).
- Police report number (if applicable).
The Investigation Phase
After filing the claim, a representative from your company should follow up you with shortly.
During this period, your insurer will determine if your policy covers your claim. If it doesn't, the rep will tell you. If it does, you'll likely be asked for additional information about the accident. (Part of this depends on how much information you provided when you filed the claim.)
You may be asked to obtain and submit a copy of the police report. That's assuming you contacted the police, which you should always do, even for minor accidents. Your insurer may also interview any witnesses to the accident.
Your insurer may send one of its claims adjusters or inspectors to evaluate your vehicle, and provide a repair estimate. Or, it may ask you to visit one of its approved body shops for a quote, or tell you to obtain a couple of estimates from shops of your choice and have them submitted for review.
Keep in mind you have the right to choose your own body shop. But, if your insurer feels the shop charged too much for the work performed, you may need to pay the difference.
Some auto insurance companies will offer to have your car towed or handle your rental car accommodations, if either are needed. Of course, this also depends on the types of coverage you carry.
Once you tell your carrier which shop will perform the repairs and your claim has been approved, the final phase can begin.
"Remember you have the right to choose the auto body shop to repair your car!
The insurance company can't force you to leave your car in their prefer auto body shops.
Here at Precision Collision Center we do it right and we don't cut corners...."
Auto Body Repair Process
Below is a brief explanation of the steps involved in the repair process of your vehicle. See step-by-step how we restore your vehicle to its original condition!
In the Estimate Process are the vehicle is inspected by a trained estimator and relevant data is entered into estimate computer systems. This data is compiled into an estimate that determines the cost of repairs. However, often there is hidden damage that can not be seen until after the vehicle is disassembled.
2. Insurance Approval
Once the estimate is completed, the insurance company will review the estimate and may make changes. There may be some negotiations on the price and procedures required to repair the vehicle. The insurance company will determine if the vehicle is even repairable. Once this process is completed, the vehicle begins the actual repair process. The policies of each insurance company varies. Contact your insurance agent for complete details.
In disassembly, hidden damage is often found, and inner structure repairs are determined. At times this may require us to recontact the insurance company and update the insurance estimate as well as order additional parts.
4. Order Parts
The required parts for your vehicle are ordered, and availability is checked. If a part needs to be special ordered, the order will be placed as soon as possible. Although many parts may arrive very quickly, the repair process can not begin until the shop receives all of the structural parts.
5. Structure Repair
In the structure repair area, the unitized body is returned back to the factory specification. A sophisticated measuring system is used to monitor and analyze the frame of your vehicle. This system assures that every vehicle will be returned to the factory specifications, and assures and accurate repair.
6. Color Matching
Color matching is done with the aid of a computer database. The database stores the many thousands of paint codes and formulas that make up a specific paint color. Once the paint is mixed it is then checked for variations. Once the final mixture is prepared the parts that have been removed from the vehicle will be edged. Edging is the process where we paint the surface that can not be accessed once the vehicle is reassembled.
7. Body Repairs
The body repair department replaces exterior panels, and all metal finishing that may be required. New or repaired panels are sealed, caulked & rust proof in order to maintain factory like corrosion protection. The vehicle begins to come back to life as sheet metal is installed and aligned. From here the vehicle will go to the paint preparations department.
8. Paint Prep
Paint preparation is a critical step in the refinishing process of every vehicle. All panels are prepared for paint, then chemically etched, primed and sealed to assure good adhesion when the final top color and clear coats of paint are applied.
Top quality Sikkens finish is applied in a spray booth under tightly controlled conditions to keep contaminates out of the paint. After the paint is applied, the vehicle is baked to give the paint a durable and long lasting finish.
Final moldings and detail pieces are put back on the vehicle in the reassembly area. All the vehicle’s systems are checked during this process. The vehicle is almost complete and ready for delivery when it is in this stage.
11. Final Details
During the repair process, the vehicle accumulates dust from the repairs. We will clean your vehicle and make sure all the fine details are complete. Some vehicles may require a road test to ensure that everything is working properly. This final inspection is required to assure that the vehicle is restored to it’s pre-accident condition.
Delivery is the last step in the repair process. When the customer arrives to pick up the vehicle, the bill can be explained in detail and the final paper work is completed. The customer drives away their vehicle that has been restored to it’s original condition.