We meet the nicest people by accident
Auto Body Repair Questions and Answers
- What do I need to know in the event of an accident?
- I see all those expensive imported automobiles…do you fix my kind of car?
- Do you get along with my insurance company?
- Who should write the original estimate?
- I’m being directed to another shop by the insurance company…what are my legal rights?
- What about a rental car?
- Do I still have to chase around and get three estimates?
- The responsible party wants to pay for the damage “out-of-pocket.” What should I do?
- Why do estimates for the same damage vary so much?
- Can you explain the ‘deductible’ portion of my policy?
- What do the terms ‘betterment’ and ‘depreciation’ refer to?
- I am the insured in this matter…can you “save” or “shave” my deductible?
- What are O.E.M. Parts?
- What are “aftermarket” parts and how do they differ from the originals?
- What are “LKQ” parts?
- So, why should I choose you to repair my car?
- What about my personal belongings?
- How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
- How does the payment process work and what are your business rules?
What do I need to know in the event of an accident?
In the event of an injury, call 911 immediately. If you are able to get the responsible party’s drivers license information and proof of insurance at the scene, it can speed the claims process significantly. Just because a car will move under its own power does not make it drivable. Front end damage, cooling system issues, broken glass, damaged lights, wheel/tire contact can make your drive a dangerous one. If there is any doubt, it is always better to have it towed! Law enforcement usually has a contracted tow company remove the car from the scene. If you instruct the tow truck driver to take it to Bodys by Boyd, it may save you or the insurance company the cost of a second tow. When the accident scene drama is all under control, you should always call your insurance company. If you are a return customer or a new referral, you may simply tell them, “Bodys by Boyd is going to repair my car.” All we’ll need is a claim number and we will handle things from there.
Do you get along with my insurance company?
We generally do. We have enjoyed long term relationships with the majority of major insurers. Every one of them will cover the cost of restoring your car back to true ‘pre-accident’ condition and without a lot of drama. We successfully arm wrestle with the others on your behalf to ensure that you receive exactly what you deserve.
Who should write the original estimate?
We prefer to own the responsibility for the original estimate; however some insurers may ask you to go through their drive-in claims center or even to another repair shop where they have a representative on site to create this document. This is never a problem . . . Just get their estimate, schedule the repairs with us and bring your car and their estimate in with you. If they have given you a check, bring it as well and they will change the ‘payee’ and the amount as necessary. It’s pretty simple. Please do not be concerned if their estimate does not represent your opinion of the damage. Explain your concerns to our customer service staff when you bring it in and the actual methodology and costs will be revealed after disassembly and during preparation of the supplement. Note: if the insurer involved is not on our list of top performers and you like the idea of having a competent advocate during this process, we are uniquely qualified. This strength has been elemental to our exponential growth and a prime contributor to customer satisfaction.
I’m being directed to another shop by the insurance company…what are my legal rights?
California law specifically states that the consumer has the right to have his or her car repaired by the shop of their choice. In the current business environment, however, that may not always be presented as the case. Consumers are frequently referred or steered by an insurer to a specific shop or group of shops, and while we have forged strong relationships with most of the region’s top insurers, some “fringe” insurers may illegally attempt to direct you to certain shops. You may hear “They’re not on our approved list,” “They’re too expensive,” or even that “Your car can be fixed much faster at one of our network shops.”
Over the last twenty-five years, Bodys by Boyd has never once charged a customer for any item we were unsuccessful in negotiating for under the terms of their contract. Any delays incumbent to the negotiation process with a non-listed insurer will be forgotten far quicker than the lasting nightmare caused by a ‘much faster’ but sub-standard repair. Remember, it’s your choice.
What about a rental car?
Hertz rent-a-car and Enterprise both have offices within 1/4 mile of our facility. Clean, fueled cars are immediately available and are simply returned after the completion of repairs. Painless!
Do I still have to chase around and get three estimates?
No, California law currently states that you only need one estimate from the shop of your choice . . . You don’t really even need that unless the responsible party wants to pay for the damage ‘out of pocket’. More on that issue next. Right now, your biggest challenge is to find a reputable repair facility to whom you can entrust the future safety of your family and the integrity of your second largest investment. Come in and ask for a shop tour and let our state-of-the-art facility do the talking. If you elect to have us repair your car, simply bring it in and we will assist you throughout the process.
The responsible party wants to pay for the damage “out-of-pocket.” What should I do?
You should be very cautious, not only because those are often the first words out of an uninsured motorist’s mouth, but because of the difficulty in determining the extent of the damage without benefit of disassembling and disabling your car. Most insurers want to see the car prior to disassembly, which forces a ‘catch 22′ situation. Under the terms of your contract, you have to call your insurer to protect yourself just in case the responsible party suddenly ‘goes sideways’ when the actual cost of repairs are determined.
Why do estimates for the same damage vary so much?
Most estimates are an illusion . . . Primarily because the actual cost of repairs cannot be established until the car has been disassembled and the extent of the actual damage has been fully documented. Sometimes, if a repairer senses that you are ‘shopping’, they may understate the damage in an effort to get the job . . . Others may try to cover all possible eventualities and consequently read more into a project than really exists.
Can you explain the “deductible” portion of my policy?
Your deductible is very much like a ‘co-pay’ in the health insurance arena. An insured pays their deductible directly to us at the completion of the repairs and prior to delivery. This is a non-issue for claimants.
What do the terms “betterment” and “depreciation” refer to?
‘Betterment’ is used to identify parts, in the case of some suspension components, tires and batteries, that show measurable wear or have a finite life span. The insurance company can by law, recover that portion of the replacement cost which had been used at the time of the accident. For instance, a tire which showed 50% remaining tread depth or a battery with a four year warranty and was two years from date of purchase would require that the customer pay for 50% of the replacement cost of the part itself plus tax. Depreciation is seldom seen these days but could be applied to a vandalized paint finish or cut convertible top, for instance. The insurance company is responsible for making the majority of these determinations but most insurance policies spell out the details.
I am the insured in this matter…can you “save” or “shave” my deductible?
Never, and neither can any other honest repairer. The deductible is an elemental part of the legal contract with your insurance company. If you successfully negotiate with a repair facility to waive or decrease it, you simply reveal that you are willing to disregard the terms of your legal contract. When you do so, you deliver a message that “anything goes” and since profit margins in this industry are frequently below 5%, the money has to come from somewhere. You place yourself at the mercy of an unethical repairer who will figure some way to get that money back into the profit column. Think about this: if you were dissatisfied with the repair for some reason, who could you then turn to? Never a good game.
What are O.E.M. Parts?
This refers to parts and components supplied by an original equipment manufacturer directly to the car manufacturer who, in most instances simply assembles those components into what becomes their finished product.
What are “aftermarket” parts and how do they differ from the originals?
These are usually manufactured ‘offshore’ without any connection to the O.E.M. Manufacturer and are commonly referred to as ‘replicas’, ‘knock-offs’ and other far more vulgar terms by our industry. While the fit, finish and corrosion protection inherent to these parts have historically been suspect, some insurers have begun to specify their usage right in their clients policies, leaving the consumer with only two options . . . Accept them ‘as-is’ or pay the difference in price to ‘upgrade’ to O.E.M. The directive to ‘read the fine print’ has never before been more important. We still believe that ‘the original is still the greatest’.
What are “LKQ” parts?
LKQ parts are used, junk yard, experienced, or pre-owned parts. Any way you slice it, they can offer a far better solution than aftermarket parts (see above). The difficulty comes in trying to source quality comparable parts with same-year-or-newer status in a timely manner.
So, why should I choose you to repair my car?
We have been in the business for over twenty-five years and have successfully completed over 5,000 repairs. We are held in the highest regard by our many customers, dealer partners and the better insurance companies and are well known throughout the Mountain Communities for consistently producing the highest quality finished product available. Why would you settle for anything but the best?
What about my personal belongings?
While we like to think we are surrounded by honest people, we still urge you to remove anything of value when you drop your car off for repairs. Many projects require a visit to a dealership, or some other resource and are temporarily out of our custody.
How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
The yardstick used by insurers and repairers alike used to be “$1000 worth of repairs per week.” A more modern metric usually revolves around an agreed number of hours which a repairer commits to devote to your car, usually three and a half to four hours per day. We usually beat these still somewhat arbitrary parameters by a significant margin after the following variables have been eliminated: when the car has been fully disassembled, an accurate estimate and repair plan are produced, the arrival date for the parts is confirmed. Then and only then can a repair facility give a projected delivery date that is credible. While we have developed unique methodology to streamline and accurately execute our parts procurement process, we are still at the mercy of the parts manufacturers and their distributors.
How does the payment process work and what are your business rules?
You, as the insured, will usually receive partial payments during the repair process. Claimants sometimes do as well. As an insured, the same rules will apply plus you will be expected to pay us the deductible when your car is ready for delivery. Please do not cash these checks or drafts even though they are made out to you, as they really belong to your car and we’ll expect you to surrender them as you receive them. If you deposit an insurance draft or check, you will be expected to replace it with guaranteed funds.
If you still have any questions that have not been covered on this page, please contact us.