After an accident, can I choose a collision repair shop to repair my vehicle?
Yes! In Illinois, it is your 100% YOUR choice who repairs your car. Your insurance company might strongly recommend or steer you to one of their preferred shops, but it is always your choice.
Do your homework and choose the best shop you can find. Then inform your insurance company that is where you want your car repaired. They might still try and talk you into using ‘their’ shop, by stating it might cost more, or they won’t warranty repairs, but it is the shop that warranties the repairs, not the insurance company. The costs to the customer are the same. You would only be responsible for your deductible if you are the insured.
Direct Repair Programs that insurance companies have in place are not for the benefit of you, the consumer.
Do I need to make an appointment?
Walk-in estimates are welcome in Batavia, In Naperville, due to the number of estimates written there, please call for an appointment so you don’t have to wait.
Do I need to get 3 estimates?
No. There is no need to obtain multiple estimates for your insurance company. If you want to shop around, that’s fine, but if you have a shop you are comfortable with, don’t waste your time collecting multiple estimates. In most cases, the insurance company will write their own estimate anyway, and that is ok, we will use that as a starting point.
How can estimates be so drastically different?
Differences in repair estimates are common. Our estimators write their estimates looking at all visible damage, and will also tell you if they suspect there might be any additional damage found upon disassembly.
Some estimators will miss obvious visible damage in order to be the lowest estimate, but then will most certainly find those costs while doing the repair. Also, a lower estimate may be written for aftermarket parts instead of OEM.
If you ever would like to know why the two estimates are different, we are more than happy to compare and explain the difference. Then you can decide what the best choice for your situation is.
How do I find the best collision repair center?
The Best Time to Find a Collision Repair Shop is Before an Accident!
The three most important items to look for:
1. Choose a shop that will work FOR YOU, with your insurance company.
This is so important! Most insurance companies have DRP’s (direct repair shops). DRP shops sometimes make great concessions to insurance companies to be on their “list”. Don’t let your insurance company tell you where to have your car repaired! Make it YOUR choice.
It’s essential to have an advocate who has your best interests in mind to negotiate the repairs of your vehicle, and someone to insist the car not be repaired if they feel it won’t be safe.
2. Find a shop you can trust
On rare occasions, a customer will ask to include damage costs that are clearly not a part of the accident, or pad an estimate to save a deductible. A shop that would consent to either of these requests is committing insurance fraud and cheating the insurance company. If they are unethical enough to cheat them, they are probably cutting corners on your repair and cheating their customers also. Find an honest ethical shop, which you can trust.
3. Visit a Shop, Look Around, Ask Questions
What kind of cars is the shop working on? A restoration shop might not be the best place for you to have your new model Lexus repaired, and likewise, if you have a ’69 Camaro, you might not want it restored in a shop that is working on all late model collision damage.
Investments in equipment are essential for any car that has sustained major collision damage. It is absolutely necessary the shop have a computerized frame measuring system and proper welding equipment. To obtain the best finish on a car, a shop should have a downdraft paint booth. Ask if they have this equipment.