When you are involved in a car wreck, you may not have the time to research where you want your car fixed. Your insurance company may make a recommendation for their preferred auto body shop. It may save some hassle to choose this shop, but you have the right to choose where you want your vehicle repaired.
Firstly, look to see if your recommended shop is certified. This means that the technicians at that location have completed rigorous training by the manufacturer to repair that vehicle model. An insurance company may or may not recommend a body shop that offers certified repair.
You might also have your own preferences based on recommendations, your past experience, or a shop that specializes in a specific type of repair (some people prefer a shop that’s more eco-friendly or a shop that has techs certified on their make of vehicle).
Using your insurance recommendation
The majority of insurance companies have a list of auto body shops with which they have established relationships. These shops meet their criteria, which may include cheaper prices and fast repairs. Or, they might choose a shop for their quality repairs and certifications. This is why it’s best to look into shops before choosing.
For whatever shop you choose, be sure to ask questions. Do they use manufacturer parts or aftermarket parts? Does the shop have good reviews on Yelp and Google? Do they offer a lifetime warranty on their work?
Perks of a recommended body shop
Using a body shop recommended by your insurance company can have benefits. Ask if your insurance provider will guarantee the repairs for as long as you own it. If the repairs do not hold up at any time while you own the car, your insurance company will take care of this and you will not have to pay.
Using a recommended body shop can also save time. It may save you money as well, if your insurance will not fully cover another shop you prefer.
Fogle Collision Centers works with all insurance companies. We are considered a preferred collision center with most providers. Because we believe in providing you the highest quality repairs, we always use OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts to ensure they fit, will function properly, and your car maintains its value.
Anytime you have work done on your vehicle, it’s typically expected that the repair will last. However, that’s not always the case. Some shops are trained better than others, repair techs can make mistakes, or car parts may not perform as expected. This is why it is important to have the auto body repairs made at a shop that offers a lifetime warranty.
If a body shop offers lifetime warranty, this means that they guarantee the work performed will be the best quality. Should anything go wrong with the repairs, they’re willing to fix it free of charge.
The benefits of lifetime warranty
A warranty is similar to the idea of insurance. It’s there should you need it. Typically, a lifetime warranty is good for as long as you own the vehicle. If a problem occurs with any of the repairs made, months or years later, you can take it back to that body shop to be fixed with no cost to you.
The collision repair shop will be out the cost of the warranty repair work. When it loses money on repairs, that shop will likely review what went wrong. They will want to learn how to correct it so the repairs will last in the future.
The best time to inquire about a lifetime warranty is when you get the estimate. Ask if there are different types of warranties offered. Some collision repair centers will offer more than one warranty, one for body work and a separate one for any paint services.
Fogle Collision Centers, an auto body shop in Houston, we stand behind the work we do on your car by offering a National Limited Lifetime Warranty for body work and the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee for any paint work.
A road trip is intended to be fun, not to be spent at a repair shop. However, accidents happen when you least expect them and it’s a good idea to have a plan if they do. Here are a few considerations to help you figure out this tough situation.
Know your insurance coverage
Insurance coverage depends on where your trip takes you. Before you leave on your trip, check your insurance policy to see where you are covered and review the details of your coverage plan.
You are likely covered if your trip is in the U.S. or Canada. If your trip is to Mexico, Central America, South America, or any other location, contact your insurance agent regarding coverage.
As you travel, remember that laws are different from state to state and different in other countries. Check the driving and insurance laws for the location you are going (and all points in between). The minimum requirements for insurance coverage vary in different areas.
No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.
If you get in an accident
Firstly, you’ll need to assess the damage. If your vehicle is still driveable, you must decide if you want it repaired at home or where you are at that moment. Your insurance agent can help you work out the details.
Consider whether you have a long drive back, and if driving such a distance in your vehicle’s state would be dangerous. Even if your vehicle appears to only have exterior body damage, it would be wise to get an auto body tech to take a look at it. Most body shops will give free estimates on damage.
Scheduling a tow
If you need a tow, most insurance policies will cover the cost within a certain radius from the accident. The insurance company can also schedule the tow no matter where you are located and can reserve a rental car for you, if needed. If you choose to have your vehicle towed home and you are far away, discuss the coverage with your insurance agent. It’s likely you will have to cover the cost for a long-distance tow.
If you need repair on your Texas road trip, Fogle Collision Centers has shops across Central Texas to meet your auto body needs.
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When you get in an accident, it can be overwhelming to find a quality collision repair shop that you can trust. Getting the best value for what you pay is important, but there are other considerations that make a quality repair.
As you search, keep a few steps in mind that will help you find a quality auto body shop.
Convenience may be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to find a reputable collision repair shop. For a lot of people, that means finding a shop nearby. However, shops in an area where the property is more expensive may charge more for labor to cover the overhead costs.
Price is going to be reflected in the location, but that doesn’t mean the shop is better because they charge more.
2. Ask about certifications
Certifications verify that a shop has the equipment needed for, and the technicians are trained by, your car’s manufacturer. Find out if the shop is certified by the maker of your car.
Other certifications, such as iCAR, show that their technicians constantly train in general industry standards and technology. While general certifications like these are vital, certifications through the manufacturer further make sure your repairs will be done correctly the first time.
3. Ask for recommendations
Talk to people you know to find out where they take their cars for collision repair.
Online reviews and the Better Business Bureau can help you determine if the shop is reliable. If there are several good recommendations from sources you trust, it’s likely that repair shop performs quality work.
4. Ask about warranty
A reliable collision repair shop stands behind the quality work it does to a vehicle. Ask if the shop has a warranty on their paint and body repairs. Find out specifically how long the warranty lasts and what the warranty covers.
Warranties further ensure that if the work is not done right, they will fix it without additional costs. It also shows confidence in their shop’s work.
5. Get an estimate
When inquiring about estimates, find out if the repair shop offers free estimates and ask if they use the insurance company’s estimate or their own. Use a repair shop that provides their own estimate based on the technician’s interpretation of repairs, versus doing the repairs based on the insurance company’s estimate of what work needs to be done.
This indicates that the shop is not catering to an insurance company to get more future business. Instead, they’re using their expertise to provide an accurate estimate.
If your car needs auto body or paint services, contact the Houston collision repair shop that you can trust. At Bill Fogle Collision Center, we provide free estimates and a warranty for any repairs needed to your car. For more information, follow us on Facebook.
As a car owner, you have a decision to make about repairs if you have a dent in your vehicle that isn’t major damage. The smaller dents may be the result of hail, a minor accident, or anything else that struck your vehicle. More significant damage requires a visit to an auto body shop.
With smaller dents, you could choose not to make the repairs, especially if the repairs could cost more than the value of your vehicle. However, the fix may be easier than you think.
What is paintless dent repair?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a process of removing dents from a vehicle without altering the finish on the vehicle.
Often, these dents are fixed by gently working out the dent from the back side of the panel. Some can be fixed pulling or suctioning the outside of the dent to pop it back out. This method is often for small dents, like hail damage.
This doesn’t work as well for fixing dents that have a crease or have damaged paint. The dent may be able to be popped out, but you’ll still need paint work to make it look like new. These, or bigger damage, are better fixed by traditional body repair.
Finding the right repair
As with any auto body work, the best process to finding the right place for repairs is shopping around. With damage from a major collision, the repairs must be made at an auto body shop. If the damage consists of smaller dents, you may have more options. Some repair shops that don’t specialize in body work will offer PDR.
If you have a regular body shop, ask if they provide PDR and what the price difference would be for that service versus collision repair.
Listen to the recommendations from auto technicians. If more than one suggests collision repair over PDR, it may be because the damage is greater than it appears. For example, a dent in a door may not look significant but could have unseen damage to mechanisms inside. This would require collision repair to fix the internal problem.
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