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Your insurance company may recommend a body shop they work with and that meets their criteria. Know the perks and drawbacks of using a recommended shop.

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.

Considerations

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.

a pair of hands touches a smartphone that has a Fogle Collision screen up.
It’s more convenient than ever to get an estimate on your phone. However, to know the extent of the damage, a technician should inspect your vehicle.

When a car has been in a wreck, some of the damage will be obvious. You’ll have broken taillight or a dented door, or a crunched hood. What is not immediately noticeable, and may be impossible to see unless you are an expert, is any damage that may be behind the body of the vehicle.

Technicians are trained to look for damage in the operating parts and the computer system within a car. They can determine if there is further damage beyond the cosmetics of the vehicle.

A dent may not be just a dent

Never assume that if a collision is minor that the damage is just a dent. For example, if someone backs into your car and puts a dent in your car door, there could be further damage inside, such as the power windows not operating properly.

If the dents are much larger and caved into the vehicle, the car should definitely be inspected by a technician for safety reasons.

Review the estimate

When you bring your vehicle in to a body shop, the location should give you a repair estimate. This estimate explains the cost for parts and the labor to repair the vehicle. Be sure to review the estimate and ask any questions before the work begins so that you have a good understanding of what you are paying to fix.

Many collision centers, like Fogle Collision, will offer free estimates. To get a preliminary estimate, you can use our new Smartphone Estimating Tool. You will get a repair estimate within 24 hours of submitting photos. However, we can fully determine the damage once a technician takes a close look at the vehicle.

 

distracted driving car accidentScreens in cars located between the driver and passenger, often referred to as vehicle infotainment systems, are becoming a common feature on most cars. Like many other technology, including cell phones, these are adding to driver distractions and accidents.

The AAA Foundation conducted a study recently that showed while the technology is convenient in some ways, it results in some startling statistics related to distractions while driving.

New law in the Lone Star State

The most commonly talked about distraction while driving is using a cell phone. That’s why legislation was created to address this issue. As of September 2017 in Texas, it is against the law to text message on your phone while driving. This law refers to wireless communication devices but does not address the in-car systems.

Drivers should be focused on the road while operating a vehicle. Law enforcement can also pull over drivers who are reckless or distracted in general.

Greater chance of a collision

AAA studies found if a driver stops focusing on the road for just two seconds, they double the chance of having a wreck.

The most recent study found that when drivers use the in-car technology systems, on average, they had more than 40 seconds of mental and/or visual distraction. About 40 percent of drivers nationwide use these systems. The study compared drivers using 30 different types of systems, including those that allowed web surfing and checking social media sites.

Fogle Collision Centers has been part of the Houston area for many years. We work and live here, and we care about our community. No one wants to experience an accident caused by distracted driving. It is our hope that all drivers in our area drive safe and focus on the road at all times.

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