Thursday, November 25, 2010

Auto Insurance: How to Get the Best Collision Repair for Your Money

I have seen it all in my 40 plus years of repairing cars and trucks. The insurance companies bottom line is profit, you need to understand that they want your vehicle repaired for as little as possible. Purchasing insurance is only the first step for both coverage and legal limits. If you have been involved in an accident and you want your vehicle repaired so that no physical flaws can be detected then you have to get the most money possible to allow enough time for the collision shop to slow down and not get in a hurry during the repairs. This is even more important if you want to save on your deductible.

If you own a Classic Car and it was restored to a high level there are additional problems to overcome. When purchasing insurance for a Classic Car or Truck many people think that if they purchase "agreed value insurance" the matter is over. In layman's terms this refers to how much the insurance company believes muscle cars and classic cars are worth if there was a total loss. This is usually understood and agreed with by both the insurance company and the owner but rarely does a classic get completely totaled.

Therein lies the problem. In general most late model vehicles and Classic Car insurance companies, " approx 90% " demand that you come up with an estimate for the repairs. Keep in mind that if you take a Classic Car to a collision shop they are not used to doing older vehicles/classics. It is very hard to find older parts with little to no rust. Doing repairs at a high level on classic cars is rarely seen because of the insurance industry only allowing them so much cash to complete the job. When you are in a hurry the quality goes down.

Your best bet is to find three of the very best shops in and around your area. Go to them and explain that you want the highest level job they are capable of and to write the estimate accordingly. Tell them you will fight with the insurance company to " pay up " and to not be concerned possibly wasting their time on the estimate. Once you get at least two estimates you will have much needed ammunition when you go back to the insurance company to haggle. You then have living proof that this is what it is going to costs regardless if the insurance company has their own adjuster look over the damage and come up with their own pricing. Many of the larger body shops in big citys are owned by the major insurance companies thus controlling the prices with a system known as "direct repair" this affects your chosen shops ability to make decent profit on each vehicle if they are a part of this system. As far as Classic Car insurance, Grundy is one of the few companies that will pay a fully certified restoration shop by the hour to do the repairs up to the agreed amount. They understand the hourly billing restoration that resto shop/companies live by.

The bottom line for the consumer is to have the proof in hand, that it costs more then the insurance company will say that it cost. This way you will have the maximum cash when dealing with the repair facility. Stand up for your rights. Winning is not luck its knowing how to fight!

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