Accidents are highly stressful events, and the aftermath is rarely much fun. Even if you were lucky enough to escape with few or no injuries, you still need to worry about returning your car to its pre-accident condition. While getting your car roadworthy again may be relatively straightforward, fully restoring it can often be a much more challenging task.
If you want to bring your car back to like new condition and maintain as much of its value as possible, it's important to consider your repair options carefully. These three steps will help you not only get back on the road, but also restore the sense of pride you're used to feeling every time you look at it in your driveway.
1. Work With the Insurance Company
Whether you're using your collision coverage or the liability coverage from another driver, it's crucial to start working with the insurance company as soon as possible. Insurance payouts for repairs on modern vehicles can be complex, largely in part because the full extent of the damage may not be immediately apparent. The insurance company will send an adjuster, but their estimate will likely be revised later.
While you do not need to use an insurance-recommended repair shop, you should let the insurance company know your plans and where you intend to take your car for repairs. In most cases, the insurance company will work directly with your repair facility. This arrangement allows quick revisions to your settlement as the collision shop uncovers additional damage.
2. Choose an OEM Certified Shop
Automotive manufacturers typically build their own collision networks, providing training and certification to the on-staff technicians at in-network shops. These certifications offer reassurance that shop technicians are familiar with your vehicle's unique quirks and requirements.
Additionally, OEM-certified shops may have more specialized equipment to make repairs more efficient and thorough. This equipment is often necessary with modern vehicles, which may include sophisticated and proprietary computer systems. OEM-certified equipment allows shops to read error codes, reprogram computers, and restore your vehicle to its factory condition.
3. Stay Involved
Although you should always let the professionals do their thing, you don't need to be completely uninvolved in your car's repair process. Don't be afraid to ask questions, such as whether the shop will use genuine, OEM, or aftermarket parts in the repair. You may also want to determine whether your insurance will cover the cost of higher-quality parts.
Note that some policies may only cover used or aftermarket parts, but you can still make certain requests if you prefer different options. You may need to pay the difference out of pocket, but staying involved and asking questions can ensure you get your car repaired with the parts you want.
For more information about working with a collision repair shop, reach out to a local service, such as Best Collision Center.