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Insurance funded car repairs: Here's what you need to know

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To help you survive the headache of insurance claims, here are some things you should know and what to look for when getting your car repaired.

Car insurance is a great thing to have in case of emergencies. Perhaps you get in a small fender-bender requiring a new bumper or paint job, or worse, a major collision that totals your car. Insurance is in place to help cover a large sum of the total damages that can add up quickly.

However, dealing with an insurance company can be nearly as traumatic as the accident. In fact, according to the Auto Insurance Institute, in 2015 the average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,493, the average collision claim was $3,350, and the average comprehensive claim was $1,671 — each requiring hours of tedious work on the part of the insured.

To help you survive the headache of insurance claims, here are some things you should know and what to look for when getting your car repaired.

An insurance company cannot force you to have repairs done at a certain shop

When making a claim, your insurance company will likely refer you to a repair shop, simply because most companies have contracts with certain shops. You may even be offered a discount or promotion for using that shop, which may be to your benefit.

However, if you have a shop or mechanic you trust, by all means, take your car there because an insurance company cannot force you to have repairs done at a certain shop.

Any reputable shop will be able to help you navigate the processes of any insurance company

If you have never been in an accident or had to file a car insurance claim and don’t want to rely solely on the help from the insurance company, you should be able to ask the auto shop. If it is a reputable company that has been around a while, it will likely have workers there who have dealt with insurance companies many times over who can help you navigate the process.

After all, if the insurance company isn’t being fair to you, it will likely not benefit the shop either. Working with the auto shop will be good for you both.

Most shops will work with any insurance company if any additional damage is found beyond what is written on the original estimate

When taking your car in to get a damage estimate, there is a chance that the person or persons performing the estimate overlooked something. If this happens, most shops will work with you to keep the claim in line with the initial estimate.

So, what about ensuring quality care of your car?

Dealing with insurance claims is only part of the headache. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, while most body shops are honest and professional, some will try to defraud you and your insurance company. Perhaps fraud comes by way of padding charges, needless repairs, counterfeit or used parts, shoddy or incomplete work. These things can happen, and you need to be prepared.

So, what can you do to not only ensure your claim is taken care of but ensure that your car is in good hands? Simply put, don’t be afraid to do your research. Ask what kinds of training their employees complete, and if they have any certifications specific to certain vehicles or brands. Inquire about the shop’s quality control processes and warranties.

After all, it is your car, your money and your safety. Don’t be afraid to be in the know.

Pennsylvania’s Select Collision Group offers quality paint and body repair for damaged vehicles. With convenient locations in Hanover, Mechanicsburg, and Hershey plus a track record of honesty and reliability, Select Collision Group can help you navigate the confusion of insurance-funded repairs to get back on the road. Learn more at http://www.centralpaautobody.com.

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