Getting in a collision, be it high-impact or a fender bender, can be a stressful situation. After checking if everyone is safe and unharmed, the next thing you should assess is the state of your vehicle to determine if it needs auto collision repair. Even if you don't see any problems from a visual inspection, damage to internal components and other underlying issues could crop up later, making your vehicle unsafe to drive and increasing the cost of future repairs.
Inform your insurance company.
Once it’s safe to do so, call your insurance provider to inform them of the situation. Ask whether your policy comes with roadside assistance. If it does, request a tow truck to take your vehicle to the closest repair shop instead of driving it yourself. Determine what you have to do when filing claims for auto collision repair costs.
Record the damage.
To take photos of the accident and damage sustained by your vehicle. Take note of pertinent details like license plates, time, date, and parties involved. Pictures are often necessary when filing for auto insurance claims so gather as much solid evidence as you can for proof. Obtain a copy of the accident report from the police as well.
Even if your insurance has a preferred list of repair shops, it’s better to look around for other options. Do your research and get at least three quotes from different service providers to compare inclusions and rates. Most auto collision repair shops offer free estimates, so don’t hesitate to ask for one.
Have your car towed to somewhere unfamiliar.
Insurance providers have affiliations with body shops, but they can’t force you to take your car wherever they want. If you’re wary or uncertain of their recommended auto collision repair facility, firmly say “no” and decide on where to bring your vehicle.
Go with the lowest estimate.
Be cautious of body shops that supposedly waive any deductibles or offer the lowest estimate — chances are, they cut corners on bodywork. Shoddy, incomplete repairs usually do more harm than good and will cost you more with repeated services in the long run. Save yourself the trouble by tossing out unrealistically low bids.
Skip on checking its credentials.
Finding the right repair facility also involves checking its credentials such as license, certifications, and insurance. Read up on customer feedback online but take everything with a grain of salt. Ask questions about service guarantees, coordinating with your insurance company and the parts they use.
A collision can be a harrowing experience, and its aftermath can take its toll on your vehicle. For quality auto collision repair, count on the professionals at Mark’s Auto Body. Serving motorists in and around Cincinnati, OH, their highly trained technicians provide exceptional auto body repair — ranging from dent removal to complete restoration. Call (513) 731-4273 to get an estimate on collision repair or inquire via their website.