You just got into a car accident, and you already feel as if your entire world was side-swiped. To make matters worse, you now have to start the insurance claims process and make a decision about where to get your vehicle repaired. Unfortunately, many people become victims of poor car repair from making an impulsive insurance-related decision that could potentially cost you your safety after the repair. How do you know which shop will repair your car the safe and correct way versus who is after the insurance money?
Here at Autotech Collision Service, New Jersey drivers come to our shop anxious about the entire repair process and unsure what to expect because of different myths they’ve heard circulating car repair. We pulled together 4 of the most common collision repair myths, so you know the difference between fact versus fiction and feel more confident going into the repair process. Check them out below:
- Myth: You can only go to the body shop your insurance company recommends:
When your insurance company recommends a body shop, that shop is considered to be part of their Direct Repair Program. These shops, also known as “DRP,” are under contract with insurance companies to perform fast repairs under a deadline. This designated time is set out by insurance companies, which, if a body shop can meet, the insurance company will continue to send the shop more cars. However, fast does not always equal quality when it comes to collision repair. Technicians might have to cut corners while working on your car in order to meet those deadlines.
This is why you want to be sure to ask the body shop questions about their repair process. Does your shop put your safety first by following the repair procedures laid out by your car’s manufacturer, known as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) repairs? Because OEM repairs are also the most expensive, your insurance company will likely try to persuade you their choice shop is the best option. Some insurance companies may even try to heavily influence your decision by pressuring you to choose moments after the accident. Their M.O. is to save time and money, not safety.
No matter what the Insurance company says to convince you, the customer always gets to decide where they want their car repaired. You also have the right to get more than one repair estimate and choose where you want your car to be towed.
Side note: if you are worried that your insurance company won’t warranty the repair by going to the body shop of your choice, this is also a myth. Your insurance company isn’t performing the repair, the body shop is. Therefore the shop will (and should) provide a warranty for any work they do.
- Myth: Insurance pays for all the repairs:
Depending on what kind of policy and coverage you have will ultimately determine just how much (or how little) your insurance company will pay for. The different types of car insurance coverage available are: comprehensive, collision, liability, uninsured motorist protection, and personal injury protection (aka PIP).
Currently, there are 12 states required to provide PIP coverage to drivers. This is a no-fault insurance policy that assists drivers to recover any lost wages due to an accident, medical bills, and rehabilitative services no matter who was at fault. Here in New Jersey, we are one of the 12 states that require some level of PIP coverage. Whether or not you are in a no-fault insurance state, it’s best to check your policy to see what you’re covered for.
As mentioned above, your insurance company only wants to pay for the cheapest and fastest repairs. As a result, they might not pay for OEM parts and repairs. The best body shops will work with your insurance company to ensure you get the quality and safe repair you deserve. You also have the option to pay out of pocket for whatever your insurance company doesn’t cover, which we detail more below.
- Myth: Your car will never be the same after it gets in an accident:
You’re not alone if you have heard or thought that your car will never be the same after getting in an accident. With more and more vehicles equipped with the latest technology, car repair is far more complicated than it was years ago. Using the same tools and techniques for every car that comes into the shop doesn’t work anymore. The best body shops have highly-trained technicians who are capable of restoring your car back to pre-accident condition following these OEM guidelines. These are the repair procedures designed specifically for each vehicle that ensure your car is repaired exactly as the manufacturer would instruct. You wouldn’t even know it’s been in an accident after an OEM repair.
However, the state of New Jersey does not require technicians to have a license to work on cars. This means they can do whatever they want while repairing your vehicle. You only want to go to a shop that has trained technicians through a reputable program that adheres to repairing your vehicle the right way. Otherwise, your car will appear “fixed,” but will never be the same.
- Only the dealership knows how to repair your car properly:
Many people believe that only the dealership you bought your car from use OEM parts and auto body shops use second-hand parts, when, in fact, the top body shops use these same OEM parts. The key to getting the proper, safe repair is finding a body shop that uses OEM parts and will work with you to make sure you’re getting nothing less than the quality repair you deserve.
Despite OEM parts being the safest way to go, you’ll still need to check with your policy to see what you’re covered for, as some policies will only cover aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are the least desirable for both the repair shop and for you, the customer. Yet, these might be the only parts you’re covered for under your policy since they are the cheapest. However, using these parts may cause safety issues in the future.
Now, there are specific scenarios where using aftermarket parts on your car are acceptable for the repair. It’s sporadic, so always opt for OEM parts for your repair. If your policy only covers aftermarket parts, you may have to pay out of pocket for OEM parts. However, these are the safest and highest quality parts out there. You can never put a price on your safety.
Where In New Jersey Can I Get Quality Collision Repair?
We at Autotech Collision Service know that it can be difficult separating myth from fact when it comes to collision repair, especially if it’s been a while since you got your car repaired or you’ve been a victim of bad collision repair. We wanted to write this blog to help you feel more confident going into the repair process so you know what you deserve.
We have been proudly serving Southern New Jersey for nearly 30 years and aren’t stopping anytime soon because our customers are our number one priority. We pride ourselves in providing Southern New Jersey drivers with the highest quality OEM repairs because that’s what you deserve out of an auto body repair shop.