Insurance Claims: How to Choose a Body Shop or Repair Shop

by staff writer

Simply choosing a body shop to trust with the repairs to your vehicle can sometimes be the most stressful part of your insurance claim. Here are some basic things to consider when you are looking for a body shop to complete necessary vehicle repairs.

First, if you have solicited the advice of others, consider their potential motives: if an individual recommended the body shop to you, why did they do so? Did that person have their own vehicle repaired there and love the service and results, or do they have a cousin, sibling, or other relative who works there and needs the business? You may consider their recommendation for the former reason, but not the latter.

If at all possible, go by the repair shop and check it out. Is the repair shop clean? Yes, body shops can be clean and well-cared for. That indicates professionalism and pride. At the very least, the waiting areas and parking lot should be neat. You should not see any un-repaired vehicles that have obviously been sitting in one place for a while; that should make you wonder if something went wrong.

Can you communicate with the body shop easily? Does voice mail pick up most of the time during working hours, or does a live person? Is the person answering the telephone (or greeting you when you walk in the door) courteous, competent and knowledgeable? Does the person that you leave a message for return your calls? Do they act like they care? All of these questions should be answered with a ?yes?.

How long has the body shop been in business? If it has been around for a while, it must be doing something right. You might also be able to infer that it will continue to be around for a while to come; giving some actual value to any repair guarantees that the repair shop might offer.

Is the body shop recommended by any insurance companies? That does not necessarily need to be your own insurance company or the one that is paying for your repairs if your damages are claim-related. Affiliation with one insurance company or another just indicates that another business is willing to link their reputation with the reputation of the body shop. And after all, the insurer will have seen a lot more of that shop's repairs than you ever will.

Do a simple internet search on the body shop that you are considering. It will not take much of your time: it is usually very easy to find customer reviews on almost every body shop out there. Pay attention to both the positive reviews and the negatives. If the reviews simply praise or curse the body shop that you are researching, but do so with no specifics, there is really no need to pay attention to them. Look for the reviews that actually discuss issues that would concern you.

Make sure that the repair shop offers a written guarantee on their work. Almost everyone does that nowadays. If the body shop you are looking at does not, then run.

This article is approved for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel. It does not endorse any particular body or repair shop.

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