After a car accident has damaged your car, you will naturally want to get it repaired as soon as possible so that you can get back to your normal routine. However, you also want to be sure to find a good and reputable repair service. So, although you may be in a hurry to get your car fixed, you should avoid just settling on the nearest repair shop you can find. You need to take the time to find a reputable auto repair shop.
Let’s take a look at your best two options to get a good repair job done: using a direct repair program or finding your own auto repair shop.
Using A Direct Repair Program
Insurance companies often provide their customers with the option of using a direct repair program. In essence, a direct program is a network of auto-repair shops that have been approved by your insurance company. Although you are under no obligation to work with a recommended body shop or mechanic, there are some unique benefits to working with a preferred shop:
- You can choose to go to either a specialized repair shop or a one-stop shop.
Specialized repair shops: If, say, only your windshield was shattered by the car accident, you will need to get high-quality windshield glass expertly installed as soon as possible. So, in this case, a specialty service will suit your needs perfectly. An insurance company like ICBC will not only make your claims process quick and easy for a new windshield, but they will also suggest an ICBC express provider specializing in auto glass replacement.
One-stop shops: If, on the other hand, your car was damaged in a variety of different ways, then it may be more convenient to take your car to a shop that can fix everything, rather than have to get different insurance estimates and take your car to different places for different types of repair jobs.
- You will find the billing arrangement easier.
Since the payment-for-repair process will have been streamlined, it will make everything easier and less expensive for you.
- You will get high-quality service and repair work.
Before endorsing an auto shop, an insurer will screen them to make sure that they provide high-quality service. Since an insurer’s reputation is on the line, they will not recommend an unethical or subpar repair shop.
- You will get an extended warranty on the repair work.
A warranty on the repair work is especially important if you ‘ve been taking special care of an older car and have no plans of selling it to get a newer car.
Choosing Your Own Auto Repair Shop
If your insurance company does not have a direct repair program or you would prefer not to use it, then your other option is to choose your own auto-repair shop. You will either need to pay a deductible after the repair with your insurer paying their portion to the shop directly or you may have to pay the full amount to the shop and then get reimbursed by your insurance company.
If you already have a favorite repair shop then just take your car there. However, if you don’t know where to take your car, then you should choose a repair shop that has been highly recommended by family and friends who have used it or to a shop that has earned industry certifications.
The Dangers of a Bad Repair Job
Ultimately, your goal is to get your car to an auto mechanic who does a thorough job and who charges a fair price. When it comes to getting your car fixed, you don’t want to have to deal with the hassles and possible dangers of a bad repair job.
There are three ways a mechanic or repair shop can mess up repairs.
- They use fixes that simply don’t work.
- They don’t fix certain things that you asked them to repair or that they noticed when they were working on your car.
- They overcharge you for the work, inflating the cost of parts and labor.
The first and second issues are hassles when detected early because you then have to take your car back to the shop; however, if you are not immediately aware that the work was not done well or some repair jobs were not done at all, then you could put your own life in jeopardy, as well as endanger others, when you are driving in heavy traffic or speeding along the freeway.
Be mindful of the need to find the best repair work after a car accident. Often, you will find your car insurance company a helpful resource when it comes to where to take your car for the best quality of work, with many insurers providing a direct repair program for their clients.