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Auto Collision Repair: Exposing Common Myths

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There are several common myths that surround the need for auto body repairs after a collision. Below, three of the most common myths will be exposed so that you can ensure you are facing your need for repairs armed with the facts you need to make the very best decisions regarding your repairs.

Myth #1: You Must Get Three Estimates

Many people believe that you must get at least three estimates before you can move forward with repairs. While it is true that there was a point in time when insurance companies would require more than one estimate in order to approve a claim, years of insurance reform have eliminated this practice. Nowadays, the law allows you to move forward with repairs without getting multiple estimates. In fact, one estimate is all you need.

Myth #2: Your Insurance Company Will Determine Where Your Vehicle Is Repaired

Auto insurance companies routinely make recommendations regarding which body shop you should take your vehicle to after being involved in an auto accident. While these recommendations are rarely worded in a way that leaves you feeling as though you have a choice in the matter, the fact is, the choice is entirely yours to make.

While insurance companies are free to recommend any auto body shop they choose, you are also free to choose any body shop you want, even if it is not one that comes recommended by your insurance company. Just remember, if you choose to go to a body shop that does not work directly with your insurance company, it may take just a bit longer to settle your claim since an independent appraiser may need to be sent out to estimate the damage for insurance purposes. You will need to determine whether or not the extra time is worth it in order to choose your own repair shop.

Myth #3: All Collision-Related Repairs Will Be Covered By Your Insurance

Even if your insurance company accepts liability for your collision-related damages, you could still find yourself dealing with some significant out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses are known as betterment fees. Betterment fees occur when the auto body shop has no choice but to restore your vehicle to a better condition than it was in prior to your accident. For instance, replacing a 5 year old car battery with a brand new battery because the existing one was damaged in the accident.

Since your insurance company is only required to restore your vehicle to the same condition it was in prior to your accident, any repairs that improve the condition of your vehicle will go above and beyond your insurance company's liability. In order to offset the cost of these improvements, the insurance company will charge you a betterment fee that reflects the degree to which your vehicle's condition was improved. For example, if your battery life was improved by 70% through the installation of a new battery, you will need to cover 70% of the cost associated with installing this new part.

For more information about repairing your car following an accident, contact a company like Auto Body By Duie LLC.