HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR INSURANCE

Working with part replacements and your insurance company:

When it comes to replacement parts for your vehicle, insurance companies are all over the board. Read your policy; the types of replacement parts that an insurance company can use are usually written in your policy at the time of purchase. A policy that only requires the use of OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) parts will most likely cost more than a policy that allows the use of Aftermarket (Generic) or Recycled (used) parts. 

  • OEM parts are the parts that came on your vehicle from the factory. They are manufactured by one of the major automobile companies, GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota etc.… 

  • Aftermarket parts are designed and manufactured by an independent company to mimic the same specifications of the original part. That is why they are sometimes called: Imitation Parts. Unless instructed differently by the customer, we use only CAPA approved aftermarket parts. CAPA, Certified Automotive Parts Association, is a group that tests auto parts. We also reserve the right to reject an aftermarket part based on fit and condition. In this case the aftermarket part is returned, and an OEM part is ordered in its place. 

  • Recycled or "used parts" come from a salvage yard. The condition of the parts must be, "As good as, or better than" the make, and model of your vehicle. We inspect all used parts when they arrive from a salvage yard and reject any that do not meet our level of quality. The recycled sheet metal parts that meet our quality control check are then disassembled if need be, repaired, primed, blocked and prepped for paint before they are installed on your vehicle.

How to work with your insurance company

  • Smaller insurance companies will usually have an independent insurance adjuster come out to write your estimate, while others will have adjusters that only work for their company, and only handle their claims. They will come out to your home or work to write your estimate. Once your vehicle has been estimated then it will be up to you to take your estimate to the shop of your choice, or if you know where you would like to go, the adjuster can email or fax the estimate to that shop. The shop at that time will go over the estimate, if need be, with the adjuster. Once the claim is approved you will be contacted for your approval, and a date will be set for repairs, and parts will be ordered. 

 

  • Some insurance companies use "Direct Repair Facilities". They are part of an insurance company's Direct Repair Program, (DRP). These shops are set up to communicate with the insurance company electronically so estimates, pictures, and other pertinent information about the claim can be shared making the insurance process more stream-lined, and allows the claim to move along at a quicker pace. Even though your insurance company might recommend the shops on their list, you are always in control of where you have your repairs completed. This is why it is so important to know your repair facility. Ask your local insurance agent for a recommendation, or your mechanic might know of a good repair shop. If a friend or family member has been in an accident, ask them what kind of repair experience they had with the shop. Bates Collision Center works with several large insurance companies, and will be glad to answer any questions you might have about the repair process. 

 

  • If your vehicle has to be towed after an accident it is a good idea to have a repair shop in-mind so you can instruct the tow truck driver where to take your vehicle. Bates Collision Center is set up to accept after hour's tow-ins for just this purpose. We have a fenced-in area, and a key drop for the convenience of the tow truck company. We will pay the tow charges, and then add those charges to the estimate. The insurance company will generally contact us within a day or two to confirm that the vehicle is at the location, and proceed with the claims process by providing claim information to the body shop, and setting up a rental vehicle if applicable. 

 

  • If your vehicle is taken to a tow yard, contact the shop of your choice, and let them know the location of your vehicle. The shop will pay the towing and storage charges to have your vehicle brought to the shop, and the charges will be added to your estimate. 

 

  • A "Totaled Vehicle" is when the costs of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle. Most insurance companies consider a vehicle totaled if the repair estimate is at 70% or higher than the value of the vehicle, (based on NADA or Kelly Blue Book values). It is always a good idea to know the value of your vehicle. Older and lesser expensive vehicles have a greater chance of being totaled. The insurance company will settle your claim based the year, make, model, mileage, and options of your vehicle. Another way to value your vehicle is to shop auto dealerships in your area; find a vehicle like yours and document the purchase price.