A Work in Progress: The Collision Repair Process, Part 1

Sometimes the scariest part of any experience is not knowing what’s going to happen. And from talking to our customers, we’ve found that’s true of collision repair. People are afraid to turn over their cars because they don’t know what work is needed, how long they’ll be without their trusty ride and if the repairs that get done are necessary and done right. Well, we’re here to put your mind at ease by walking you through the collision repair process step-by-step, starting with what happens before we even start the actual repairs.

Outside the Garage

The collision repair process begins when you exchange insurance information with the other driver (or contact your own agent if yours is the only car involved) after a crash. You may need a tow to get you to your trusted local repair shop, or your car may be drivable. But once you get to Quanz, here’s what happens:

Step 1: Assess the Damage
Our estimator will document the damage and prepare a quote for the repair. (Your insurance adjustor may already have prepared an estimate, but we still have to do our own.)

Step 2: Get Repair Approval
We will show you our damage report and have you sign an authorization form that gives your permission for us to do the necessary repairs. We will probably have you sign a second authorization form that gives us permission to perform repairs of damage that we may uncover as we begin the actual collision repair. (More about this below.)

We will also submit our report to the insurance company(ies) to get their approval for the repairs. Before we begin, you will know what we plan to do and what is or is not going to be covered by the at-fault party’s and/or your insurance.

Step 3: Prepare for Collision Repair
Depending on the work you need done, we may need to order parts. We do this electronically to minimize the time it takes to get the necessary materials. And, depending on the state of your car (drivable or not) and other work that needs to get done, we may send you home in your vehicle or keep it with us. In the event that we have to keep your car, we can help you get temporary transportation. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is located on site!

In the Garage

Once we’ve got the parts and the people lined up, we’re ready to begin restoring your car to pre-crash condition (actually, in many cases, we restore your car to better-than-pre-crash condition ). At this point, we can give you an estimated date of completion. However, we will warn you, depending on what we find once we begin the collision repair, we may have to push this back. If that happens, we’ll tell you.

So, the first step in the garage is to re-assess the damage.

With your permission to do the repairs, we can start taking things apart, and that’s when we can really see all the damage. In our tear down, we may find that there’s structural damage that was hidden. For instance, until we take off a door panel, we can’t see if the structural supports are bent or not, or if the locking and window mechanisms were affected. That’s why we have you sign the second authorization form—so we can get your permission to fix everything that needs to be fixed to fully restore your car without delaying the process.

However, if we find additional damage that was hidden before, we will write up a supplemental damage report and submit that to the insurance company(ies). Again, we don’t want to surprise you with any repair bills or create extra work for you, so we work directly with the insurance companies to get all repairs covered. If any repairs we feel are necessary are denied by the insurance company and will have to be covered out-of-pocket, we will let you know before we begin work.

If more parts need to be ordered, now’s the time we do that. If your estimate completion date needs to be pushed back, now’s the time we’ll be calling you. With all the preliminaries out of the way, we’re ready to dig in and start fixing your car….stay tuned to learn more about that process next week!

If you have any questions about your collision repair, please feel free to contact us any time!