We want you to be informed on all of your auto body repair and paint questions. In this section we will try to help make your repair process more clear for you with some helpful answers.
Can I take my car to any body shop or do I have to take it to where my insurance company refers me to?
As an insured motorist you have the right to take your car to the body shop of your choice. While many insurance companies may try to persuade you to go to one of their DRP ‘Direct Repair Program’ shops, you can take you automobile to wherever you choose.
What about the recent ABR1200 insurance law that passed?
This gave a little more leeway to insurance companies to do body shop referring but it does not mandate where you can take your car or that you are obligated to use a referral given to you by your insurance company, usually to one of their DRP – ‘Direct Repair Program’ shops.
Do I need an estimate before starting the repairs?
Yes, if you’re in California you would need to get an estimate before starting your repairs, and you should always do that anyway, it protects you against surprise charges.
Do you have to notify your insurance company before taking your car in for an estimate for repair?
While a claim will need to be filed, you can simply bring your car into Avenue Auto as we deal with all Major insurance companies on your behalf. We’ll prepare an estimate for your insurance company and help you get into a rental. This will help expedite the claim and the administration with the shop. It will be one of the first questions you would be asked by the shop, ie; the name of your insurance company and have you notified them. At Network we handle the entire claim process for you, we negotiate and deal directly with all major insurance companies on your behalf. If you have any questions feel free to contact us try to locate and have your insurance policy handy when contacting us it will help us help you better and further assist in expediting your estimate and claim.
Will my insurance company pay for repairs at any shop?
According to reports over 90% of all accidents a year ago were insurance related. Most of the time you will be responsible for to the shop for your repair so make sure you have chosen a trustworthy and quality shop that your insurance company will pay, not some bondo vampire preying on grocery store parking lots, we invite you to watch our own Film Production of ’The Bondo Hounds’, spoof of ‘The Night of the Living Dead’ to illustrate this one. Licenses, Certifications and Warranties are three very important factors to check out. Avenue Auto has dealt with every major insurance company in the United States so we know how to expertly assist you with your repair procedure.
I have a large deductible that is hard to pay at once, what can be done about that?
In order to help our customers get their repairs done as quickly as possible, Avenue Auto has a special Insurance Deductible Financing Plan to offer you. There may be times when your deductible may be waived, but in cases where it is not you are responsible to pay that to the collision center. Many body shops require this in full at the time, even may some require it as a deposit to start work on your repair. At Avenue Auto we can help finance your deductible and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Sometimes when a car is hit it may have hidden damage, not seen by a walk around, especially to the frame, what can you do about that?
Today’s modern vehicles have what is called a Unibody Design. This means that the frame and body of the car are all secured/welded together. Avenue Auto thoroughly checks for all of these hidden potentials and has the latest state of the art measuring system for both Frame and Unibody Construction. Avenue Auto considers the Frame and Unibody of extreme importance to the vehicle. It is the foundation so it is on a high priority for us to check for any damage to this structure.
How long does it take to repair my automobile?
That’s a little hard to determine without an estimate as there are far too many factors to consider as you can probably imagine. Obviously extensive damage repair and paint refinishing will take much longer than a minor damage repair. Avenue Auto is not a shop that promotes doing a ‘cheap’ repair or paint job ‘cheap’. At Avenue Auto safety and quality of repair and paint finish are a priority in your repair procedure. However, whatever the damage, you can rest assured that Avenue Auto will do everything possible to help expedite the acquisition of any parts and complete your repair/paint as soon as possible. Remember, at Avenue Auto we have the experienced technicians and advanced technology to repair and paint your automobile as precisely and efficiently as possible.
What if only part of the car, such as one of the side doors is damaged, what do you do to match the paint?
Many times you’ll see a car with a door that is slightly lighter or darker than the front and side panels, or the paint doesn’t match up. This usually means that the proper basecoat reduction procedures weren’t followed or the shop doesn’t have advanced computerized paint matching systems. Avenue Auto can match all of today’s advanced high tech paints with our computerized paint systems. A professional body shop would do a Color Match and Blend when repairing and repainting a portion of the car. This requires blending into both sides of where the part connects so there is no tell tale paint miss-match.
What is the difference between aftermarket and OEM Parts?
First off, lets define OEM Parts. OEM parts are Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Simply put, this means they are parts made by the same manufacturer as the genuine parts sold at an automotive dealership. Aftermarket parts are produced by a different company than the original manufacturer. While these parts are designed for the same purpose there’s frequently some differences in the fit, quality, performance and safety of the part. Resale value should be a consideration when choosing between the two. If you’re concerned about your car’s resale value then this is something you need to pay attention to, as one of the obvious reason insurance companies push these parts is money. Avenue Auto does not recommend the use of Aftermarket parts.
Can my insurance company force or require me to use non OEM parts in the repair of my car?
This question goes to both safety, performance and re-sale value of your car and should be given careful consideration. *Please refer to the above FAQ and California Department of Insurance has to say. Also, according to CAA, California Auto Body Association, the direct answer is that no insurer shall require the use of non-OEM replacement crash parts in the repair of an automobile unless: The parts are at least equal to the original equipment manufacturer parts in terms of quality, safety, fit and performance; and Insurers specifying the use of non-OEM replacement crash parts shall pay the cost of any modifications to the parts which may become necessary to effect the repair; and Insurers specifying the use of non-OEM replacement crash parts warrant that all such parts are of like kind, quality, safety, fit and performance as OEM replacement crash parts. As always if you have any doubts feel free to contact us at Avenue Auto.
If I have received an estimate directly from my insurance company ‘First’ but the amount seems too low, do I have to accept that estimate?
The initial estimate you may have received from the insurance company only reflects their visual inspection BEFORE the vehicle has arrived at the repair shop of your choice. All insurance companies are aware that there will usually be additional parts and labor needed above and beyond their
initial estimate. So there is no need to worry, or to feel that you are accepting the insurance company’s initial estimate as ‘the final estimate of repairs’. Once the vehicle arrives at our shop Avenue Auto removes any damaged parts and does a complete inspection, and then immediately contacts the insurance company to inform them of any additional labor, materials, or parts needed for a complete and proper repair of your vehicle. We highly recommend that you contact us ‘First’ before getting an estimate from your insurance company.