Attaining a Fair Estimate for Car Collision Repairs

By: Joe Kent

The first step to getting a decent estimate on a vehicleafter a collision would be to first contact your insurance company. Insome cases, your insurance company may have specific that they know will offer honest estimates, or could help point you inthe right direction of other resources to help steer you in the rightdirection. Seeking out the insurance company's input first will also beimportant since they may have very specific requirements for what typeof collision center you can get service from.

Once you have alist of approved collision centers or service shops, you can reach outto them and begin gathering actual estimates. You can then decide onwhich one fits your need the best, whether it's based on price alone,location, or on expected quality of work, or based on .

Acollision center estimate may include items that the insurance companywill not pay for, such as removing fuel or wheel alignment. Richmond's reminds customers to find out what items are not included and ask thecollision center to remove such items from the estimate to give abetter indication of what you'll actually need to pay for.

Whengetting an estimate, try to plan for worst case scenario. Request thatthe estimate also include any extras or other items that couldpotentially come up during the repair so that you can plan for worstcase, and hopefully be happily surprised when you receive the finalbill if it's lower than expected.

Once youhave the collision center estimate, make sure to submit it to theinsurance company for approval, prior to giving to go ahead for work tobegin. This is because a the insurance company may require that youfill out additional forms and get additional inspections first. Sincethe insurance company may be paying for much for the work, itsimportant you get everything checked off before service on the vehiclebegins.

Some online estimates may also beavailable online. Check with collision centers or dealers in your areato see if that is offered.

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