|Consumer Bill of Rights|
|Choosing an Auto Body Shop|
|It's Your Car, It's Your Choice|
|What They Don't Tell You|
We want to thank you for visiting our web site, we hope you find it informative and helpful. Please don't hesitate to contact us should you need additional information or have questions about our services. We are from Schertz and we want to earn and keep your business. We are Auto Collision Works, in 2009 we consolidated the operations of Schertz Auto Service and Auto Collision Works since these business have always operated side by side in the same facility.
We would encourage you to look through our site especially the Auto Body Repair pages, we want to make sure your are educated when it comes to auto body repair should you need our services. If you have an auto accident call us before you call your insurance company so we can advise you of your rights as a consumer. We provide services for just about every insurance company out there and would be happy to assist you in handling your claim.
- Auto Body Repairs
- Insurance Claims
- Frame Repairs
- Hail Damage Repairs
Please check out all the additional information on auto body repairs and your rights. It's important you understand these when dealing with any insurance company.
The following information is designed to aide you in the repair of your damaged vehicle. The material is intended to be general in nature. Before obtaining repairs, you should contact your attorney to ensure that the information complies with your state laws and regulations. This material has been prepared by the Automotive Service Association (ASA).
Question: Must I obtain three estimates?
Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy states otherwise, no one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the car owner, may do so, should this be your desire.
Question: What is the best procedure for me to get quality repairs and quickly get my vehicle back on the road?
Answer: Take your vehicle to a reputable repair shop. Leave it with the manager. Instruct the manager to contact your insurance company and advise them as to the damage. You should then call your insurance company and advise them of the vehicle's location.
Question: I don't believe I was at fault in the accident. Should I use my own collision policy or try to collect from the other party?
Answer: Try to collect from the other party because you will not have to pay a deductible. Also, if you use the other person's policy, you may be entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired, and no accident should be charged against your policy.
Question: I am sure that the other driver is at fault, but no one has made any effort to see to the repairs of my auto. What can I do?
Answer: You are the owner of the automobile. Only you have the legal right to make arrangements for the repair of your automobile, not the insurance company.Question: Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims service?
Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy provides otherwise, it is not mandatory to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims service. Usually it will suffice for you to call your insurance company and tell them where the vehicle can be examined by a claims person.
Question: If I go to a drive-in claims service, do I have to take the car to its preferred shop?
Answer: Generally, no. However, if you decide to take your car to the preferred shop, ask your insurance company to implement its "elects to repair" clause (check your insurance policy). This may cause the insurance company to be responsible for, among other things, the quality of repairs.Question: I am having a problem with the insurance company. Can the state insurance commissioner's office help me?
Answer: Perhaps, yes, but the commissioner's authority is limited! The commissioner's office in your state can describe the scope of authority for you.
Question: Can the insurance company and service shop make an adjustment and start repair on the auto without the owner's consent?
Answer: Generally, no. You should be presented an estimate to know what is being repaired on your vehicle before repairs are made, unless your policy states otherwise.
A Final Word...
Most state laws make it unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle that is unsafe or has defective equipment. Insist on having your vehicle restored to its pre-accident condition. Do not be pressured into having repair work done by a specific shop simply because of lower price.
We have pledged our shop to a rigid code of ethics. This code is designed to protect you and your property.
Now you have had an accident, maybe you have even already called your insurance company, but you are really not sure what to do. After all people just don't have accidents every day and so they really don't know what to do. Accidents can be a very traumatic experience because you might have a number of questions, but you just don't know who to ask. You should take care in choosing a body shop after you have had an accident, because it can make a big difference. We want to try to answer some of the questions that you may have and our site is filled with a great deal of information to educate you. You can always just give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have and we would be happy to prepare you a written estimate on the damages to your vehicle.
First a couple of things you should know.
You are not required to take your car to the shop recommended by your insurance company. This is probably what you don't want to do, some repair shops have agreed to contracts or are outright owned by some insurance companies, and they don't always have your best interest in mind. Some will cut corners on repairs just to save the insurance company money. You should be comfortable with the shop of your choice, ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation, visit different shops and ask for a tour so you can see where your vehicle will be repaired.
- Call a few shops and ask them questions, such as:
- Will you guarantee all your work for as long as I own the vehicle?
- Is you company an I-CAR Gold Class Repair Shop?
- Are your technicians certified by ASE?
- Is your painter certified by your paint company?
- Do you have a list of references?
If they can say "yes" to all of these, you know you have found a good shop. You should also express any concerns you may have about the type of parts being used, the content of the estimate and the timeliness of the repair. View the following pages for more information on repairs, the more you are educated about the process the better the results will be for you to protect the value of the investment you have made in your vehicle.
Don't be steered into another accident by your insurance company or the other parties insurance company. Did you know some insurance companies have ownership in some shops? Makes you wonder who the customer really is. Schertz Auto Service does not participate in many of the repair networks because of the concessions or stipulations in the contracts which generally leads to a lower cost/lower quality repair. We believe we have a responsibility to the vehicle owner who is ultimately our customer not the insurance company.
Here is what the state says:
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
P.O. BOX 149091
AUSTIN, TX 78714-9091
Fax Number: 512-475-1771
Web Address: www.tdi.state.tx.us
(I) The verbal notice at a minimum must consist of the following:
By law, you have the right to select where your motor vehicle is repaired and the parts used for repairs. However, an insurance company is not required to pay more than a reasonable amount for such repairs and parts. your rights concerning motor vehicle repairs are explained in the insurance code, article 5.07-1, a copy of which will be mailed to you within 15 business days on request.
Section 5.501 was adopted to become effective August 17, 1998
Know your rights... Know these facts:
- By law, you may have your car towed to and repaired at any repair facility you choose.
- Only one estimate is required to determine the amount of damage.
- Check with your agent to determine if a rental car is available under your policy.
- Make sure that the insurance company pays for all covered repairs.
- Choose a repair shop carefully. Your future safety depends on quality workmanship today.
Choose a body shop carefully. Ask as many questions you have, until you are comfortable with the body shop.
Call your insurance company and tell them where you would like to have your vehicle repaired.
Remember, it's you car, your choice If you have any doubts about what to ask your insurance company feel free to contact contact us. We will explain the common procedures of your insurance company.
If you need any help deciding on which insurance carrier to buy your policy from, ask or call your local body shop. We can tell you which insurance companies are customer service friendly and will help with your insurance claim meets every step of the way. Some insurance companies make you feel that they have your best interest in mind. When in reality they are just managing their bottom line.
The reason insurance companies use carefully crafted word tracks is that the state does not allow insurance companies to "direct", "steer" or "refer" customers to a particular shop(or they are not supposed to), so they have come up with the following word tracks to intimidate the customer into thinking they have to do what the insurance company says, or they will not pay the claim. Some companies also have bonus programs for employees that steer claims to the networks, so don't think that they have your best interest in mind. Most of these claims people have never seen a particular shop, nor have any knowledge of any of the staff, they are just directing claims to whoever their company has a "deal" with so that they hit a bonus quota.
Whether you choose to use us or another repair shop. Don't be manipulated by insurance companies word tracks.
"A Coat of Paint Hides a Multitude of Sins"
A number of insurance companies have made agreements with a select few shops to provide them with a great deal of work in exchange for discounts or concessions to the insurance carrier, so the shop is really working for the insurance company and not you. Some insurance companies actually have ownership in some shops, which would make one wonder who the customer really is. The repair shops under these agreements don't always make repair decisions based upon what is best for you, and instead cater to the insurance company. We feel this is not always best for the consumer. There are a number of things the insurance company does not tell you and some of these repair decisions could cost you $100's or even $1000's of dollars when you go to sell or trade your vehicle.
When you are involved in an accident, there are many things that happen and since most people don't have accidents very often, it can be very confusing at best. You have many questions
- * What is covered, how much am I going to have to pay?
- * What is an aftermarket part?
- * What is a Quality Replacement Parts?
- * What is a Direct Repair Shop (DRP)
Did you know many times insurance companies specify aftermarket (A/M) or quality replacement parts (QRP) that save them money? The problem with this is that is saves them money but could potentially cost you hundreds and even into the thousands of dollars when you go to sale or trade your vehicle in. And Insurance companies will tell you that it is to save you money on premium cost. We don't know many people who have had an accident and then their premiums went down. If this is you we would love to hear from you. please contact us. This simply does not happen.
Companies want you to believe that they are looking out for your best interest when in fact they are managing their bottom line. You should always check your policy, because some policies have provisions that allow them to pay for non-OEM parts, and some policy that are non-standard policies have a number of different provisions that are not in your best interest.
So how can a person deal with some of these policies? For one it makes a big difference on weather you are a first party claimant or third party claimant, another words is it your insurance company because your are at fault or is it someone else's fault and they are paying the bill. You always have a little more leverage if you are not at fault and the claim is against the other person's insured. There are a number of different ways to collect and protect the investment you have made in your vehicle. One way is a diminished value claim, click here for more info. There are other ways which involve small claims court, it is not as difficult as some people think, but you have the right to file a small claims case against the individual that hit you, it is their responsibility to make you whole, and although most people don't want to do this, it is the game that has to be played out to get what you are entitled to. We are not attorneys but we have taken several insurance carriers to bat with the Texas Department of Insurance and have had some successes through the complaint process.
The collision repair process involves many steps. There are many factors involved, some beyond our control (parts availability & delivery). We generally do not give a promise date until all parts have arrived and been checked for correctness as well as the vehicle being painted. Understand that many of the products we use have a curing time in between each process, such as primers, body fillers and sealers as well as top coats of paint. Some of these can be up to 2-3 hours before the next procedure can take place. Although we do our very best to get your vehicle returned to you in a timely manner, we realize what a great inconvenience it is to not have your vehicle.
The following outlines the procedures involved and important milestones along the way.Estimate Prepared
•Owner signs Repair Authorization
•Parts ordered electronically
•Parts received (generally 1 to 2 days)
Estimated Completion Date Given
•Vehicle scheduled for repairs
•Vehicle disassembled & re-inspected
•Insurance supplemental report written if additional parts/labor are required
•Insurance supplement approved
•Additional parts ordered if necessary
Customer Updated on Completion Date
•Vehicle setup on Unibody repair equipment
•Structural & body repairs made
•New panels prepared/installed
•Corrosion protection applied
•All metal work inspected, initial tests done
Customer Updated on Schedule Completion
•Vehicle chemically cleaned and tacked
•Vehicle prepped, primed and blocked
•Vehicle blown clean, masked & taped, placed in paint booth
•Multi-step paint refinishing process applied
•Reassembly, wheel alignment, air conditioning,
detailing, final inspection and test drive
Confirmed Delivery Date Given