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Blog – Under the Hood

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September 17, 2019 Evaluating Bodywork Repair Costs: Make Sure They Include Vital Repairs

When your vehicle needs vital repairs, you want to make sure that you aren’t missing any important details—and that all of the essential repairs are taken care of. Not only that, if you’re using insurance to cover your repairs, you may discover that your insurance only pays for specific types of repairs–many of which might not be exactly what you expected. Fortunately, you can better evaluate your bodywork repair costs and determine what the estimate really covers, including what it will really take to repair your vehicle. 

Look Into What Your Insurance Covers

After an accident, you may rely on your auto insurance to pay for the cost of repairs to your vehicle. If you’re lucky enough to carry full coverage insurance, your insurance company will likely take care of many of the repair costs once you’ve paid your deductible—but they might not cover as much as you expect. Consider: 

Some insurance companies only cover parts from the OEM. They will only put parts from the original equipment manufacturer in your vehicle, even if other parts are more readily available or will better fit the current needs of your vehicle. In some cases, the insurance company may also be unwilling to cover any modifications made to your vehicle after manufacturing, especially if you failed to disclose those modifications when you purchased or updated your insurance policy. In some cases, you may have to pay for those repairs yourself. In others, you may have to wait until insurance repairs have been taken care of. 

Some insurance companies will only cover after-market parts. They want your repair shop to use the least expensive method possible to repair your vehicle, including choosing after-market parts. Make sure you fully understand what your insurance company will cover with regards to parts, since, in some cases, they may make a big difference in performance. 

Your insurance company may only cover the cost of repair. Check your policy to be sure that your insurance company will cover the cost of any parts needed to repair your vehicle, not just the cost of the repairs themselves. While labour often makes up the largest percentage of your insurance bill, it’s not the only cost you’ll have to worry about after an accident—and you want to make sure that your insurance will pay the full amount of those repairs. 

Keep in mind that, even if your insurance copy is footing the bill for the repairs, you have the right to request a full breakdown of repair costs before the repair begins. In Alberta, you can request a repair breakdown that will give you an exact, itemized list of everything that will go into repairing your vehicle. By understanding what your insurance will cover, you can get a better idea of exactly what your vehicle needs—and what repairs the shop is planning to make to your car. You must also give your consent before the repairs on your vehicle begin, which can give you time to do any needed research or to consult with your insurance company about the repairs.

Understand Repair Vs. Replacement of Vital Parts

After an accident, your vehicle may have serious damage that makes it impossible to drive. In some cases, you can simply repair broken parts. In other cases, however, you may need to fully replace your parts of your vehicle in order to make it road-worthy again. Is there a difference between repair and replacement? Consider these important elements.

Repaired parts may be weaker in some areas. Sometimes, the bodywork shop can repair your broken parts in such a way that they no longer have any weaknesses or evidence of the break. In other cases, however, the shop may not be able to fully repair the broken part, leaving a weakness behind that could cause problems down the road. A part that has been damaged, that has undergone substantial repairs, may need to be replaced earlier than the same part had it been replaced after the accident. In many cases, this can mean an expensive repair bill. On the other hand, since you know that the part was damaged, you may be able to plan ahead for that cost, rather than needing to face the increase in your bill immediately after the accident.If the repaired part fails weeks or months after the repair, you may be on the line for a replacement part yourself. Worse, if a poor repair causes a future accident, you may find yourself with more serious injuries and expenses to deal with. At JD Collision, however, you do get a lifetime warranty on repaired parts. It’s as simple as this: we back up our work with a lifetime warranty for as long as you own your vehicle. This can provide substantial piece of mind for customers worried about the functionality of their repairs.

Replacement can be more expensive than repairs. Often, fully replacing a part costs more than repairing your existing part. In some cases, it may actually take more labour to remove a part and put a new one back in than it does to make repairs in a way that doesn’t require the part to leave your vehicle. In other cases, special-ordering parts or having to replace a particularly expensive part due to a small faulty piece could substantially increase your repair bill. 

Replacement may take longer than repairs. In order to replace a broken or faulty part in your vehicle, the shop must wait for the new parts to come in. As a result, you may be left waiting longer for your vehicle to return to you—and in the meantime, you may be without a vehicle or dealing with an expensive rental car payment. Often, an efficient part repair can help get you back in your vehicle faster. 

Do you need an online estimate to help you better understand the approximate cost for your bodywork? Are you struggling to evaluate bodywork repair costs and ensure that they contain everything you need? Contact us today for an online repair estimate form that will allow you to connect with us and get the process started.