Don’t Wait! Prepare before you have an accident
Things to Know and Plan for Before An Accident Happens
According to the Better Business Bureau, consumers must be just as cautious about checking the credentials of the collision repair centers that fix their cars as they are when choosing contractors for their home repairs. Often times when people are in a car accident they are in a rush to get their vehicle back to normal as soon as possible and can rush into the decision of where to take their vehicle for repairs. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to know how to proceed before an accident happens especially if you end up being the driver who caused the accident.
- Make sure you’re happy about where your deductible is set for collisions on your auto insurance policy. A higher deductible can help your monthly payments remain low, but be prepared (in most cases) to pay the full deductible amount if the accident is your fault.
- Collision repair companies can use a variety of replacement parts from the less expensive generic replacement parts to original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which match your vehicle exactly but typically cost more. If the accident is not your fault be sure to instruct the shop to use original-equipment manufacturer parts.
- Check the shop’s reputation on sites such as the BBB or Yelp Precision Carstar (formerly Precision Auto Body) can be found on BBB and on Yelp.
- Know rental car expenses. Be sure to know what type of rental car is covered under your insurance plan. If you regularly pay a low monthly fee for rental-car insurance, you might only be reimbursed for the rental of a compact car. If a small car would never work for you, it might be time to reevaluate your coverage.
- Make your authorization a requirement. Especially when you’re on the hook for the repair costs, politely clarify with the shop that no work should happen until you have authorized it first. When the time comes to pick up your car, look the bill over carefully and make sure everything matches up with the estimate you had been given and the notes you had taken earlier. If you spot anything you didn’t authorize, speak up about it.
Source: Better Business Bureau, Edmunds