Expert Tips About Estimates
Expert Tip … Obtaining Estimates
In the past, it was common for insurance companies to ask you to obtain multiple estimates (usually three). The agent or adjuster would typically pay based on the estimate with the lowest dollar amount. With the introduction of direct repair programs, the work required for the customer has been reduced. Most insurance companies no longer ask customers to obtain estimates.
In the event that an estimate is needed follow these guidelines to obtain estimates from repair facilities in your area.
Call ahead to verify business hours.
Expect a charge for the estimate.
Notify the shop if an insurance company has already estimated the damage.
Read your estimates carefully or ask the shop to explain them.
1. Call ahead to verify business hours.
This may seem trivial, but the majority of people obtaining estimates do not call ahead to verify business hours. Some shops close for lunch and some have no estimators available during lunch. Also most shops don’t open until 8:00am and close at 5:00pm. It’s very common in smaller shops for the person who writes estimates to also be a repair technician. In this case, it is helpful to call ahead and possibly make an appointment for an estimate. Some shops even require appointments.
Haley’s Body Shop does not require appointments, they have estimators available between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday, including lunch. However, it’s common for fewer estimators to be available between 11:30am and 1:30pm. If you’re coming by on your lunch break for an estimate, please expect a small wait time.
2. Expect a charge for the estimate.
In the past it was very common for shops to provide estimates at no charge. You will find today that most shops are still willing to do this for most estimates. However, some shops charge for every estimate and some charge for estimates on older model vehicles, specific types of damage and custom body work.
Haley’s Body Shop does not charge for every estimate, but does fall into the latter category. HBS charges $28.00 for the following types of estimates: hail damage, vehicles over 8 years old, and custom painting.
Note: The charge is left to the discretion of the estimator. Some cases do not warrant charging a fee.
3. Notify the shop if an insurance company has already estimated the damage.
If your insurance company does not have direct repair programs or if you choose not to take part in these programs, your insurance company may have an appraiser estimate the damage. In this event, the insurance company will typically issue payment based on this estimate. If this occurs, it’s probably not necessary for a repair facility to write another estimate. Most shops will take the estimate already written and work from it. You can save yourself and the shops some time by notifying them that an estimate has been written and payment is based on this.
Haley’s Body Shop will normally work from an insurance company estimate. Please remember, repairs will be conducted in the manor you choose. They won’t install any non oem parts or eliminate any necessary procedures unless the customer authorizes to do so. If the insurance company’s appraiser has missed some damage, HBS will contact the insurance company and work directly with them to insure all damage is repaired.
4. Read each estimate carefully or ask the appraiser to explain it.
Most people obtain multiple estimates, but never read them to verify all damage is covered. Some estimates can be difficult to read and understand. If you have trouble interpreting the estimate, ask the appraiser to explain it.