Frequently Asked Questions
You're Ultimately in Charge
Do I have the right to choose the body shop?
Yes. Your insurance company cannot insist that you use a particular shop nor require you to get more than one estimate. Ultimately, choose a shop that you feel comfortable doing business with, the vehicle owner has the right of choice. Be sure to look for a Lifetime Written Warranty when choosing. Remember, insurance companies cannot insist on a particular shop.
I was told that I must take my car to a certain repair shop. Must I do this?
No. No one can force you to go to a certain repair shop unless your policy states otherwise.
Why are estimates different?
The reasons can be numerous. They include differences in labor rates, the thoroughness of the estimate, the amount of time spent on a estimate, type of parts used (new factory, aftermarket, and/or used) as well as, the fact that some shops prefer to mask off trim items when painting while the higher quality shops will remove them which gives it a factory look when completed. Keep in mind that most insurance estimates are lower than the final repair costs. An estimate is actually the "blueprint" for repair, so it should be very specific as to what will be done to the car. Always ask the estimator to explain, in detail, what damage was done and how it will be repaired. This explanation should match your estimate.
What the Insurance Company may say:
"We only guarantee repairs from our Preferred Shops."
All reputable repair facilities guarantee their repairs for as long as you own the vehicle. Regardless of any insurance guarantee, the repair facility is the one who will ultimately have to guarantee the repairs. Choose a repair facility who has a good reputation, who guarantees repairs as long as you own the vehicle, and has been in business for many years.
What the Insurance Company may say:
"The repair process will take longer if you do not use a Preferred Shop."
This is not true. An adjuster may need to look at your vehicle, but that does not delay the repair process. If you come in for an estimate, you may schedule immediately. The insurance company may or may not have an adjuster look at the vehicle. This will all happen while you are on the schedule for repair, or waiting for parts (the exact same amount of time as you would wait at a Preferred Shop).
Must I obtain three estimates?
No. No one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the car owner, may do so, should this be your desire. Duncan Auto Body will work with all insurance companies.
Do I have to settle for aftermarket body parts as my insurance may have estimated for?
Your policy may include the insurance company option to use these parts. If the insurance company will only pay for aftermarket parts and you want original manufacturer parts, you will have to pay the difference. However, if these aftermarket body parts are estimated for and they don't meet factory specs for your car, the insurance is obligated to pay for original parts.
What is the best procedure for me to get quality repairs and quickly get my vehicle back on the road?
Take your vehicle to Duncan Auto Body. We can contact your insurance company and advise them as to the damage.
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?
You can try to collect from the other party because you will not have to pay a deductible. We'll help you do this. Also, if you use the other person's insurance policy, you may be entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired, and no accident should be charged against your policy.
Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims center?
No. It is not mandatory to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims center. Usually it will suffice for you to call your insurance company and tell them where the vehicle can be examined by a claims person.
A Final Word...
PA 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. The owners of Duncan Auto Body have pledged their shop to a rigid code of ethics. This code is designed to protect you and your property.