FAQS

Got a question? Your answer may be here! Click on any of the questions below to find the answer!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will my vehicle be the same after repair?


What type of replacement parts will you install on my vehicle?


Why didn't my airbag deploy?


Will my paint match?


Will my car take an alignment after the repair?


While your at it, can you fix the dent on the other side too?


Shouldn't I go back to the dealer? That's where I bought the car.


Will my insurance company provide me with a rental car while my car is being repaired?


Who pays the repair bills?


Must I notify the insurance company prior to having the repairs done?


Who is responsible for the repair work done?


Who should I contact if there is a problem with the repair?


Why is pre-accident condition important?


Do I need more than one estimate?


Will I be forced to use the repair shop with the lowest bid?


Do I have to take my car to the repair facility the insurance company suggests?


Your estimate is higher than the one the insurance company wrote. Will I have to pay the difference if I want to bring my car to you to repair?


Why are estimates so different in price?


Once an insurance company issues a check, am I responsible for any additional charges?


What is direct repair?


Will my vehicle be the same after the repair?

Reputable body shops have the equipment and training to restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition within industry standards that are set by the local market. Experts can always find indications of a repair. This doesn't mean it was not repaired properly, only that due to not having the same equipment that the manufacturer's have, shops cannot exactly duplicate the manufacturer's work. Your vehicle will still be cosmetically and structurally equal to its pre-accident condition.

BACK TO TOP


What type of replacement parts will you install on my vehicle?

The estimate will indicate the types of parts to be installed on your vehicle. Replacement parts fall into 3 major categories: New original equipment manufacturer (referred to as OEM); New non-original equipment parts (referred to as Economy, or Aftermarket, or Offshore, or Imitation, etc.); and Recycled parts (referred to as Used, or LKQ - [Like, Kind, and Quality] or Salvage).

Most insurers have specific policies regarding the use of aftermarket parts. These policies are often contingent upon the year, mileage, condition, warranty, and state regulations. If non-original parts are specified for your repair, you may pay the repairer the difference for new parts. Also note that North Dakota and Minnesota have significantly different regulations concerning the use of non-original equipment parts.

Most insurance policies support the use of recycled parts after the vehicle is 1 or 2 years old. They must also be in equal or better condition. Recycled parts are not generally available. All you need to know is that if any recycled parts, regardless of their source, are not up to specifications, Larry's Auto Body will not use them. In the end, the vehicle must be in the same condition it was before the accident occurred. Any other result is unacceptable.

We all want a cost-effective repair. The insurance company would prefer to repair the car for less money rather than more money. The repair shop and the vehicle owner don't want to waste the insurance company's money because it will drive up premiums. If a high-quality repair can be done for less money, everyone is better off.

BACK TO TOP


Why didn't my airbag deploy?

Early airbag equipped vehicles had sensors in the front of the vehicle. They would deploy the airbag(s) when a sudden deceleration occurred. Over the years we have observed bags that deployed unnecessarily in minor fender benders (much to the shock and dismay of the driver), and some that didn't deploy as they should have done. These newer systems are much more intelligent. For example, a passenger side airbag will not deploy if no one is sitting there. So if the airbag(s) didn't deploy, it's because the technology involved determined that they were not needed. If you were not injured, it would be unnecessary to deploy the airbag(s).

BACK TO TOP


Will my paint match?

Yes! Most of today's vehicles come from the factory with a Base Coat Clear Coat finish. The Base Coat is the color and the Clear Coat is a high gloss protective coating applied over the color. When your car is repaired, the paint (Base Coat) is matched to the existing color of your car. It is then applied to the affected areas of the repair. After applying the Base Coat, the color is checked one more time for match, then the Clear Coat is applied. Most colors require an additional procedure to achieve an exact match called a blend. In a blend, the paint (Base Coat) used on the repair is shaded onto the adjacent panel(s). This "blends" the new color into the existing. Once the paint (Base Coat) is applied and the designated panels are blended, Clear Coat is applied over the newly repaired surfaces as well as the entire surface(s) of the blended panel(s). By Clear Coating the entire panel being blended, you prevent a "Blend Line" from developing later in the car's life (a blend line occurs when the original paint starts to fade and the new paint doesn't, causing a visible color change from the new to the old.)

Proper paint-matching requires a high level of skill and sometimes a great deal of patience. Be sure you select a repair facility, like Larry's Auto Body, that will take the time and has the expertise to produce the most perfect match possible.

BACK TO TOP


Will my car take an alignment after the repair?

Yes. We return every vehicle to the factory dimensions within a factory provided tolerance of +/- 3mm. The vehicle is then sent to the alignment shop where it will be re-aligned. You will be provided with a computerized print-out of the alignment specs before and after the alignment is done.

BACK TO TOP


While your at it, can you fix the dent on the other side too?

Yes. but only if you pay for it! This question is one heard often by body shop owners and managers. The truth is that shops cannot legitimately and legally include non-accident-related damages in the price of the repair. By asking this question, people are essentially asking the repair shop facility to participate in defrauding the insurance company.

BACK TO TOP


Shouldn't I go back to by dealer? That's where I bought the car.

Your dealer may not be your best choice for collision repair. Many of the highest-quality facilities in the area aren't affiliated with dealers. Your dealer generally has no unique edge in terms of technology, techniques, or parts availability when it comes to repairing your vehicle after a collision.

This is not to say that all dealers are bad, by any means, but some tend to emphasize numbers above quality. You can sometimes feel lost in the shuffle. Quality control and personal attention can sometimes be difficult for the big dealer shop, as 30 or 40 repairs are juggled simultaneously.

Rather than automatically returning to your dealer for collision repairs, we encourage you to be a careful shopper when selecting a repair facility. Ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives about the experiences they have had with collision repair, and select the shop you think will provide the highest quality result.

BACK TO TOP


Will my insurance company provide me with a rental car while my car is being repaired?

If you are a claimant, the other party's insurance company will be responsible for providing you a rental car during the time of repairs, if you need one. If you are the insured party in the accident, you will need to check with your insurance company to see if you have car rental on your policy.

BACK TO TOP


Who pays the repair bills?

You must arrange for the payment. Your insurance policy will state that the insurance company will pay you less any deductibles or depreciation.

BACK TO TOP


Must I notify my insurance company prior to having repairs done?

Yes. Insurance policies state that you must notify the insurance company or your agent, file a report with them, and let them know where the damaged vehicle can be viewed.

BACK TO TOP


Who is responsible for the repair work done?

The auto body shop. That is what makes it important to select a facility that has properly trained technicians and is equipped to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.

BACK TO TOP


Who should I contact if there is a problem with the repair?

First, the manager of the shop. Responsible shop owners and managers stand behind their services and will work with you to solve the problem. If your problem is not resolved contact the claims manager at your insurance company. You may want to consider contacting your local Better Business Bureau, or the consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's office.

BACK TO TOP


Why is pre-accident condition important?

Your vehicle may very well be your first or second biggest investment...even if you are leasing. The costs of your vehicle and maintaining its value makes pre-accident condition a very important consideration in the repair process. We employ very highly skilled and trained technicians. We follow industry standards to restore your vehicle back to the condition it was before the accident(pre-accident condition). We also understand how important it is to maintain the value of your vehicle. Whether you have financed or leased your vehicle there will probably be a time when you will trade or turn it back in. If the repairs were completed below standard, you will likely lose money. In fact it may cost you money in the case of a lease.

BACK TO TOP


Do I need more than one estimate?

It is not normally necessary to obtain more than one estimate on your vehicle unless your insurance policy states otherwise. Normally for your convenience it may be best to select our facility to assist you with your insurance claim. Our reputation and working relationship with the insurance industry can lessen the hassles and uncertainties involved with your claim. We work with insurance claims on a daily basis and lets face it...you have more important things to worry about.

BACK TO TOP


Will I be forced to use the repair shop with the lowest bid?

The repair facility which writes the lowest estimate is not necessarily the best place to have your car repaired. In fact, obtaining repairs form the lowest bidder is usually not in the best interest of the customer. When one considers the safety issues involved in collision repair, as well as the considerable investment one has in his or her vehicle, the value of quality repairs becomes clear. A modern, well equipped collision repair center represents an enormous investment in equipment, training and people. As is often the case with goods and services, one gets what one pays for. Remember, the choice is entirely up to you!

BACK TO TOP


Do I have to take my car to repair facility that the insurance company suggests?

Generally no - unless your insurance policy states otherwise. It is your vehicle and your responsibility to choose the repair facility you feel most confident will repair your vehicle properly using the most current repair technology. No one but you as the owner can authorize repairs on your vehicle. You are ultimately responsible for all payments as well. The process of "steering work" is also normally disapproved by most insurance companies. Chose your repair facility wisely, and if you have any questions, contact us to answer any other related questions.

BACK TO TOP


Your estimate is higher than the one the insurance company wrote. Will I have to pay the difference if I want to bring my car to you to repair?

No, not normally. The insurance company is obligated to return your vehicle to its pre-accident condition, and they are willing to pay for a correct repair. The way modern vehicles are constructed, it's often difficult to see all the damage on their first inspection. Insurance company adjusters typically include only visible damage in their estimates. Suspected, even strongly suspected, damage is normally omitted. When your vehicle is disassembled for repair, additional damage is frequently discovered. A quality repair shop needs to point out this additional damage to the insurance company and make arrangements for the company to pay for the additional repairs required.

BACK TO TOP


Why are estimates so different in price?

Whether your estimates are from repair facilities or insurance companies it is very difficult to compare them unless the damages are very minor. There are many reasons why they may at times seem very far apart. Normally they are simply not estimating all the same items and operations. This it not to say that either or any of the estimates are wrong, but one shop may feel a hidden item is likely to be damaged, based on past experience, and write it on the estimate. Another shop may only write what is visible at the present time before the vehicle is dismantled. What really should be important to you is that when the vehicle is completed, it is safe and properly repaired...and did you know...the final bills will most often be very similar.

BACK TO TOP


Once an insurance company issues a check, am I responsible for any additional charges?

Any estimate is just that - an estimate. An appraiser can only report that damage which is visible. When additional damage becomes evident as the repair progresses, a claim can be reopened and a supplemental payment issued. In fact, most large collision repairs require at least one supplement to the original estimate.

BACK TO TOP


What is direct repair?

Many insurance companies name a Direct Repair Provider to handle their customers collision repair and initial claims processing. This means that your insurance company may suggest you use a certain repair facility. This method can eliminate the hassle of you gathering your own estimates. Larry's Auto Body is a Direct Repair facility for a variety of different insurance companies and can process your claim on the spot. However, Larry's Auto Body wants you to understand that, as a consumer, this in no way impedes your freedom of choice. As much as repair facilities and insurance companies would like you to believe that you must do business with whom they suggest, it is still your option to choose the reputable facility of your choice. Larry's Auto Body's written warranty assures you of an honest price and superior workmanship.

BACK TO TOP