Q. Must I notify my insurance company prior to having repairs done?
A. Yes. Insurance policies state that you must notify the insurance company or your broker, file a report with them, and let them know where the damaged vehicle can be viewed.
Q. Do I need more than one estimate?
A. No. Ontario law states that your only obligation is to choose the shop of your choice and inform the insurance company where the vehicle is going.
Q. Will I be forced to use the repair shop preferred by my insurance company?
A. No. The repair facility that your insurance company suggests you use is not necessarily the best place to have your car repaired. In fact, here at Phoenix Custom Autobody we guarantee the work for as long as you own your vehicle. Remember, the choice is entirely up to you!
Q. Will my vehicle be the same after the repair?
A. Reputable auto body shops have the equipment and training to restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition within industry standards. 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 manufacturers have, shops cannot exactly duplicate the manufacturer's work. Your vehicle will still be cosmetically and structurally equal to its pre-accident condition.
Q. What type of replacement parts will you install on my vehicle?
A. 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, Aftermarket, Offshore, or Imitation); and Recycled parts (referred to as Used, 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 provincial regulations. If non-original parts are specified for your repair, you may pay the repairer the difference for new parts.
Most insurance policies support the use of recycled parts after the vehicle is 1 or 2 years old. Recycled parts must be salvaged from a vehicle that is the same year or newer than the vehicle being repaired. 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; Phoenix Custom Autobody 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.
Q. Shouldn't I go back to my dealer? That's where I bought the car.
A. No. Your dealer may not be your best choice for collision repair. 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 their experiences with collision repairs they may have had at a dealership. Dealerships are generally geared toward sales and mechanical service much more than collision repairs.
Q. Will my insurance company provide me with a rental car while my car is being repaired?
A. 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.
Q. Can I have other items fixed on my car as well?
A. 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.
Q. Will my paint match?
A. 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, and 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 Phoenix Custom Autobody, that will take the time and has the expertise to produce the most perfect match possible.
Q. How should I care for my new paint job?
A. While the paint is still fresh (first 60 days) avoid parking your vehicle anywhere that substances could come in contact with it. This includes under trees, where bird droppings or sap could fall on the new paint. If droppings, sap, or bug splatters do get on your vehicle, they should be washed off as soon as possible due to their acidic effect. Be careful when adding fluids (gas, oil, etc.) to your vehicle. The chemicals in the fluids could damage the new paint. Do not use a scraper on any of the paint. When washing your vehicle within the first 60 days, do not use a commercial car wash. Their equipment can cause damage. Using a mild car wash soap (NOT household detergent) and clean fresh water, hand-wash your vehicle with a clean, soft, wash clothe or sponge. Make sure your vehicle's surface is cool to the touch and is in the shade to avoid water spots. Waxing is not recommended within these first 60 days, but should become a regular part of your vehicle maintenance after this period. We suggest waxing your vehicle at least 3 times a year.
Q. Once an insurance company issues a check, am I responsible for any additional charges?
A. 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. The insurance company then pays the supplement.
Q. What should I do immediately after an accident?
A. Always see a doctor after a serious accident. Do not claim responsibility if you are uncertain of what happened. Call the police and have an accident report generated and keep a copy for your own records. Notify your insurance company and bring your car to PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC.
Q. When should I contact my insurance company?
A. You should contact your insurance company immediately after an auto accident. Keep any paper work for your own records.
Q. Can the insurance company tell me where to take my car?
A. Some insurance companies try to dictate where you have to take your vehicle for repairs. It is your vehicle and your choice of where you want the repairs to be done. PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. represents the customer and not the insurance company; therefore you can be assured that your vehicle will be repaired without compromise due to pressure to lower the cost of repair from the insurance company. At PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. we guarantee the repair to you, our customer. All you have to do is notify your insurance company that PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. will repair your vehicle correctly and that is where you are having the repairs done.
Q. I just bought a new vehicle and want to protect it. What should I do?
A. New finishes are very durable and require less maintenance than vehicles produced years ago. We suggest frequent washing and a good coat of wax two times a year, ideally in the spring and late fall. And just before the winter season rust proofing your vehicle is a great investment.
Q. The towing company at the accident site said that they would not take my vehicle to PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. What should I do?
A. Most towing companies have a holding lot where they take vehicles so that their wrecker can get back on the road. Simply call PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. after the accident and we will arrange for your vehicle to be towed to PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. If the towing company tries to push your vehicle to another shop it is most likely that they are getting paid to bring your vehicle there.
Q. I was hit in a parking lot and the other person did not leave a note. What happens now?
A. In this case with most insurance companies, your claim would fall under collision guidelines and you would then have to check with your insurance policy.
Q. What if my vehicle is a total loss?
A. PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. will coach you through the process and provide you with a list of reputable new and used dealerships for a replacement vehicle.
Q. What if I have a problem with my vehicle after I have picked it up, will I be responsible for the additional repairs?
A. If the problem is something that was disrupted in the accident PHOENIX CUSTOM AUTOBODY INC. will contact your insurance company and get the matter sorted out. The additional cost would then be charged to your insurance company. You would then get a replacement vehicle again if necessary.