How should I handle my insurance company?
Being involved in an auto accident can be traumatic enough; turning in a claim should be a painless process. Know your rights as the consumer. If you know what shop you would like your vehicle repaired, let you insurance company know immediately. Be assertive. Keep in mind that no law exists requiring you to acquire more than one estimate. The experts at Hendrickson Collision Repair can assist you with your insurance company to ease you through the process.
Do I have a choice of where I can get my vehicle repaired?
Of course you do. Your insurance company may recommend a repair shop to you, or ask you to get an estimate from a shop on their “preferred list”. They may even tell you that you may have to pay a difference in charges or only guarantee repairs done by a shop on their list. All of this is UNTRUE; Illinois law protects your freedom to decide for yourself and your insurance company must honor your choice. Those insurance companies employ traveling estimators for that purpose; they will come to you or your place of employment to give you a written estimate should you choose a shop that is not on their direct repair program. A quality repair shop will offer its own lifetime warranty and will work with your insurance company to ensure that all collision repair is done satisfactorily.
Can you save my deductible?
Saving a deductible is fraud. It is fraudulent to the insurance company and to the consumer. In order to save a deductible, a shop would have to take shortcuts to repair the vehicle which isn’t a good solution for anyone.
Will my paint match?
Absolutely. At Hendrickson Collision we use DuPont Automotive Finishes with an in-house computerized paint mixing system and Chromavision technology which ensures an exact paint match and a factory finish. We use a state of the art paint booth with a ‘downdraft system’. This means a perfect, dust-free factory finish that is touchable sooner so that you can be back in your vehicle faster!
Will my vehicle be as safe as it was before the accident?
Structural integrity of a vehicle is not something to be taken for granted. A car that is repaired correctly will perform properly on a daily basis, as well as if involved in another accident. The safety factor has to be built into the vehicle if a collision has occurred. Make sure your damaged vehicle goes to a facility that has all the necessary equipment and correct training to perform these vital repairs on such structural and internally damaged vehicles. At Hendrickson Collision Repair, we pride ourselves in having all necessary equipment and certifications to put your vehicle to pre-accident condition, with all the original safety factors in place to protect you and your family’s safety.
Do I need to replace my child’s car seat after an accident?
Yes. The National SAFEKIDS network recommends that you replace any car seat that was in the vehicle during an accident.
Should I pay for an accident repair myself or let my insurance company handle it?
Due to rising insurance costs, more and more people are paying for minor accident repairs out of pocket, and we are happy to discuss cost saving options. We also have good relationships with all insurance companies with whom we work with on behalf of our mutual customers. After an accident, discuss your options with your agent; they should be able to let you know if and how much your rates would increase if turning in a claim.
I’ve just had an accident, what should I do?
- Stay calm. If there are injuries call 911. Do not move your vehicle unless you are in immediate danger and it would be safer to get your vehicle in a different location.
- Get the name(s) of the person(s) driving the other vehicle(s) involved as well as their phone number, driver’s license, vehicle license and insurance information. Try to obtain any witness names & phone numbers. Note the location, time and date. Obtain a copy of a police report, if an officer is present. If you have a camera, take pictures.
- If it is determined to be your fault, contact the claims department of your insurance company. The phone number should be located on your insurance card. If not, contact your local agent. Your insurance company does not need to be notified if another party is at fault, make sure again that you have their insurance information as well as a police report. If liability is not clear cut, all insurance companies will get involved.
- If your vehicle needs to be towed and you’re not sure that you have towing coverage, contact your local agent who will assist you. If you do not have towing coverage, our shop works closely with a local towing company and can provide courtesy towing.
- It is 100% your choice where you would like your vehicle repaired. If you know the shop that you would like to go to, let your insurance company know immediately. Your insurance company may have ‘direct repair shops’ that they will try to steer you to, but the insurance companies employ traveling estimators who can come to you to give you a written estimate, then you may take you vehicle wherever you would like. IT IS ILLEGAL for your insurance company to tell you that you must take your vehicle to a ‘direct repair facility’ as stated in Senate Bill 551.
- Once your estimate is completed, and all arrangements for payment through the insurance company or a self-paid claim are established, and you have selected the repair shop, your vehicle may be scheduled for repairs. Your repair shop should thoroughly explain all of the necessary repairs to your vehicle and give you a date of completion. If your vehicle is driveable, the repair shop should already have any necessary parts for your vehicle so that your car is not sitting in the shop waiting for parts. A professional shop will be able to assist you in obtaining a rental vehicle if you do not have rental coverage. If you do have rental coverage, the insurance company normally has a direct account with a local rental car company and will contact you to set up the rental car.
- You should be contacted once your vehicle is completed. Fully inspect your vehicle, both inside and out. All accident related damage should be gone, the paint should match, the finish should match the rest your vehicle, and your vehicle should be clean and free of any overspray. Ask any questions. Once you are satisfied with your vehicle, then you may settle the payment, and make sure to keep copies of all paperwork involved with the repair and/or accident together. A quality repair shop will stand by their work, and provide a lifetime warranty or correct any problems or concerns you have following the repair of your vehicle.
- If your repair was part of an insurance claim, it is important that you let your insurance company know if you were satisfied with the repair shop that completed your repairs. This is extremely helpful to the insurance company, the repair shop as well as the customer in controlling quality assurance.