What To Do Before Visiting A Collision Center

Posted on: 26 June 2023

Most drivers will take a vehicle to a collision center at some point. Before you visit the shop, though, take these preparatory steps.

Contact Your Insurer

First and foremost, you want to be sure that your insurance carrier will pay for the repairs at your preferred shop. Most insurers have good relationships with the popular collision businesses in any area. However, you'll want to contact your insurance agent to provide them with the business name, address, and contact number. They can quickly check if the center is on their list so you can take your vehicle there.

Speak with the Police

If you filed a police report, it's a good idea to contact them and verify that they're okay with you taking the car to a shop. Generally, the cops get information about collisions quickly. In some cases, though, an officer might need a day to get photos of the damage to the vehicle.

They may also need to inspect it to confirm that the frame is in good enough condition to justify the repairs. Some vehicles suffer too much damage to the frame. In those cases, a typical collision center won't perform the repairs. Only a handful of specialized shops in most areas handle frame repairs, and many insurers will total the car and cut you a check rather than deal with the necessary work.

Remove Belongings

The folks at the collision center take no responsibility for belongings in the car. Also, it's a matter of courtesy. Dealing with someone's stuff inside a car makes the job harder. Whenever a technician needs to move the vehicle around, they have to clear things out of the way. Even if the car is already at the repair shop, have a friend take you there so you can remove your belongings. The repair techs will appreciate the effort.

Bring Documents

When you drop the vehicle off, bring all of your insurance information for the vehicle. If you're using a warranty from the manufacturer or a third party, bring that information, too. Have your registration ready to go. Also, take your license even if you have a ride because many shops like having it on file.

Discuss the Repairs

Make sure that the proposed repairs line up with your expectations. Bear in mind that most insurers will only pay to restore the vehicle. If you want to make changes to the car, such as using a different paint color, you may have to pay out of pocket.

Reach out to a collision center near you to learn more.