How to Get a Repair Estimate After a Car Accident

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If you need to get a repair estimate after a car accident, you’ll want to speak to your car insurance company, do some preliminary research on reputable body shops, and then call to make an appointment.
Good communication with your insurer is key, as some car insurance companies will only cover repairs that are completed by ‘preferred’ or ‘approved’ auto body shops.
If you’ve found yourself in need of car body repairs and are wondering how to get a repair estimate after a car accident, car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know to get started.
Here’s what you’ll need to do.
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Contact your insurance company

Get in touch with your insurance company before you start shopping around for repair estimates.
In some cases, the insurance company may need to be involved in choosing the repair shop. Some providers might even arrange the repairs for you.
If not, ask your insurer if they have guidelines and limitations in place about what type of repair shop you can choose. Some companies may require that certain types of parts are used during the repairs. Finally, clarify what documentation you’ll need to provide them with to help the claims process flow smoothly.

Do your research

During the research phase, aim to get at least three written estimates. Be sure they include a breakdown of all the repairs and the costs of parts and labor.
Getting multiple quotes will help you find the most affordable estimate—but the price isn’t the only thing to think about. You also want to keep the quality and reliability of the service and the overall logistics in mind when narrowing down your picks.

Customer satisfaction ratings

Before you reach out to a shop, check out their reviews and certifications to get a better idea of the overall reputation of the business.
Use online reviews to help you narrow down your choices to shops known for reliable work and high-quality service. Sites like Carwise are a good place to start.
Some insurance companies will require repair shops to carry specific qualifications. You can use sites like SRCS to verify a shop’s qualifications online. You can also check the shop’s website to ensure that they hire ASE-certified mechanics trained to high-quality service standards.
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Don’t forget to keep practical logistics in mind when you shop for quotes. Some important questions to ask include:
  • What is the base price of repairs, including labor, in relation to the type of repair work to be done?
  • How long will it take to complete the job?
  • Can the shop work directly with your insurance company to settle the payment, or will you have to handle the payments yourself?
  • Does the shop offer a warranty or guarantee on their labor?
Key Takeaway Comparing multiple quotes will help you find a shop that offers high-quality and convenient service at an affordable price.

Get some estimates

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can start getting repair estimates. The car specialist will physically inspect your car and estimate the total cost of repairs.
Repair shops typically use reference manuals to determine how long the repairs will take and how much the parts and labor will cost.
You might be able to book an appointment for an estimate online through the shop’s website. If not, you can always just call them up. Most shops will conduct estimates for free, but you’ll want to be sure to put at least 30 minutes aside for the appointment.

Choose a shop

When making your final decision, don’t forget to factor in both cost and quality. Rather than making your choice based on price alone, opt for a repair business that has a well-established reputation for quality in addition to offering competitively priced services.
If you choose a cheap fix, you could end up paying more for repairs in the long run—especially if the shop doesn’t offer guarantees on their service.
Be sure to reach out to your insurance company to verify your choice before you commit. Once you get the go-ahead from the insurance company, you can call up the car service specialist you’ve chosen to book your repairs.

Finding the best insurance for your car

If you recently filed a claim, it’s a good time to shop around for a new policy. Insurance rates often go up after an accident, and different providers might offer more competitive rates.
If you’d rather leave the hard work of gathering car insurance quotes to someone else, use Jerry. This free app can collect quotes from 50 top insurance companies in seconds!
Once you make your pick, Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and canceling your old one. No long forms, no calling around, no hard work… just savings. The average Jerry user saves $879 a year on car insurance.
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