For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.
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Q. What is the first step?
A. Give us a call and speak with one of our friendly staff at Advanced Auto Refinishing. With nearly 30 years of experience in working successfully with auto insurance companies, we will advise you on the next steps that make the best sense for you and for your wallet.
Q. If I need to get my car towed to Advanced Auto Refinishing, do I need to arrange it? Who pays for the towing?
A. If your car is not in driving condition, we will call the tow truck company we usually deal with. If you have insurance, Advanced Auto will bill your insurance company. The towing charges will become part of the overall repair bill. If you decide to pay for the repairs out of pocket, the towing charges will be part of the repair bill.
Q. Can Advanced Auto Refinishing help me get a rental car?
A. If you are the claimant—that is, the other party is at fault—then the other party’s insurance company will arrange and pay for a rental car. If you are the insured—that is, you are at fault—your insurance company can still provide you a rental car. Check with your insurance company if you have rental car coverage. If you do, ask them about the types of car they will cover and the number of days available to you and other limitations.
And when your car is ready, simply leave the rental car at Advanced Auto Refinishing with the same amount of gas as when you accepted it and the rental company will pick it up here. No hassles. Guaranteed.
Q. How do I get an estimate of the damage?
A. We will get the paperwork started by completing an estimate of visible damage. You need to know that we do not give estimates over the phone. Ideally, come into the shop and sit down with us over a cup of coffee while we go over your detailed estimate line- by-line. But if your car was towed, we’ll be glad to fax you a copy and review the estimate with you and let you know what we have found out about what will be involved to repair your car.
We invest considerable time and energy into preparing a detailed and thorough estimate. A cursory visual inspection just isn’t the same as a thorough inventory of damage and complete estimate like the kind performed by Advanced Auto Refinishing. We use a computerized program to drive the check list that we use to inspect for damage and to recommend needed repairs.
Remember that the estimate is the first step in a negotiation between the insurance company and our body shop. We work with numerous insurance companies and know what each insurance company requires to approve a repair and we take great pride in our ability to resolve all issues in the interest of our customer.
Q. Are your estimates accurate?
A. Advanced Auto Refinishing uses a computerized program, CCC One, to generate a thorough, detailed list of repairs. We don’t just stand up and look at the car from 10 feet away. We get dirty and actually slide underneath the car. Count on the Advanced Auto Refinishing’s estimate being a solid predictor of the final actual repair costs.
Q. Why are your prices sometimes higher?
A. Don’t be fooled by a low-ball estimate. Some “less than honest” shops will lure you in with a low estimate only for you to find that hundreds of dollars in extra costs are added on.
Our first estimate is highly accurate. We take the time to develop a detailed, computer-driven estimate. We are governed by a code of ethics that demands that we reveal our costs upfront.
Additionally, on every repair we use the best quality materials and employ highly experience and trained technicians to restore your vehicle to factory conditions.
Q. What if Advanced Auto Refinishing finds damage that the adjuster did not?
A. Sometimes additional damage is found after the car is disassembled. If additional loss-related damage is found, our estimator would then write up a supplemental estimate to include the additional damage. A second check would be issued.
When you drop off your car, you will be asked to fill out a form that gives Advanced Auto Refinishing the authority to negotiate with the insurance company in order for you to obtain the best possible repair.
Q. Can I take my car to any shop?
A. Remember you have the final say in what shop to use. California law requires that you decide—not the insurance company—what shop repairs your car.
Advanced Auto Refinishing is a direct repair facility for several major insurance companies. But we also work with over 35 auto insurance companies located around the country not just in California. Our experience and reputation as a top-rated facility enable us to negotiate with insurers to make sure you—our customer—have the best possible outcome.
We will be glad to explain to you in detail our estimate for each item to be repaired, what your insurance company allows and the impact of these financial limits. For instance, your insurance company may stipulate that only after-market parts can be used to repair your car.
Q. Do you have after-hours drop-off?
A. Yes. If your car will be dropped off before or after business hours, we will have one of our staff at our facility waiting to help you with the drop off process!
Q. Do you offer a guarantee or warranty?
A. Even though state law and insurance companies do not require that we offer a warranty, we put customer satisfaction above all and offer a limited lifetime warranty. We warrant the quality of our repairs for as long as you own your car—no “if’s”, “and’s”, or “but’s”. We stand behind what we do and put it in writing.
Q. Should I pay for the repair out of pocket rather than file a claim with my insurance company?
A. This is perhaps the most important question we answer. If your personal budget permits you to assume the cost of the repair and you feel you can pay the bill without too much financial pain, you should consider paying out of pocket. And remember that if you are found to be at fault in the accident, your rates may go up. You need to factor that in, also.
Keep your options open. Talk to us at Advanced Auto Refinishing so that you can make an informed decision BEFORE you submit a claim. Let us suggest whether or not it makes sense to pay for the repairs out of pocket or submit a claim.
Q. If I have a problem with my claim should I call you or my insurance company?
A. Advanced Auto Refinishing is committed to delivering the best experience possible in a difficult and sometimes stressful time. If there is a question or issue about an estimate, we will work with the insurance adjuster to resolve it. However, if there is an issue about how your medical or emergency room bills are handled, you should direct those to the adjuster.
Q. Will the repair charges be subject to a deductible?
A. A deductible would not be applied if the other party were at fault in the accident. If you are held responsible, you would have to pay a deductible according to the terms of your policy. For instance, if your damages totaled $4,000 and your collision deductible is $500, then your insurance company would issue you a check for $3500.00 and you would be responsible for $500.00 in out-of-pocket costs. Deductibles are only applied once per claim. If additional damages were found, your deductible would not be applied to the additional charges.
If you decide to use your own insurance to pay for the repair even though the other party was at fault, you would lose access to your deductible for a short period of time. According to the rules of insurance subrogation, you must temporarily forfeit your deductible in order for your insurance company to handle your claim. This is a highly technical area of insurance and Advanced Auto Refinishing will be glad to help you understand when subrogation is a good option for you.
Q. Will this accident make my premiums costs go up?
A. That depends on the rules your insurer uses to rate your policy. If you are a male and under the age of 21, you already know you pay more for insurance. But there are several additional factors that the insurance company takes into account after an accident:
- Determination of who was at fault
- Total amount of damages paid including health and medical expenses
- State regulations
- Your previous accident and conviction history
- How severe the accident was.
Because there are so many variables involved, you should talk to your insurance agent.
Q. What’s the difference between being the claimant and the insured?
A. This is an importance difference and it reflects who was at fault in causing the automobile accident. If you were at fault—and it may take the two insurance companies some time to resolve this issue—your insurance company will be responsible for paying for the repair of both your car and the other party’s vehicle. The other party is called the claimant and you are called the insured under this scenario.
If, however, the other party is found to be at fault, then his or her insurance company is responsible. In this situation you are the claimant and the other party is the insured.
Q. The adjuster said my car is a total loss. Now what?
A. Like too many things in life, the answer varies. If the cost to repair your car approaches its actual cash value, it may be a considered a total loss. If it is a total loss, you will receive a check or the check will be mailed to the lien holder.
Even if the insurer declared your car totaled, you can still have it repaired. Your decision to have the car repaired depends upon the severity of the accident and several other factors.
We will advise you on the implications of repairing your car if the insurance company declares it a total loss. You need to understand what will happen if your title is stamped “salvage” as the result of the insurance company declaring the car a total loss . Look to us for accurate, detailed information on this point.
Q. How long will it be before Advanced Auto Refinishing begins work on my car?
A. It depends on whether your car was drivable or towed. If your car was towed, then you were probably involved in a more serious accident and you should expect to leave your car at our shop for a while. Typically repairs begin until the car has been inspected by the insurance adjuster, liability determined and parts ordered—a process that could take three to five days. If your damage is less extensive and you can drive it to the shop, we will order the parts ahead of time so that they are waiting for you when you bring your car in.
Q. What is involved in the repair?
A. At every step throughout the repair process, our focus is on quality. We pay careful attention to detail. After each step in the repair process, we inspect our work to make sure we meet specifications.
After the repair is completed, your car is carefully inspected by our office staff to make sure the repair conforms to our high standards. If it does, we call you to come out to inspect your car to see if it meets your specifications.
As a final step, your car is carefully vacuumed inside and the exterior carefully washed. All windows inside and out and interior paneling is cleaned. When you come to pick up your car, you’ll find paper pads on the floors and it will smell clean!
Before you leave, we ask to you to fill out a customer satisfaction form that records your satisfaction with Advanced Auto Refinishing.
Lifetime guarantee. Each repair including paint and collision repair comes with a limited lifetime warranty as long as your own the vehicle. If you don’t like something we did, bring it back and we’ll make it right. At Advanced Auto Refinishing, we put customer satisfaction above all. We warrant the quality of our repairs for as long as you own your car—no “if’s”, “and’s”, or “but’s”.