When you have an automobile accident or your car needs repairs there are certain steps to take. Your insurance company may require that you notify it whether or not you want the company to fix your car. Insurance companies operate on their rules and also state requirements. Some people will opt to have their car repaired without using their insurance company so there is not an increase in future premiums.
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Determine the extent of the damage to your vehicle. Get estimates from auto body repair shops. Make sure you are dealing with trustworthy shops. Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints.
Call your insurance company. Even though you are not going to have your company pay for the repairs, it may want to know about the damage to your car. This requirement can be written into the terms of your policy. Find out how your company functions. It will likely make a note of the damages, and if you have another accident at a later date and file a claim, it may not have record of the repairs from the initial accident if they were not reported.
Choose a repair shop. Once the repairs are done, look over your vehicle to make sure you are satisfied. The best time to deal with discrepancies is when you discover them and while you are at the shop. Once you leave the shop, if something does not meet your expectations it will be harder to prove it was the result of work performed there.
Take your car for a test drive after repairs are complete. Make sure there are no sounds, squeaks or rattling parts. Pay for the repair when you are satisfied. If you use a major credit card, it will be easier to dispute any substandard work later on.
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