Here at Germain Collision Center, we get quite a few calls asking for information about our auto body & collision repair services, not only directions and hours, but detailed questions about the auto body & collision repair process in general.
We felt it would be very helpful to our customers to come up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answer them here on a public forum. If you don’t see the answer to your collision repair question here, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at 614-793-0222!
When my car is in an accident, do I have to take it to a shop that my insurance company recommends?
It is completely your decision to have collision repairs done at your shop of choice, however if the insurance company is directing you to a certain facility that means they are comfortable with that shop and usually your claim will go more smoothly.
If I have a leased car, is it necessary to get it fixed at the dealership I purchased it from?
You do not have to, but if there are any problems when you go to trade in or lease return your car, if the dealership body shop repaired it, it should be covered by their warranty and not some independent shop that might not have a warranty.
What is the difference between body shops at dealerships or independent body shops?
Most independent collision repair and body shops sort of make their own rules and fees for doing bodywork and sometimes don’t have the quality control that a dealership does.
Also if the dealership sells the type of vehicle you drive, they are much more experienced with that line and usually have parts available quicker. They are able to offer additional services while your car is down for repairs (i.e. oil changes, recalls, detail work, or possible future new car purchases)which makes it more convenient for you as a consumer.
When choosing a body shop to repair my vehicle what should I look for?
Number one is the quality of the collision repair that the shop does, most shops nowadays have a website that usually has testimonials from customers and/or before and after pictures of vehicles they repaired.
Also be sure to look for certification at the shop (I-car, ASE certification or any frame machine certification). The longer a technician has been doing body repairs also contributes to the knowledge and experience they have with auto body repairs.
I also look for a clean and presentable facility (if the office looks like a mess, than usually the shop itself will be in a worse condition) office staff should be friendly and greet you with a smile.
What happens if I pick my car up from a body shop and find a problem later on?
Most body shops have some sort of a guarantee or warranty for the repairs they perform. If the problem that occurs is related to the accident and not a workmanship problem with the body shop, then you can go back to the insurance company up to two years after the time of the accident for anything else that happens.
Make sure before you take your car to a body shop you research the shop and see what their warranty is and exactly what it covers and for how long.
I have been receiving multiple phone calls after my accident from body shops, lawyers and chiropractors all trying to get me to use them. What should I do?
In this industry those companies are known as “ambulance chasers” and usually they don’t have your best interest in mind. Not sure on what the lawyers and doctors try to get you to do, but I have personally talked to customers who received the same calls about taking their vehicle to a body shop who promises to save a deductible or cut you a check back when the car is done.
About nine out of ten people told me that once their car was finished they did not get what they were promised or the repairs looked like a twelve year old was working on their car.
There was an article in the Columbus Dispatch a few months ago that targeted a body shop that had done this same “bait and trap” to some customers and they were sued for it. Beware of the old saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”