Many years ago, people involved in accidents were asked to get three estimates and turn them into their insurance company. This practice is no longer necessary and there is no need for you to get more than ONE estimate. After an accident, always contact your insurance company first to get the estimate ball rolling. Most likely, they will send an adjuster to you, or ask you to send photos of the damage, so that they can write the initial estimate. The initial estimate is NOT the final repair bill. The initial estimate is written based on visual damage only.
Most insurance companies are now mandating that their adjusters write the initial estimate and will not accept a body shop’s estimate. They are doing this mainly to ensure that an accident did actually occur, and to make sure they are not paying for any preexisting damage that occurred before the current accident. In some cases, the insurance company prefers to write their own initial estimate, which will be lower than the actual cost of repairs, because they are hoping you will take the money and run…but that is an entirely separate topic for another blog!
Once you have an insurance estimate, you do NOT need to have a body shop do an additional estimate – at this point you just need to call us at (303) 278-1903 or visit us online at www.autosportcollisionrepairs.com to schedule your vehicle for repairs.
It is common for the initial estimate to be much lower than what it will actually cost to repair your vehicle – no need to worry, that is common as all of the damage cannot be assessed through a visual inspection alone. After the vehicle has been disassembled, and throughout the repair process, the body tech may find additional damage and we will work directly with your insurance company to adjust their initial estimate to cover the additional costs for repairs; this is called a supplement.
Always remember, while the insurance company can require you to have your initial estimate written by a specific shop or adjuster; they can NOT decide who ultimately repairs your vehicle. That decision is up to YOU! As the owner of the damaged vehicle, under Colorado Law YOU have the right to select what shop will be making the repairs.