Here are some things you should know.

First and foremost let the shop know your intention’s and the reason for your estimate,
under normal circumstances you will only have a few reasons to be shopping for an estimate.“Is the estimate for an insurance claim?” if so what insurance company?
This is very important as each insurance company has their own guidelines that should be adhered to.
“Most Insurance companies will require you to visit a particular shop or visit a drive in claim center
for your estimate.”

If you already have an insurance estimate or an appointment to have an estimate wrote from or for the insurance company please allow the shop of your choice to review your estimate to make sure it is correct and help explain the estimate to you.

Many shops will start the repair process based on the estimate provided by the insurance company appraiser or an approved estimate wrote by the facility the insurance company referred you to, this is done so the repair facility can document what “the Insurance company” has on their estimate and then add any missing or hidden damage found on a supplement and present this to the insurance company.

If this is not an insurance claim and you are paying out of pocket let the shop know what your budget is.
The shop will be able to tell quickly if the repair cost will exceed your budget and help you make an
informed decision on how to proceed.
Valuable time may be wasted if you have the shop write an estimate only to have you tell them you only have X amount to work with.

If you have received payment from an insurance company and your plans are to have your vehicle
repaired and put some money in your pocket be aware that an estimate is based on a visual inspection
and nearly every estimate wrote will require a supplement before the repairs are completed.

What this means is you risk paying out of pocket for the supplemental amount it will take
to complete the repairs to your vehicle if you sign off on the claim, best practice is to consult the Body Shop of your choice.
If you have received a payment from an insurance company and do plan on having the repairs done keep the insurance check and ask your repair facility what the preferred payment method is.

Many repair shops do not take personal checks and prefer not to accept credit cards for payment as the credit card fee’s can eat into the shops bottom line.

Click here to see an example of why you should be prepared for a supplement.

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