Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your local Body Shop?

We will give you a glimpse into the daily world of a Collision Repair shop and point out some of the things we deal with on a daily basis that you probably never even thought about.

When writing an estimate it is very important to insure you have accurate information, there could be a many various option packages for the same year / model vehicle, it is for this reason the shop must have the correct VIN or “vehicle identification number”, model, year, options etc.

When a vehicle comes to our shop we will get out to look at the vehicle even if we will be waiting for the insurance company to write the estimate, the reason being the repair shop realizes the importance of accurate information.

Insurance adjusters / appraisers may sometimes get buried with work and in an effort to speed things along will create an estimate that covers the core damage, some vehicles will have multiple options for any given part and the estimating system will list these.

Sometimes it will take time and research to determine exactly what options / parts should be used for the repair of your vehicle, time the adjuster / appraiser simply may not have or they may just be lazy but all three of these scenarios only creates more work and higher supplement amounts on the back-end.

Another scenario is the adjuster may realize the vehicle will be a total loss or feels the customer may just “cash out” meaning he may have a gut feeling this customer is going to take the insurance payment and not have the vehicle repaired, in both of these scenarios the appraiser may not take the time nailing down the exact part or dollar amount. If the vehicle is a total loss this may not have much of an effect on the bottom line they are going to offer but if you are just wanting to cash out and not repair the vehicle you may loose out on a short sheet.

We will take photos to document any damage that may be on the vehicle that is not related to the loss, scratches, door dings etc. then we will confirm mileage, fuel level, tire and wheel size, power accessories, transmission type and so on.

When we do get the insurance estimate it may be mirrored or “re wrote” into our system and every detail must match, labor hours, parts prices, procedures and yes, all the incorrect and inaccurate items must also be put on the estimate.
As we go over the insurance estimate anything that is incorrect or inaccurate will be highlighted with a Pink highlighter and place a brief note for reference, once the estimates match we then lock the estimate.

Before any parts can be ordered we must create a supplement in the estimating system which unlocks the estimate so we can make changes to it and then go over and correct the inaccurate information that was on the insurance estimate.

Below are some photos to help illustrate.

While the corrections are being made we must document and note exactly why the change was made, if not the shop may not get paid for the changes.
I will give you an example, GM pick up truck hit in the front end, the original insurance estimate was wrote for a standard GM pick up truck but in reality this was a HD pickup truck.
Before the repairs even began there was a $2000.00 supplement on parts prices alone.
Don’t think this happens all the time because it doesn’t, but be prepared.
Categories
Auto Insurance 101
WHAT PARTS DOES YOUR INS CO WANT TO USE?
DRP HORROR STORIES
Why Ins. companies don’t pay claims.
CNN 360 Anderson Cooper – Auto Insurance Part 1