We Take the Hassle Out of Insurance ClaimsBasic rights in the State of Michigan:
You have the right to select the collision repair facility of YOUR choice.
You have the right to GENUINE, original equipment parts (OEM).
You have the right to an itemized WRITTEN estimate before ANY repairs are started that will cost $20 or more.
You have the right to know about and approve (or refuse) any work done BEYOND the estimate.
You have the right to RECEIVE or INSPECT all replaced parts. Be sure to ask for them when you pick up your vehicle.
You have the right to a guarantee that your vehicle will be repaired to factory specifications.
You have the right to have repairs made by a Michigan certified mechanic.
You have the right to an itemized final bill.
You have the right to be reimbursed for any diminished value.
You have the right to a local retail market evaluation if your vehicle is totaled.
If you didn't cause the accident, you have additional rights from the at fault insurance carrier including:
The right at no charge, to a rental vehicle of like kind, size, and quality to your own.
The right to recovery of any deductible or betterment charges.
10 Things That You Need To Know...and More!
1 - Your car is the second largest investment that you are likely to make during your lifetime. Preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired professionally. Keep in mind that "professionally" means "properly". To preserve a vehicle's value, it must be repaired so as not to add any diminished value that is not inherent. Safety should be the paramount issue in collision repair. Many insurance companies and/or collision repair facilities tend to forget this fact. Make sure that YOU do not, and stick to it.
2 - NEVER drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages. If the vehicle has been in an accident, there may be hidden damage that could cause serious safety issues that you may not be aware of. See if the repair facility or the insurance company can provide you with towing services. Precision Collision can provide you towing services through ASAP Towing. Keep in mind that YOUR insurance company may not cover a SECOND accident in that same vehicle if it was later determined to be caused by safety issues created in the FIRST accident. Why risk your life and the lives of others?
3 - Some insurance companies may want you to visit their own drive-in claims center before having your vehicle repaired. You CAN do this, if YOU choose, OR you can LEAVE your vehicle at a collision repair shop of YOUR CHOICE and ask that the insurance company inspect the vehicle there. Many people are not aware of this. Keep in mind that an insurance company may attempt to "delay their visit" or will state that they "may be unable to efficiently handle your claim" to inspect the vehicle in an effort to get YOU the consumer to go directly to their so-called "recommended shop" or the shop on the so-called "approved list" where they "do not even have to inspect it, work can begin immediately". This is a MANIPULATIVE PLOY to steer collision repair work to certain collision repair shop(s) of their own choice. Is this unfair? You bet! Is it deceptive? Absolutely! Do consumers sometimes give-in to this manipulation from insurance companies? Yes, far too many times. Most insurance companies will try to "persuade" you to (in fact most will say you have to - you don't) have your car repaired at one of their "affiliated" shops, "Direct Repair Program" facilities, or whatever that particular company calls it. These shops usually discount the repairs for the insurance company, using after-market parts (which do not meet the safety and appearance requirements of your vehicle's manufacturer), and taking shortcuts such as not replacing damaged hidden parts, repairing parts that should have been replaced, etc. Be aware of YOUR rights and stick to YOUR choice. Don't be bullied around with myths about the law, company policies, and YOUR rights!
4 - You ARE NOT required BY LAW to obtain more than ONE estimate or appraisal. This ONE estimate or appraisal can be at any ONE licensed Michigan facility that YOU choose! Cutting Edge Collision is licensed in the State of Michigan.
5 - You have the RIGHT to go to the collision repair shop of YOUR CHOICE. YOUR insurance company CANNOT require you to go to a particular collision repair shop. Michigan law does protect consumers, however, insurance companies will use various word-tactics to deter consumers from doing so. Be aware of YOUR rights and stick to YOUR choice. Don't be bullied around with myths about the law, company policies, and YOUR rights! Your insurance company is required by law to promptly begin good faith negotiations with any licensed shop you select. If the damage is covered by insurance, you are entitled to have your vehicle restored to pre-loss condition with respect to safety, function, appearance and value; or to be compensated for the actual cash pre-loss value.
6 - Differences in collision repair estimates are COMMON. A LOWER ESTIMATE may NOT include all necessary work. If you are not sure why one estimate is different from another estimate that you have received, BE SURE to ask the collision repair shop manager why. The only real gauge of potential savings on the repair of a damaged vehicle is the FINAL BILL including ALL SUPPLEMENTS. This is the consumers weapon against any inflated charges or safety factors left out! Keep in mind the part about diminished value.
7 - Choose a collision repair shop that has uni-body repair equipment and/or also has certified technicians (such as by I-CAR, ATEG, or ASE for example). The use of a well trained collision repair shop is very important! In Michigan, the repair shop also has to be a repair facility licensed by the State of Michigan - as well as the mechanics who work there. Verify this information while you are there - or online before you visit.
8 - Ask if the collision repair shop will be using manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts. Michigan law REQUIRES all repair shops to inform the consumer if non-OEM parts are used in a repair. If the facility fails to inform you of this, then they may be liable for expensive/embarrassing repairs at no cost to you at a later date.
9 - Ask if the collision repair shop offers a written repair warranty. Many insurers will tell the consumer that "they cannot guarantee" the work of a non-approved collision repair facility. However, most insurers DO NOT directly guarantee a collision repair shop's work anyway. They require their "chosen" collision repair shops to offer a warranty, but they do NOT ACTUALITY OFFER IT THEMSELVES. YOU, the CONSUMER, should ask YOUR insurer to offer you a written copy of "their" guarantee if they try this approach on you.
10 - Let the collision repair shop that YOU choose help YOU to negotiate YOUR claim with the insurance company - this often leads to a better deal. This applies only to certain collision repair shops in certain instances. Your choice of collision repair shop MAY be able to help you out with certain issues. Certain collision repair shops will also need the help of the consumer to leverage ANY possible effect that this may even have. DO NOT rely on this - it is mostly a myth.
At Cutting Edge Collision, we accept most insurance policies. For the past 20 years we have built strong working relationships with the various insurance companies in the area. Our staff can eliminate some of the hassles that come with an accident like dealing with the insurance company.
We understand that accidents, even minor ones, can be a major disruption to your daily life. Our goal is to help you through the entire process from 24-hour collision-related towing, to offering rental cars, to pick up and delivery of your fully repaired vehicle.
Call us at Cutting Edge Collision in Taylor, Michigan we can help you get back on the road.