Some questions from our customers
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Q: What should I do if I am involved in an accident?A: Stop and make sure everyone is ok. Call for help if necessary and call the police! A police report helps protect your rights, whether you are at fault or not. Don’t always trust the other person to pay for your damages out of pocket. Take photos of damages to all vehicles involved and exchange information with the other parties. If the police believe your vehicle is not drivable, they may call a tow truck. Ask the tow company to deliver your vehicle to the shop of your choice. Call your insurance company to report the accident.
Q: Can I take my vehicle to the repair shop of my choice?A: Yes! Although some insurance companies may ask for you to take your vehicle to one of their RECOMMENDED or PREFERRED shops. They can only recommend, not force you to do so. The insurance company may have an agreement on labor rates and or procedures with that shop. It doesn’t mean another repair facility wont warranty the repair. If your vehicle was towed to a facility without your consent, call your insurance company. A collision shop cannot legally start repairs without your consent, preferably in writing.
Q: Who’s estimate do you use when you fix my car, yours or my insurance company’s?A. FIRST, your insurance company usually asks for an estimate from a collision shop so they can determine if they need to send an adjuster to look at your car. If it is a small loss sometimes they will work directly from the shop’s estimate. An estimate from us (or any other shop) is just that, an estimate. There is a good chance there may be hidden damages that will only be found once the car is in the shop and torn down, which of course, is the only way to get an accurate estimate of damages. Because of this, collision shops work off the insurance company’s estimates. The additional damages are called in to your insurance company and we are paid directly from them, not you. When your car is repaired, usually your insurance company sends you a form “certificate of completion”, this form needs to be signed by you and by the shop stating the repairs have been completed as per the estimate. We will only sign this if we work off the insurance estimate.
Q: How many estimates do I need to have for my insurance company?A: By New York State law, you are only required to have one estimate for your vehicle after an accident. Insurance companies ask you to have a couple estimates so they can choose the least expensive facility. Unfortunately, the least expensive is not always the best. A low estimate may simply mean that the shop is leaving out necessary labor or parts in order to secure the job and submit the additional damages to the insurance company after the job is in the shop!
Q: What is the difference between OE(OEM), Aftermarket and used parts? A: OE parts are from your vehicle’s manufacturer, be it GM, FORD, DODGE, etc.. these parts come from the same maker as your vehicle. Aftermarket parts are copies made by companies other than your vehicle’s manufacturer and may not be made to the tolerances and specifications of OE parts. Many people prefer aftermarket to OE because there is usually quite a price difference. Used parts are also referred to as “recycled”. They are parts found in a scrap yard but most of the time they are OE parts that come off a totaled or damaged vehicle so the price is dramatically less.
Q: How does paint matching work?A: Ray’s Collision only uses a state-of-the-art paint mixing system by Sherwin Williams Automotive Paints. Every vehicle has a paint code. We take this code and enter it into our mixing program that assures us a quality match every time! This system assures that your vehicle will be returned to you in a pre-accident condition.
Q: How much do you charge for an estimate?A: NOTHING! We offer free computerized estimates available anytime during our normal business hours, feel free to stop in, no need to call ahead.
Q: Can you handle all aspects of my insurance repair? A: Absolutely! We work with all insurance companies. We can even help you report your claim, find the insurance company phone number if you have a police report and keep you informed of your vehicle status throughout the repair process by email, phone or online with our vehicle status page!
Q: What methods of payment do you accept?A: Payment is due in full before we can release your vehicle. If your car is being repaired through your auto insurance, your deductible (if applicable) will be due at the time of vehicle pick up. WE accept: cash, mastercard, visa, AMEX, discover and cashier checks or money orders.
Q: Do you work on Foreign Vehicles?A. We work on all makes and models, foreign and domestic including Hybrids!
Q: If my vehicle’s frame is damaged, is it a total loss?A. No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with aid of our state-of-the-art computer measurement system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
Q: Will my insurance go up if I turn in this claim?A. This will depend on the amount of damages, the number of accidents you’ve had in a 3-yr period and your insurance company. Most claims over $1000 (if you are at fault) are chargeable incidences. Insurance companies cannot legally charge you for that accident until your next renewal. Some companies have an accident forgiveness policy. Check with your insurance agent for details. One factor that can help everyone is the accident prevention discount credit. This course is offered online at www.defensivedriving.com or www.4tdds.com, this can save up to 10% on part of your premiums for the next 3 years.