Insurance Claims

Every once in a while life throws you a curveball. Auto accidents are one of those times. All of a sudden, your daily routine is interrupted and you find yourself thrust into the world of insurance claims and collision repair. Unless you are a body shop owner or insurance agent, this world is unfamiliar to you. Naturally, the first thing you do when you’ve been in an accident is call your insurance company. Your insurance company will then direct you to an “approved” auto body shop that can provide you with an estimate and help you file your insurance claim.

Stop right there! Auto Insurance Claims STOP!There is something that your insurance company may not tell you about. That is, that you have a choice where you bring your car to for damage assessment and repair. Insurance companies have a list of preferred body shops they call “pro shops “or “direct repair facilities.” These body shops have an agreement with that insurance company to follow their guidelines for repairing any vehicle insured by them. This can affect the quality of body repair you ultimately receive for three reasons:

Flat rate. Some direct repair facilities pay a “flat rate” or fixed-price for any given repair. Let’s say your front fender and headlamp was crushed in an accident. The insurance company has determined it will take 10 hours to repair it to pre-accident condition. A flat rate shop will pay their technician 10 hours even if the repair is completed in half of that time. At Bailey’s we feel that this can encourage cutting corners so all of our employees are paid hourly.

After-market products and other money-savers.In the fine print of your insurance policy it may state that the insurance company reserves the right to use aftermarket parts. There are parts manufactured by a third party, not by your vehicle manufacturer. This can be anything from a body panel to lamp fixture, or mounting bracket.The fit and finish on these parts may not be up to the same standard as a part made by your vehicle manufacturer. A direct repair facility might turn a blind eye to these problems, but Bailey’s Auto Body shopwill reject any parts that are not a perfect fit for your vehicle.

Those devilish details. Insurance companies have a legal mandate to restore the vehicle to its“pre-accident condition.” In the process of restoring an automobile to “pre-accident condition,” however, the devil is in the details. The technicians in our Merrimack body shop have a keen eye for details. We will often see things in our own inspection of the vehicle that the insurance adjuster missed, or the insurance company denied coverage for. As an expert advocate for our client, Bailey’s Auto Body will appeal a denied claim with detailed documentation that justifies the repair. A direct repair facility body that depends on referrals from the insurance company they have a contract with may not rock the boat.

At Bailey’s, we are an independent auto body shop.We do not have any contracts with insurance companies. This allows us to work with any insurance company – without working for any insurance company – and our customers benefit from this. We have the freedom to fix vehicles the way that we know they should be fixed, and not the way we are being told to fix them.