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Should You Get Collision Coverage?

Collisions are stressful and overwhelming on their own. Now imagine being involved in a collision, not having collision coverage on your vehicle, and having to pay for the damage to your car out of your pocket. We say “no thanks!”

Collision coverage is a type of insurance that covers accidents with other motor vehicles as well as objects like fences or trees. Important to note, collision coverage does not cover everything, i.e. medical bills or damage to your car that isn’t a direct result of a collisions (hail storms, break ins, etc.).

When adding collision coverage to your insurance policy, you should consider your deductible, which is the money you are responsible for paying prior to your insurance coverage kicking in. When thinking about your deductible there are a few things to take into consideration: monthly cost or premium, risk-level for you as a driver (teens have a higher cost because they are considered a higher risk), your driving record, and your car and situation. Consider how old your vehicle is and its worth to you.

Depending on how old your car is, sometimes collision coverage just isn’t worth it. Why? Insurance companies only pay fair market value for damage done to your vehicle. Generally, if your car is more than 10 years old, this is when you should consider dropping the coverage to save money.

There are some instances where you can’t drop collision insurance, such as when financing or leasing your vehicle. Only when you own it outright can you make this choice.

Finally, look at your emergency savings. If you have little to no savings and would be lost without your vehicle, you may want to keep collision coverage just to be safe.

If you have any questions about collision coverage or you’ve been in a collision and need your car to be repaired, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today.

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What to do After an Out of Town Car Accident

Vacation is supposed to be a wonderful time, but the dreaded out of town car accident can turn a vacation sour in the blink of an eye.

The first thing you want to do after an accident is ensure everyone is okay and call for help if not. Afterwards, take as many pictures as you can. If the other driver was at fault, you will want to document the accident through your photos. You’ll need to safely move your vehicle from the roadway, get information from other vehicles involved, and contact your insurance company.

Does Insurance Cover Out of Town Repair Costs?

Typically, yes. US insurance plans generally cover any accidents that occur in the continental US, and some policies cover outside of the US. It is best to get ahold of your agent and explain thoroughly all the details of the accident, and if possible send any photos you may have.

After your accident, your insurance company will likely recommend a repair shop in the area. You may not have any control over an out of town accident that happens, but by taking action, you can minimize frustration. If you have any questions about an out of town accident, feel free to call one of the members of Your Hometown Bodyshop today. Top of Form

Driving in the Rain | Your Hometown BodyShop

How Much Do Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident

Being in a car accident can leave you shaken up, but fortunately that feeling will slowly wear off over time. Unfortunately, the next time you open your car insurance bill, you may be shaken all over again.

Once you’ve reported an accident to your insurance company, your rates may increase. The increase will depend upon a few factors including the severity of the accident, damage incurred, who was at fault, and your driving history.

If you were not at fault, your insurance company may not choose to raise your rates. However, if you’ve had several accidents, even no-fault, you may see a rise in your bill.

If your insurance rates do go up, you may see anywhere from a 3% to 50% increase over what you were paying before the accident. This is a wide range because there is no way of knowing the true figure without knowing the specific details of the accident and your driving record. Your agent can give you the exact figure.

While an increase in your car insurance rate may be inevitable, there are a few actions you can take to keep them as low as possible. Some insurance companies offer Accident Forgiveness where they will overlook your first accident and leave your premium alone, however every company is different so it’s important to ask your company how that works. You can consider increasing your deductible – the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be. Drop unnecessary coverage if your car is older. You can see if your insurance has other discounts like good students, higher levels of education, packages if you bundle, and multiple drivers. Take a driving class! Many insurance companies will lower your rates if you attend a safe driving class and it’s a good opportunity to sharpen your skills and remind yourself exactly what the laws are.

You can always shop around – not all insurance companies are the same and some will hold an accident against you more than others.  With the right knowledge of car insurance providers and policies, you should be able to keep your rates low enough that you can get back on the road after an accident!

If you have any questions about your collision repair, call one of the member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

 

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Hidden Damage Found During Repairs

A car accident can lead to hidden auto body damage found during repairs. Damage during a collision can range from superficial dents and scratches to significant internal destruction.

After your vehicle is involved in a collision, an inspector with your insurance company will perform a scrutinizing visual inspection of the damage sustained. This only estimates the damage from a visual standpoint and hidden damage can often later be uncovered by the collision center when working on your vehicle.

Once the collision center has begun the repair process by removing damaged areas of the vehicle, they are able to diagnose any additional damage sustained by the vehicle. If hidden damage is revealed, the collision center should contact you immediately to alert you of the findings. After this, you should contact your insurance company to inform them of the damage uncovered by the body shop.

A representative will re-inspect the vehicle at the collision center to provide a supplemental estimate, which takes into consideration the hidden damage discovered. The inspector from the insurance company will discuss a cost with the auto body shop that works for both parties. Once negotiated, the supplemental estimate should cover the cost of any additional damages found.

A visual estimate is just an estimation of cost. It is impossible to know in advance the exact cost of the repair. The member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop work with insurance companies to make claims easier for our customers. You can rest assured that putting your car in the hands of a responsible and reputable collision repair center, like one of our member shops, will ensure your vehicle back on the road as good as new.

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Benefits of Paintless Dent Removal and Repair

There is a significant difference between traditional dent repair and paintless dent removal (PDR).

With traditional dent removal, the paint in the affected area is sanded down; the crunched metal pounded into place, and any areas that aren’t smooth are filled in with putty. After that, the area must be sanded, primed, given a base coat of paint, and then a final coat. It is time consuming and expensive.

Paintless Dent Removal doesn’t mask the damage done to your car, it removes it completely from the back side of the panel. Access behind the damage panel is gained after which pressure is applied to the dented areas while carefully manipulating, massaging, and reforming the metal back to its original, pre-accident state, however if there is damage to the paint on your vehicle, PDR is typically unsuitable. The price for this procedure is considerably lower than traditional dent repair and typically only takes a day to accomplish.

Advantages of Paintless Car Dent Removal

There are several benefits to paintless dental removal including a more original vehicle, better prices, shorter repair time, and environmentally friendly procedures.

Does Your Car Qualify for Paintless Dent Repair?

Your car may qualify for PDR if your dent did not compromise the paint finish of your vehicle. Dents that are on the edges of your vehicle may be difficult to use PDR on as well as chrome or metal bumpers and fuel doors. It’s always best to seek out a local auto body repair shop to get an expert opinion. Contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today to discuss how we can assist with your auto body repairs.

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Renting A Car After An Accident: 4 Questions to Ask

If you’ve been in an accident you’ll know that a rental car is a necessity while your vehicle is fixed. Before renting a car there are a few questions you’ll want to have prepared.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of my rental car?

Rental car reimbursement, what you’ll need if you want the cost of your rental car covered after an accident, is not automatically included in most automobile insurance policies. It is most often an optional coverage. Take note, if you do have this coverage, it likely only kicks in if your own insurance policy is covering the costs of your damaged vehicle. It often is subject to payment of your deductible and the vehicle will need to be returned immediately upon completion of your auto body repairs.

Is rental car reimbursement coverage right for me?

Deciding whether or not to elect rental car reimbursement should be based on your own family situation. Start by asking yourself if your family could function with one less vehicle on a day-to-day basis. If the answer is yes, coverage may not be necessary. If the answer is no, you’ll likely need access to a rental car in the event your vehicle needs auto body repairs.

Is rental car reimbursement coverage worth it?

An average rental car costs $50 per day, which varies based on vehicle size and where you live. Depending on the severity of your vehicle damage, auto body repairs can take days to sometimes weeks to complete. Consider if you could afford this daily fee out of pocket while your vehicle is in the auto body shop. Also consider the lifetime cost of coverage. The average driver has an accident once every seven years. Compare the average cost of a rental car to your seven year cost of rental reimbursement coverage to decide if it’s worth it for you in the end.

Whatever you decide, be sure to understand that rental car reimbursement and protection when you drive a rental car. These coverages are separate. An important question to ask here is: When I get behind the wheel of a rental car, am I protected by my own automobile insurance policy?

Before getting into a rental car, review your own insurance policy to answer this question. In many cases your own personal liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, extend to a rental you may drive. If you don’t have comprehensive or collision coverage on your insurance policy, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance coverage offered by the rental agency to cover costs of damage and auto body repairs in the event of an accident. Also check with your credit card company, many offer secondary rental car insurance at no charge when the rental car is paid for on the credit card.

New Paint Job | Your Hometown Body Shop

Post Car Repair Do’s & Don’ts

You’ve been in a car accident, but fortunately you brought your vehicle to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop in Michigan for the repairs. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop care greatly about getting you back on the road quickly and safely, so they’ve made the necessary repairs using state-of-the-art technology and your car looks and drives like new again.

Following a collision repair, your car needs some time to recoup after you bring it home from one of our shops. Mechanically and structurally, you will have no problems, however if your car was repainted, you’ll want to pay attention to that. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts you should follow to protect your newly repaired vehicle.

Do:

  1. Wash Your Vehicle by Hand – the new paint and finish needs a chance to dry and harden, so you should take care washing it for at least three months after a new paint job. Remember to use cool, clean water, not hot with a soft cloth or sponge.
  2. Wash Your Vehicle in the Shade – you’ll want to take care not to let the surface of your car dry out or get too hot by keeping it wet and washing it in the shade.
  3. Dry Your Car Thoroughly – water droplets that dry on the surface can be unsightly as well as permanent water marks that will damage the finish
  4. Keep Your Vehicle in the Garage – extreme heat or cold can cause weather-related damage to a newly painted vehicle.
  5. Get Your Vehicle Professionally Detailed – at least twice a year, let the professionals detail your car. You’ll want to inform them that your car was recently painted so they can take the necessary precautions and care.

Don’t:

  1. Wax or Polish Your Vehicle – you should wait at least three months before waxing and polishing your car so as to not damage the finish or discolor the paint.
  2. Dry Wipe your Vehicle – as tempting as it may be to take a dry cloth and wipe off the dust, you should refrain! Doing this can scratch the new paint.
  3. Go Through a Car Wash – often times, drive-through car washes use stiff brushes that can definitely scratch and damage a newly painted car.
  4. Park Under Trees or Power Lines – tree sap and bird droppings will do serious damage to your new paint job.
  5. Scrape Off Ice or Snow – a hard, plastic scraper is a sure way to damage the paint job. Try instead to use your hand or a soft brush to remove excess snow.
  6. Use Dish or Clothing Detergent – these types of soaps leave harmful residues and are too strong for your vehicle’s finish.
  7. Drive or Dirt or Gravel Roads – if you can avoid it (living or driving in rural areas can make this difficult) as these roads can make your car and its new paint job susceptible to chipping.

 

By following these do’s and don’ts, your car will continue to look and drive like new for many miles down the road. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Car Accident | Your Hometown Body Shop

Can A Bent Car Frame be Fixed After an Accident?

Collisions happen – which means there is a need for accident repairs! The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are able to service vehicles in all stages of disrepair. One of the more challenging fixes is repairing vehicle frames damaged in a collision.

Cars today are manufactured in a way that many accidents will result in some kind of damage to the core inner frame of your vehicle. This comes as a result of the high safety standards that car manufacturers must adhere to when designing and building new cars. The creation of “Crumple Zones” that are built into cars, trucks, and SUVs mean that your vehicle has design elements meant to absorb the impact of a collision.

If frame damage is diagnosed in your vehicle after a collision, you should refrain from panicking. Well trained mechanics can typically return your vehicle as close to factory specs as possible with the help of specialized framing machines that use torque and hydraulics to put your frame back into its original shape. In a case where your frame cannot be straightened out using the machines, the mechanic may suggest cutting out bent pieces and welding new metal pieces in their place.

It is important to note that although such repairs are common, welding can reduce the integrity of your metal frame. This may compromise your insurance policy; it could also compromise the safety of your vehicle. If the damage is too great, you may want to write off your car.

Car Seat Safety | Your Hometown Body Shop

Car Seat Replacement After an Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and had a child restrained in a car seat, you may need to replace the seat! In April 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced changes to the agency’s recommendations about replacing child safety seats following a crash. NHTSA explains:

“The change was made to ensure parents or caregivers continue to correctly restrain their children following a minor crash and to reduce the burden of unnecessary child safety seat replacement.”

Child safety seats should be replaced if they have been involved in a moderate or severe crash. A crash is minor — and the seat involved in it is safe for reuse — if it meets all of the following criteria:

  1. A visual inspection of the child safety seat, including inspection under any easily movable seat padding, does not reveal any cracks or deformation that might have been caused by the crash.
  2. The vehicle in which the child safety seat was installed was capable of being driven from the crash scene.
  3. The vehicle door nearest the child safety seat was undamaged.
  4. There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants.
  5. The air bags (if any) did not deploy.

A crash that meets these criteria is much less severe than the dynamic test used in compliance tests of Child Restraint Systems. They are highly unlikely to affect future child safety seat performance, which will give parents and caregivers peace of mind that child restraints involved in minor accidents will continue to provide a high level of protection.

Most insurance carriers will reimburse you for the replacement of a new car seat if it was in an accident. However, all policies are different and, should you be involved in an accident, you should check with the insurance carrier handling the accident for more details. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

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