Free Estimates auto body repair

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.

Bent Car Frame | Your Hometown Body Shop

How Can I Tell If My Frame Is Damaged?

You should always take your car to an auto body shop after an accident regardless of whether there is an appearance of major damage or not. Major problems like frame damage can go undetected and if you wait too long after a crash, you may find an issue with getting your insurance to pay for the collision repairs.

Alignment Assessment

Your vehicle’s alignment can be disrupted with a bent frame. Does your car pull to one side? Do you have to turn your steering wheel in order to drive straight. If you’ve recently had your alignment fixed and the problem is persisting, it could be a sign of frame damage.

Tire Track Evaluation

If your vehicle has a bent frame, you may notice that it “crab walks” – this happens when the rear tires don’t follow in line behind the front tires. If you aren’t sure if this is happening, get all four tires wet, drive it straight across dry pavement, park your vehicle, and observe the tracks.

Parts Assessment

The frame of your vehicle is its foundation. If it is bent, many other components may not fit properly. You may notice this if you try to open and close a door unsuccessfully or if the body panels don’t line up properly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle’s frame, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

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!

 

ASE Certified Mechanics

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.

paintless dent repair services

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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Free Estimates Auto Body Repair

Car Value Depreciation After An Accident

The value of a car depreciates after an auto accident, but how do insurance companies determine that value? The total depends on the type of car and the accident history of that car. The car’s value can decrease by its diminished value, which is calculated by the insurance company when they send an agent to come and assess the damage.

Diminished Value and the 17c Formula

Diminished value is the monetary difference between what the car was worth before the accident happened and what it is worth after the accident happened. Insurance companies determine the diminished value of a car by using what is called the 17c Formula.

The Formula originated in 2001 in Georgia following a lawsuit that obligated State Farm to pay out more than 25,000 insurance claims. In order to do this efficiently, the 17c Formula was created as a simple way to standardize the calculations across all of the claims. The Formula worked, and now close to all insurance companies use it as the way to determine the value of cars after a wreck.

Is The Formula Accurate?

Some see the Formula as inefficient given that it calculates the loss of value equally among all types of makes and models, meaning a crashed Ferrari is appraised the same way as a crashed Ford Focus. Insurance companies ultimately give less than what they really should with diminished value checks. Often, the total should be in the thousands but motorists receive checks for hundreds. There are several online resources that provide the formula for consumers to calculate their vehicle’s value.

Is There Another Way To Evaluate My Car After An Accident?

Insurance companies may come to you with an extremely low offer, but you can refuse it and hire a private appraiser to come and look at the wrecked car. Once you have that appraisal, you can go back  to the insurance company and counter their original offer.

It’s important to understand your insurance policy and rights before agreeing to the price your insurance company gives you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

car accident | auto body shop michigan

Hit a Parked Car? Here is What You Need to Do.

While it is a situation no one ever hopes to encounter, if you’ve hit a parked car, taking responsibility for the accident is the right thing to do for both parties involved. And by law you are required to report the accident to the owner of the other vehicle whether it be in person or through leaving a note on their car.

The laws can vary from state to state, however below are the basic steps for what to do after you accidentally hit a parked car.

Don’t leave the scene.

Although tempting, especially when the damage is minor or unnoticeable, driving away and hoping nobody saw you can lead to more serious repercussions if you are caught. In every state, it is against the law to leave the scene when you accidentally hit a parked car and can be considered a hit and run in some cases. No matter how strong the urge to make a quick getaway, don’t do it! From a moral, legal, and financial standpoint, it pays to stick around and do the right thing.

Try to find the owner.

The law doesn’t expect you to wait around all day for the owner of the other vehicle to appear. You are, however, required to make a reasonable attempt to find that owner before leaving. For example, if someone saw the accident, ask if they know who the car belongs to. If the car is parked right in front of a store, go inside and ask if anyone knows who the owner of the car is. Otherwise, wait around 10 or 15 minutes to see if the owner appears. If not, you can legally drive away after leaving your name and contact information.

Leave a note.

If you can’t find the owner of the parked car you hit, the next step is to leave a note for them. Most states require the note to include your name, address, contact number, and a brief explanation of the accident. You may also want to include the name and contact information of your insurance carrier. If you were driving someone else’s car, include the name and address of the car’s owner as well.

Describe the accident in a general way, as any information in the note can be used against you when the insurance companies are settling the claim. Make sure the note is tucked securely under the windshield wiper before driving away.

Document the damage.

Use a camera or your cell phone to take photos or video of the other car’s license plate and the auto body damage to both cars. If you don’t have your phone with you, describe the damage in the note you leave behind, and write it down for your insurance company as well.

Call your insurance company.

Once you have taken all the steps to document the accident and notify the other vehicle’s owner, call your insurance company – the sooner the better. This will enable them to initiate the claims process so both vehicles can be repaired in a timely manner. Be prepared to provide all the details, such as location, time of day, and what you were doing when you struck the other vehicle.

If you have any questions, please call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Automotive PaintAutomotive Paint Color Matching | Your Hometown Body Shop

What Affects Automotive Paint Color Matching?

There are a few factors that make matching color a difficult task. First let’s take a look at what makes up the paint. The basic ingredients in automotive paint are resin, pigment, and solvent. Resin holds together the pigment, provides adhesion to the surface applied, and determines the quality and paint durability. Pigment comes in powder form, and the aftermarket auto paint mixing system includes roughly 100 colors or toners to mix formulas, including pearl and metallic paint colors. Solvent provides transferability; without it the paint would be too thick.

When the auto paint manufacturer mixes these three elements to create a formula for the standard color, they are allowed a tolerance of plus or minus 5% when the paint is delivered. This percentage can make a big difference and actually cause two of the same vehicles to look completely different in color.

Temperature when painting, paint film thickness, time between coats, speed and type of paint spray gun, surface type, and humidity can all factor in differences in auto body paint color shade.

Sunlight is another factor to consider when color matching. A car exposed to sunlight for years will have begun to fade in color.

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to match autobody paint color. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are all well versed in the latest painting technology and techniques to get your vehicle looking brand new. If you need automotive painting services, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Road Salt | Your Hometown Body Shop

Protect Your Car from the Effects of Road Salt

There are several benefits from the widespread use of road salt, including accident avoidance. However road salt can also cause severe damage to vehicles. Salt is spread out prior to a snow or ice storm and motorists venture out accumulating a thick coating of road salt mixed with slush throughout their vehicle’s undercarriages and wheel well. When the slush melts, it is the salt that is left behind, causing a slow attack on metal and rubber parts.

Brakes are especially susceptible as the rotors always present a fresh metallic surface for the salt to attack. Salt causes rust on the brackets that encase the brake pads and the extra layer of rust puts a squeeze on the pads over time. This can prevent them from applying fully or releasing completely.

Maintain Your Car’s Longevity

Road salt is unavoidable, so it’s best to get your car to a car was at least once a month when the roads are salted. Look for a car wash with an undercarriage cleaning!

If your car is in good shape underneath, you might also consider having a professionally applied rust-proofing treatment that concentrates on the brake lines, fuel lines, and other vulnerable areas.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, give one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop a call!

Parking Lot Accidents | Your Hometown Body Shop

Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lots seem to be a place that you’d think you would be safe from being involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as these types of accidents typically occur as other drivers are entering or exiting the parking space(s) next to your car.

Accidents can include minor damage, i.e. from car doors as drivers enter and exit their vehicle or runaway shopping carts, or major damage, i.e. a driver miscalculating the distance they have as they are pulling into a parking spot. What do you do if you return to your vehicle to find damage? This depends on whether the other party is present.

Party Is Present

Be sure to get their full contact information including name, address, phone numbers, and any other information you feel will be necessary as well as their insurance information. You will want to verify that their insurance information is current. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surroundings. If there are witnesses, you will want to get their statements and contact information as well. Document everything and get copies of the police report.

Party Is Not Present

In the event that the other party is not present, there is a high likelihood that no contact information will be left. Some people may not see these types of accidents as serious, and if the damage is minor they will assume you can, “buff that right out.”  So, unless someone else witnessed the accident, they may simply drive off as if nothing happened.

Just because no one is around the immediate area, does not mean that no one witnessed the accident.  Take a look around to see if anyone is in the area that might have witnessed the accident. If so, get their statement and contact information. You should also check to see if there are any video cameras in the area that may have recorded the incident.  Call the police to report the accident and give them as much information as you can.  You will still want to document everything with pictures of the damage; as well as the surrounding areas just as you would if the other party was present.  Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible.

If you have enough insurance coverage, your car will be repaired even if the other party is never identified.  Call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop to schedule an appointment to have your car repaired.  We can get you back on the road again quickly and safely!

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