Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Auto Collision Repair: Important Issues
There are several issues in the collision industry that consumers are either unaware of or confused by. Being in an accident is trying enough, so customer awareness of these particular issues can lessen or even alleviate some of the stress, uncertainty and surprise.
Many automobile insurance companies have made agreements with certain repair facilities that they then recommend their customers to use. These agreements are not always made with the consumer's best interest in mind. Some companies can be quite insistent and persuasive to use their particular shop, hence making some consumers believe they have to go to that facility. Consumers need to understand that by State law they have the right to have their vehicle repaired by the collision shop of their choice, erstwhile not needing to provide their insurance company with three estimates. Before agreeing to a particular repair facility, ask your mechanic, friends or acquaintances for their recommendations. Other's unbiased feedback and experience with a particular shop can possibly help you avoid a very negative situation.
OEM parts issue
When purchasing or renewing an automobile policy, the one particular area consumers need to pay particular attention to is the OEM clause. OEM stands for original equipment manufactured parts. If you are involved in an accident, you want the parts for your Honda to be Honda parts, not aftermarket parts produced by an unrelated secondary manufacturer (quality and fit are often an issue). In general, most auto policies will allow use of OEM parts in repairs as long as the vehicle has less than 12,000 miles or is only 1 year old. The use of aftermarket parts devalues the investment you have made into your vehicle. Understanding what your policy states will save you the unpleasant surprise in the event of an accident. Again, not all insurance companies have this policy, however, as a consumer you need to know how your policy reads. Ask about the OEM parts clause in your policy. For a few extra dollars a month, some companies offer an OEM rider which insures the replacement parts in case of an accident would be original parts.
Rental car issue
One final issue to consider is adding rental car to your policy. If you do not have an extra car you can use in case of an accident, adding the rental car rider to your policy for a few dollars extra per month can help you avoid a logistical nightmare. Some policies automatically come with rental car coverage however a majority of them do not.
As a consumer knowledge gives us the power to make decisions that best serve our needs and expectations.