The insurance company is recommending that I have my car fixed at one of their ‘preferred shops’. What is a preferred shop and do I have to take my car there?

The insurance company’s ‘preferred shop’ is one that works through the insurance company’s direct Repair Program. It does not mean that it is a better shop or that the insurance company will guarantee the repairs. It’s a relationship in which the auto repair shop allows the insurance company to have a great deal of say in how a car is repaired, down to approving specific parts and labor. WRG Paint & Body, LLC provides a lifetime guarantee on the repairs to your vehicle. Under North Carolina law, G.S.58-3-180, you have the right to choose your repair facility (body shop) for your damaged vehicle. Don’t let the insurance company tell you where to take your car. Choose the shop of your choice!

Is it better to take my car to a dealership or an independent shop for repairs?

A dealership is not necessarily a better choice for your auto body repairs. There are several factors to consider. Cost is often one of the most important. As far as the price of repairs, the independent shops have the dealerships beat. On average, people who go to dealerships for their car repair will pay more.

Another factor to consider is the training and experience of the technicians. Workers at dealerships work almost exclusively with certain car brands, while the technicians of independent shops work on a wider variety. The independent shop technicians often have the same factory training as dealership techs and could be more proficient if they’ve been in the industry longer. Furthermore, working on a range of makes and models at an independent body shop give these technicians a wider range of experience and technical know-how when it comes to repairing any vehicle.

Independent body shops can also be certified as Collision Centers for specific makes and models. WRG Paint & Body, LLC is a member of the NAPA AutoCare Collison Center Program and is a McLaren certified paint shop.

If I file an insurance claim, will I have to pay any additional money towards the repairs of my car?

This will depend on the type of claim that was turned in.

If the other driver’s insurance company is paying for the damage the insured caused to your car, then you most likely will not have to pay anything for the repairs of this damage. The insurance company will either send you or the body shop a check to cover the expense of this damage. If the insurance check(s) is/are sent to you, you will be responsible for paying the body shop the amount of the insurance check when picking up your car.

If you are filing the claim with your insurance company as either comprehensive or collision damage, then you will be responsible for paying the amount of your insurance deductible. Insurance deductibles usually range from $250 to $1000. You will need to check your insurance policy to see how much your deductible is.

The insurance company will write a check to either you or the body shop that will pay for the damage in the insurance claim MINUS the amount of your insurance deductible. In addition to the amount of the insurance check(s), you will be responsible for paying the body shop the amount of your deductible when you pick up your car.

I have my insurance check and am ready to drop my car at the shop for repairs. Do I deposit the insurance check in my account and pay later or do I go ahead and give it to the repair shop?

As long as you have chosen a reputable shop, either option is okay. Some banks will place a hold on the check though, so if your repairs are going to be completed quickly, you may want to hold on to it or give it to the repair shop to hold. Remember that the repair shop cannot release your car to you until payment in full has been made. Always get a receipt if you do leave the check with the repair facility.

What do I do if the insurance check is made out to me and the car finance company?

To avoid delays in being able to have your car returned to you after repairs are completed, it is best to give the check to the body shop once you receive it. You will need to endorse the check when leaving it with the repair shop. Make sure that the body shop gives you a receipt.

Different finance companies have different processes for check endorsement. Some require that the body shop take the repaired car to a local office for inspection before they will endorse the check. Some have the body shop send pictures of the repairs and have the body shop mail the check to a remote office for endorsement. In some instances, the finance companies deposit the insurance check and issue a brand, new check covering the cost of repairs. The sooner the body shop has the check, the sooner they can begin the process for getting the check endorsed and ensuring you have your car returned to you as soon as possible.

I received a second check from the insurance company for the repairs to my car. Can I keep this check?

You will need to contact the body shop or insurance company to see what the check is for. This payment could be for additional damage found on your car once repairs were begun. Though this check is usually sent directly to the body shop, sometimes it is sent to the car owner. The body shop notifies the insurance company when additional damage is found or if something costs more than listed in the original estimate. The insurance company then creates a new estimate including the cost of the supplemental damage and/or price increase. An additional check is created to cover this cost. When you pick up your car, you will be responsible for paying the cost of the original estimate plus any supplemental costs approved by the insurance company.

How long will it take to repair my car?

There is no standard answer for this. How much damage a car has and the availability of parts affect the repair time.

Unfortunately, since the pandemic, there has been a delay in shops being able to always receive parts in a timely manner. It is best to be patient and know that the repair facility is doing its best to get your car repaired as quickly as possible. WRG Paint & Body, LLC has established long-term relationships with both OEM and Aftermarket/Recycled Auto Parts suppliers. These relationships ensure we will receive parts a soon as they are available.

Can I save money by providing my own parts?

While the customer may believe they are saving money, in the long run, they often are not. The parts can be of a lesser quality than the reputable OEM and Aftermarket/Recycled Parts Dealers that the repair shop trusts. Also, the repair shop cannot warranty a part that they did not purchase, so if there is a problem with the part, it can actually increase the cost of repairs rather than saving the customer money. WRG Paint & Body, LLC always purchases the parts for their customers’ repairs.