No. There is no law that requires you to obtain more than one estimate. Remember, you should not be searching for the cheapest estimate but rather for the best quality repair.

Again, the answer is No. You may take your car anywhere you choose.

Take the car to the shop of your choice and let the shop know who will be the responsible insurance company. Next, call the insurance representative and let him/her know of the vehicle’s location and ask them to contact the shop.

No, you may have an estimate done wherever you choose, however, you must cooperate with your insurance company. Be sure to let the claims people know where the car is located and that they can examine the car at that location.

Body shops often work in conjunction with the insurance companies through programs labeled by the acronyms “DRP” or “QRP” meaning “Direct Repair Program” or “Quality Repair Program.” Often an insurance company has an agreement with shops in the program to discount rates and utilize aftermarket or “LKQ” parts rather than genuine OEM. Of course, not every shop in the program participates in these type practices. As the vehicle owner, you are not obligated to use an insurance company’s direct repair facility.

No. Unless you have given the shop an authorization to begin repairs, you may choose to have your car moved at any time.

Legally, you must be presented with a written estimate of what will be repaired and you must give authorization before the repairs can begin. So, the insurance company and the repair shop cannot begin the process without you.

Definitely use the other party’s policy so that you will not be responsible for the deductible. You will also probably be entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired courtesy of the other company. In addition, you will not be charged with an accident against your policy.

Contact the other party’s insurance company and make sure that they have a copy of the accident report.

Contact the body shop of your choice, your insurance agent and/or company or the insurance commissioner’s office and they should be able to help you locate a phone number and address for the other company.

If an accident is your fault and you have rental coverage on your insurance, you may have your body shop arrange a rental for you. Of course, if the accident is not your fault, you must wait until the other insurance company accepts liability. At that point the insurance company representative should let you know how to proceed or if they will arrange the rental for you.

A body shop willing to cheat an insurance company will be equally willing to cheat the vehicle owner as well. A body shop never really absorbs the deductible. The value is taken right out of the job, and it is the car owner who takes the loss. (excerpt from Automotive Service Association- Public Service Announcement)

A reputable body shop can only estimate, not promise, a completion time due to a variety of factors such as the type of parts figured in the estimate, the schedule of the assigned insurance appraiser, the schedule of the body shop as well as the availability of parts for the repair.

Don’t worry, this is a common occurrence. Just be sure that your chosen body shop has a copy of the insurance estimate and they can write a supplemental estimate for any necessary repairs or parts that are not listed on the insurance estimate.

This should not present a problem as the body shop will deal directly with the insurance company on any supplemental costs of repair. However, this applies only to repairs that the insurance company has authorized and not to additional repairs that you may elect to have added to the estimate.

When a car is deemed structurally unrepairable due to future safety concerns or if estimated repair costs exceed the current value of the car then is it considered a total loss.

Words such as “Aftermarket New”, “AM”, Economy Part”, Quality Replacement Part”, or “Certified Auto Replacement Part” all refer to imitation or aftermarket parts that are manufactured by companies who have acquired original parts and created similar molds. Unfortunately, these parts are not just like the originals and are then questionable when it comes to fit, finish, composition and overall quality. “Like, Kind, Quality” or “Quality Recycled” refers to used parts from another wrecked or disabled vehicle of similar year, make and model. “OEM” refers to Original Parts Equipment Manufacturer or in other words created by the original manufacturer of the vehicle. Feel free to check with us at Proctor’s and we’ll be happy to explain your estimate and the types of parts the insurer has specified.

You are the responsible party. Most insurance policies state that the company will pay for the damage repair less the deductible amount. Of course, you can instruct your company to pay the shop directly but the repair shop must have complete payment from all parties when you pick up the vehicle.

The repair shop is responsible. Reputable shops offer a guarantee to the customer up front. After all, the insurance company didn’t choose the shop or make the repairs. They simply paid the shop of your choice.

Yes, the commissioner can help but with limited authority. The commissioner has no judicial authority to determine negligence or to establish the value of injury or loss.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s Office

South Carolina Insurance Commissioner’s Office