How do the Body Shops Estimate Damage?

imagesIt is very important to make a good evaluation of what your local auto body shop is offering you in terms of services. Today, many body shops, at least those that want to stay in the business use a computer software in order to estimate the damage before they can tell you just what needs to be done and how much will it cost you. Always ask for this kind of an estimate and not just an off-hand one. Now, this doesn’t mean that the estimate done without this type of software should necessary be wrong, especially if it is done by an experienced guy, but it is simply less risky this way.

1. Remove and Install

Or simply “R and I” This means that part in your car will need to be removed and that it will then have to be re-installed later, after some work has been done on them. Very often, even the undamaged parts will have to be removed in order to get to another, damaged part. Sometimes, you will need remove even the entire interior rim in order to get to the motor and see if anything can be done to save it. So, don’t be surprised if they remove the headlight in order to paint a fender.

2. Repair

Repair should be pretty much self-explanatory and is the most common estimate. The amount of time that will be needed to repair something is usually put with an asterisk sign or will be underlined. For instance, your insurance agent will say that something will take 3 hours, but the technician will give it 4 or more. This is something that will have to be negotiated between the person doing the repair (the technician), insurance adjuster and shop estimator. Now, for you, as a costumer, one hour up or down might not mean too much, but the insurance company will pay body shop according to how many hours they estimate will be needed for a certain repair to be done.

3. Replacing parts

This is done according to industry standards and is not a discretionary item for an estimation. For instance, if you need to replace a the cooler, it should take about 3 hours. This is what the insurance company wants to know before they are willing to pay.

images (7)4. Subletting

On occasion, a body shop will not be able to repair. When this happens, they will ask for a third party to look into the matter. This is usually done for anything that is under the hood of the car. Some of the things that will go through subletting are aligning the weeks when the suspension gets damaged, or recharging and air conditioner in the vehicle.

5. Miscellaneous

Finally, we’ve reached this part. Basically, under the “miscellaneous” can be put anything from “removal of hazardous material”, which should be done at least once a month in order to dispose of the waste in the safest and best way possible, to “car cover”, which is done when the car needs to be painted and includes plastic, paper and tape.

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