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Frequently Asked Questions

=> Do I have to get more then one estimates on my car?
No, Virginia Law allows the consumer to choose any shop to repair their vehicle. Your insurance company is required to work with the shop of your choice and, in good faith, arrive at an agreed price to repair your car.


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=> My insurance company directs me to a shop that I don’t want to use. Can I decide who is going to repair my car?
Legally, you have the right to choose what shop you want to fix your car. Your Insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular repair facility.


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=> Should I turn the loss into my insurance company or pay for it out of pocket?
That is really a question only you can answer based on a number of personal and financial factors. An initial drive-in estimate is typically written as a "visual only estimate". A majority of the time, the price to repair a car goes up (sometimes increasing dramatically) once it is disassembled and closely inspected. This is due to many very expensive components are situated inside the exterior parts of vehicles and cannot be seen visually unless a vehicle has been taken apart, which is not feasible for a drive-in estimate. Your insurance company has the expertise and is trained to deal with additional damage and part price increases, much better than most consumers. If you have any question about handling the claim yourself or turning it into your insurance company, you should probably let the experts handle it for you, but again that is your choice.Rule of thumb is if the cost of repair is less than your deductible amount no insurance claim necessary.


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=> What are OEM, Aftermarket, Recycled, and Recondition Parts?

OEM - (Original Equipment Manufactured) New part by your vehicle’s factory supplier.

AFTERMARKET - Copied from the original factory part and manufactured by a 3rd party supplier. Mainly manufactured overseas and imported into the US.

RECYCLED - An original factory Used part that taken off of from another vehicle at a junk yard.

RECONDITION - like new but refurbished by rebuild part company.




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=> What is a "Visible Only" or "Preliminary" Estimate?
A visible or preliminary estimate is written only for what damage the appraiser can see without disassembling the vehicle. No hidden damage is assumed. Normally drive-in estimates (both shop and insurance company) are written as visible only because we do not want to potentially disable a vehicle while drive estimating. Once a vehicle is in the repair shop, we disassemble all damaged parts off the car and inspect for all hidden damage. This is a normal industry practice.


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=> What is a Supplement?
A supplement is typically an estimate for hidden or additional damage, not discovered during the initial visible estimate. Supplements and hidden damage are a normal occurrence because today’s vehicles are designed to crush from the “outside-in” in order to protect the occupants. If a shop finds additional damage, it writes a supplement and notifies the insurance company or customer for approval to continue with repairs.


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=> Can frame damage be properly repaired?
The answer is yes, if the frame has not been permanently weakened by a tear or kink. Also, some areas of the crush zone are off limits to repair. Serious damage may require a frame component section or replacement. Today’s light cars are designed with a uni-body frame, meaning most of the vehicle core is part of the frame structure. It is very common and safe for a competent shop to correctly repair a vehicle frame.


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=> What Is Waterborne Paint?
Waterborne paint is a high solids product where water is the carrier of the color instead of solvents. Waterborne paint is cleaner and generates 25% less pollution emissions than that of solvent paint. Most vehicle manufacturers have or are moving to waterborne paint systems. We use it because it is a better, safer product that helps impact the environment less and insures that we will be able to better match factory colors into the future. It costs a little more and requires strict process compliance and that is why most of our competitors take the easy road and spray solvent, regardless of the long term impacts it causes.


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=> How do you determine how long it takes to repair a vehicle?
Repair time is typically a function of labor hours on the job. Some makes and models or specific parts might not be available locally and a shop will add in days to acquire those parts, but 4 labor hours per day on the estimates, not including weekends or holidays, is a good guide. Some insurance companies and shops will differ. Please ask your Estimator or Service Representative to explain how your shop sets its repair time.


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=> Do I need an estimate from Classic Auto Body if I already have an insurance estimate?
Classic Auto Body will not need to write another estimate for you, but we will want to review your insurance estimate alongside the vehicle prior to scheduling the vehicle for repairs. This will allow us to gather any information we may need to preorder the exterior parts necessary to repair your vehicle.


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=> How often am I updated of the repair status of my vehicle?
Classic Auto Body will update you on your repair status as much as you can handle. Just tell us when or where and it will happen. During the beginning stage of the repairs you will be asked how often you would like to receive updates.


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