Helpful Frequently Asked Questions

Repairing auto collision damage can be an overwhelming process, and we at G & M Body and Paint Shop hope this collection of frequently asked questions can reduce some of the confusion. These are questions we hear from people just like you. They can help clarify your rights and responsibilities and the role of your insurance company.

Who is responsible for the quality of my car’s repairs?

We are. Since we’re doing the repairs, it’s our duty to complete the repairs in a timely manner and to return your car to you in a safe condition as close to its pre-accident condition as possible.

Your insurance company is obligated to reimburse you for the cost of your repairs, as defined by your policy and any applicable deductibles. You are responsible for covering your deductible.

Can you save me all or some of my insurance deductible?

No. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance carrier, and that agreement obligates you to pay a certain portion of the repairs.

Any modification of that agreement is between you and your insurer. Please contact them to discuss any discounts or allowances that may apply.

Do I need to get estimates from more than one shop?

You are entitled to get as many or as few estimates as you would like.

Do I have to use the body shop that put in the lowest bid?

No. In fact, the lowest estimate is rarely the best choice. Part of restoring your car, truck, or SUV to its pre-accident condition involves using quality parts and trained, experienced labor.

At G & M Body and Paint Shop, your FREE estimate reflects a considerable investment in state-of-the-art equipment, certified technicians, and reliable parts. Remember — you only get what you pay for!

If my insurance company covers the repairs, do I get to choose the auto shop?

Yes, you do. The law requires your insurer to pay a reasonable cost (based on your policy) to restore your vehicle to its pre-collision condition. You do not have to get multiple estimates or use the lowest bidder.

If my insurance company offers me a check, should I take it?

Yes. Accepting a preliminary payment does not cause you to surrender your rights. Your insurance company is obligated to restore your vehicle to its pre-crash condition (based on the terms of your policy)

If there is additional damage, most garages can negotiate with your insurer for additional damages.

How long will my repairs take?

That depends on the severity of the damage. When you bring your vehicle to G & M Body and Paint Shop, we strive to fix your car as quickly as possible without giving up on the quality of the repairs.

All cars brought to our shop go through our repair process. Certain factors may cause some repairs to take longer than others.

Less common vehicles may have longer waits for parts

Finding hidden damage after disassembling the vehicle may cause it to take longer (and require a revised estimate)

Some repairs require waiting for approval from your insurance company

At all times, we will keep you informed about the status of your vehicle.

What happens to my car if it’s a total loss?

Your insurer will sell it an auction. The winner will probably dismantle the car and sell the parts or repair the car and sell it.

Can I keep a car that’s a total loss?

You have a right to retain ownership, but the settlement offered by your insurer will be decreased by the car’s new salvage value.

How is the ACV (actual cash value) determined?

Your insurance company will have an appraiser or the repairer determine the value of the car prior to the accident. Some insurers use a car evaluation service.

You are also allowed to determine the value of your vehicle independently.

Can I negotiate the ACV?

Maybe. Some insurance companies will allow you to propose an alternate ACV based on documented receipts of vehicle enhancement or testimony by qualified experts.