FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About The Collision Repair Process Pacific Elite Collision Centers is here to assist you throughout the collision repair process. Do you have questions about the repair process? Your question may have already been asked. Please take a look at the list of frequently asked questions. If your questions are not answered below, please call us at 800-675-9592 or send us an email faq@pacificcollision.com , we will respond to your question as soon as possible. Thank you.

Q. What do I do after an auto accident?

  1. Stay as calm as possible.
  2. Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
  3. If the accident is minor, and there are no injuries, move the vehicles to a safe place out of traffic. Many insurance companies recommend calling the police.
  4. Notify your Insurance Company immediately.
  5. Make notes about the accident including specific damages to all vehicles involved. Write down the names, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers for all involved. Get witness information if possible.
  6. Be polite. Allow law enforcement officials and the Insurance Company to determine who is at fault in the accident. Always be honest.
  7. If you have a camera or camera phone, take pictures if it can be done safely. iPhone users- Many insurance companies now have iPhone apps!
  8. Contact the repair facility of your choice to schedule your vehicle for repairs or assistance in having your vehicle transported from the scene of the accident. Let the collision repair center help you. They can make the arrangements to make things easier for you.
  9. Call or visit the repair center once you have claim information. You will need to sign a work authorization to begin the repair process.

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Q. Do I need three estimates?

No, you do not need to get three estimates. Many repair centers offer free estimates. However, there are specific requirements based on the Insurance Company involved and the type of coverage you have that require certain types of parts and labor rates to be considered for providing an accurate repair estimate. Estimates written without this information may make this process seem confusing. The most important thing is for you to select a repair facility you trust and inform your Insurance Company.

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Q. Am I required to notify my Insurance Company before repairs begin on my vehicle?

Yes. You should obtain approval from your Insurance Company before repairs begin. Your Insurance Company will authorize repairs, parts types used, payments, and written /digital photo documentation before and during the repair process.

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Q. What is a DRP (Direct Repair Program) shop?

DRP simply means Direct Repair Program. Benefits of these programs include additional warranties, more timely repairs, cost savings, and peace of mind for you. Insurance Companies can provide you with a list of their preferred or Direct Repair Providers in your area. These chosen providers have met specific requirements in the areas of: training, quality, customer service, and possess the state of the art equipment necessary for the best possible repair to your vehicle and experience for you.

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Q. What should I look for when choosing a repair facility?

Ask people you trust. Who does your Insurance Company recommend? Have any of your friends, coworkers, or family members ever used this collision repair center’s services? Look for evidence of teammate training, industry certifications, and participation in customer satisfaction measurement programs. Collision repair providers with lifetime warranties, multiple locations, and a substantial number of years in business are a good consideration.

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Q. Why is my Insurance Company referring me to Pacific Elite Collision Centers?

Insurance Companies refer customers to collision repair providers they have a good working relationship with and they trust with their customers. An auto accident and repair process is an inconvenient occurrence at best. The way you and your repair experience are handled is often a reflection on the Insurance Company.

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Q. Who is responsible for the guarantee of workmanship and safety of my vehicle repairs?

Your Insurance Company most likely offers a warranty on repairs if you use one of their preferred or Direct Repair Providers. The collision repair center is ultimately responsible. You should choose a provider with a warranty on all work performed.

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Q. What if an Insurance Company refuses to work with the repair facility I choose?

As the vehicle owner, you make the decision. You have the right to select the repair center of your choice. There are specific laws that give you this right and prevent anyone from requiring you to use an alternative repair facility.

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Q. Who is responsible for payment to the repair facility?

The vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for payment for all repairs. You may instruct your Insurance Company to make payment directly to the repair center on your behalf. Usually an initial payment is made for the repair estimate and then during the repair process a supplemental payment will be issued for additional hidden damages or parts costs that are discovered during repairs. The collision repair center can assist you with clarification on any payments that may be issued. This can also get you back into your own vehicle in a timelier manner. Remember to clarify any deductible amounts or questions you may have as early on as possible. Your portion (if applicable) is not required until the completion of repairs and you pick up your vehicle.

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Q. Do I have to pay for a rental car?

Rental car coverage is an optional coverage available from your Insurance Company. Verify your coverage and the amount covered per day for a rental vehicle while filing your initial claim. If your repairs are being paid for by the other parties’ Insurance Company, you should be provided with a similar vehicle during the time your vehicle is in for repair. We have Enterprise on selected sites for your convenience.

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Q. When is my deductible due and how do I know how much it is?

Insurance deductibles are due at the completion of the repair process to the repair center. Your insurance adjuster can answer any questions you may have regarding your policy, coverage, and applicable deductibles. Be cautious of anyone offering to save you the cost of your deductible! Ask specific questions on how they plan to absorb this cost (The State of California Bureau of Automotive Repair prohibits this). Will all repairs be made per industry standard and will all the proper parts be used? This is not usually an offer with your best interest in mind or the protection of the investment you have in your vehicle.

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Q. What should I do when I pick up my repaired vehicle?

Review your itemized final repair order. Complete a walk-around inspection with your estimator and have them explain the repairs that were made to your vehicle. Look at the paint color and finish, all exterior trim, and proper operation of items involved, such as handles, mirrors, and other moving parts. Choose a repair center that measures customer satisfaction and satisfaction is guaranteed before any payment is made.

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Q. After I pick up my vehicle, do I need to take any precautions with the new paint finish?

Yes. Now that your vehicle has been repaired, here are some helpful tips for your new paint finish! Here are a few steps you can take to protect your new paint finish. IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS- • You should not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to cure completely. (Do not use waxes or polishes containing Silicone.) IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS- • Do not use commercial car washes. Stiff brushes or sponges will mar the finish and damage the paint. • Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a mild car wash solution. Be sure to use a clean soft cloth or sponge. Rinse sponge with fresh water often. • Wash the vehicle in the shade – never in the sun. • Do not “Dry-Wipe” the vehicle – always use clean water – Dry Wiping will scratch the new finish. • Extreme heat or cold need to be avoided. Keep the vehicle parked in the shade whenever possible. • Avoid driving on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days, and not covered by your warranty. • Do not park under trees that drop sap or near factories with heavy smoke fallout. Tree sap and industrial fallout will mar or spot a freshly painted surface. • Do not spill gasoline, diesel, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or windshield solvent on the new finish. If you do, immediately rinse it off with water. Do Not Wipe the surface!!! • Rinse bird droppings from the paint surface as quickly as possible. They contain acid that will damage a fresh paint job.

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