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Auto

Car repair estimates vary widely; choose wisely

SPONSORED

There were 285,477 Illinois traffic collisions in 2013, according to the Department of Transportation.  That means hundreds of thousands of insurance claims forms were likely completed, with more in the works.

Accidents are bad enough, but the ensuing insurance paperwork before getting car repairs done can be daunting.  Drivers are encouraged to speak to their insurance agents first, before having any repairs or auto body work done.

The insurer will require a repair estimate, and likely will suggest where to obtain one.  Insurance companies have a list of their preferred providers, and will send customers to their top choices.  If a car is not drivable, an insurance company may commission its own estimator to assess damage.

Angie’sList.com says, “Drivers do not have to use the body shop their insurance company recommends.  Any licensed body shop will know how to submit insurance claim paperwork.  Shop around for several quotes, and choose the body shop that offers a competitive quote along with a good reputation.”

The website cautions that since some post-accident car damage may not be visible, drivers need to carefully choose the company performing the repairs for maximum safety.

Ross Thuente, owner, Slim-N-Hank’s Auto Body Shops, explains, “You don’t have to get multiple estimates in order to use a particular collision specialist, but you are certainly entitled to do so.”

If estimates vary widely, drivers are urged to compare prices to determine the discrepancy.  Some companies perform repairs with original manufacturer parts which may impact the cost, compared to installing used equipment or new “aftermarket” generic parts.

Specializing in auto body repair, auto glass, and emergency towing for more than 50 years, Slim-N-Hank’s Auto Body Shops are located in Sterling, (815) 625-1851, and Dixon, (815) 288-3211, or visit www.slimnhanks.com.

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