Call local law enforcement right away. They will determine if an accident report is needed and how they will respond. It is important to involve law enforcement immediately. If asked by another driver to not involve law enforcement, you may be at risk of not gaining proper liability information from other parties involved or receiving a citation for leaving the scene of an accident.
I am not sure if my vehicle should be driven from the accident scene due to the extent of damage. Should I call a towing company?
A collision can cause unknown damage to your vehicle that may not be obvious at the scene of the accident. Without inspection and diagnosis by a professional repair shop, further damage may occur by driving the vehicle. Insurance companies generally require the vehicle owner to mitigate the risk of further damage to the vehicle. When in doubt, call us and have it towed to Yates Body Shop for further diagnosis.
No. An estimate is not necessary, but it can be helpful in determining whether the estimated repair cost exceeds your deductible if applicable.
All insurance company’s claims initiation processes can vary, but generally speaking, you need to contact the auto claims department. The phone number can be obtained through a web search or contacting your agent. Once you have reached a representative for the claims department, they will ask you a series of questions to gain a better understanding of the collision and advise about potential coverage.
My insurance company offered a list of shops that they prefer. Does that mean I can only use those shops?
No. Per Montana State Law (Section 33-18-224, MCA) you get to pick the shop of your choice:
33-18-224. Designation of specific automobile body repair businesses prohibited. (1) (a) An insurance company, including its producers and adjusters, that issues or renews a policy of insurance in this state covering, in whole or in part, a motor vehicle may not:
(i) require that a claimant under the policy use a particular automobile body repair business or location for an estimate or a repair;
(ii) engage in any act or practice that intimidates, coerces, or threatens a claimant or that provides an incentive or inducement for a claimant to use a particular automobile body repair business or location
When I asked to use a shop not listed as a preferred shop, the claims agent said I may be responsible for excess charges and also that they do not warranty my shops work. It seems like I should use a preferred shop right?
No. The choice is yours. You should be a smart consumer and not allow the insurance company to influence your decision. Your vehicle is a personal financial investment, and you should feel very comfortable with the shop that performs the repairs. The shops listed by the insurance company may be good shops, but insurance companies have a direct financial interest in where you have your vehicle repaired. The lists are often ranked by scoring systems that include the average cost of repairs. Remember, lower cost does not always translate to higher quality. Whether a shop is on the preferred list or not, the repair shop is ultimately responsible for warranting the repair work, not the insurance company, and prior to repairs starting, you should ask your shop about their written warranty policy. Yates Body Shop provides a life-time warranty on all re-finish, metalwork, and craftsmanship.
Yes. Yates Body Shop works directly with all auto insurance companies to perform auto body repairs.
Give us a call or stop in at your convenience. Yates Body Shop has trained and certified estimators on-site at all times during normal business hours, and weekends by appointment. It is important to have a preliminary estimate and consultation done prior to repairs so that we can learn how we can best serve you and educate you on the damage analysis, insurance coordination, repair process, and scheduling repairs.
Many variables affect the length of repairs such as the extent of damage, parts availability, and sublet vendor availability. We work as quickly as possible to return your vehicle with perfect repair results. We always ask for your patience as collision repair work is very detail-intense and rushing through the repairs usually results in problems later on.
It is normal to find additional damage not visible during the initial damage assessment. When Yates Body Shop finds additional damage, we are careful to document additional parts and labor and communicate the supplement costs to the insurance company. If additional damage is identified and is unrelated to an insurance claim, Yates Body Shop will consult with you prior to proceeding with repair work.
Follow these steps to protect the appearance and durability of your paint finish.
For the first 30 days after painting:
– Hand-wash the vehicle often, using freshwater only.
– Avoid parking under trees sap and bird droppings may damage the finish. (Rinse them off as soon as possible.)
For the first 120 days after painting:
– To remove heavy soil, use mild liquid soap without detergent.
– Do not wax your car.
For long-term paint protection:
– Park in a sheltered area whenever possible.
– Never use a scraper to remove ice or snow from painted surfaces.
– Never let gas or antifreeze stand on painted surfaces (rinse off with water as soon as possible).
– Never wash your vehicle in the hot sun.
– Never wipe the finish with a dry cloth always use water.
– Avoid abrasive cleaners, chemicals or brushes (automatic car wash brushes can scratch the finish).
– Have any paint nicks touched up as soon as possible to protect against rust.