Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance Claims

Do I have to use the shop my insurance company recommends or can I take it to Auto Body Hawaii?

You can always take it to Auto Body Hawaii. The insurance company can not tell you where to repair your vehicle. Some insurance people with special interests will attempt to convince or STEER you to fix your vehicle at their PREFERRED SHOP; a shop that gives the insurance company special deals. These deals will often come at the vehicle owner’s expense which could compromise safety and the quality of repairs.

Should this happen please contact Auto Body Hawaii; our professional claims handlers can guide you through this unfortunate practice Remember that it is the insurance adjuster’s job to satisfy the customer and close the claim at the lowest possible cost. If you decide to use your insurance company’s preferred shop, ask if your policy contains an “elects to repair” clause, causing your insurance to be responsible for the quality of repairs and possibly loss of value.

Do I have to get multiple estimates?

No, Hawaii Law allows the consumer to choose any shop to repair their vehicle; you only need to notify your insurance representative as to where you will be having your repairs done. 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.

What happens if the insurance company’s estimate is lower than the one I get from Auto Body Hawaii?

Insurance companies are generally willing to pay for a proper repair. The insurance company appraiser may include only the most obvious damage in their estimate. At Auto Body Hawaii, we try to write as thorough an estimate as possible. Just bring the insurance estimate in with you and we can go over the differences. If necessary, we’ll notify the insurance company of the changes we need to make. Generally this just takes a phone call and we will bill your insurance company for the supplement at the completion of the repair.

Although it does not happen often, some insurance companies will refuse coverage of certain necessary operations even though those operations are required to properly repair your vehicle. Unless you, “the Boss,” tell us to perform the inferior repair, we will charge the insurance company storage while the vehicle is left idle in the shop. Generally, that provides some amount of motivation to resolve the impasse and provide you with proper repairs.

Will my insurance rates go up?

Your rates may or may not go up depending on who is at fault, and the type of loss; also your driving history may influence a rate increase. Your insurance agent or customer service representative can assist you in determining the impact of a given claim on your own policy premium.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is like a ”co-pay” on health insurance. It is a portion of the repair bill that is not covered by your insurance policy. The amount is determined by your insurance policy and is first set when you first purchase your insurance.

Deductibles are commonly $100, $250, $500 and $1,000. The higher your deductible amount, the lower your insurance premium.

Your deductible is paid directly to Auto Body Hawaii when your repairs are complete. The insurance company pays us for the work performed minus your deductible.

Can you save me my deductible?

No. And neither can any other honest repair facility. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance carrier. It specifically outlines what is covered by insurance and what is going to be your financial responsibility.

Falsely manipulating an insurance claim to advance one party’s interest is unethical and in many cases it is illegal. There may be legitimate ways to reduce your cost, such as appearance allowances or “cashing out” and declining some portion of the repair. We suggest that you consult your insurance company for details. Be wary of a repair shop that offers to “cover your deductible”.

Do I have to accept used parts?

No, you do not have to accept used parts. Most customer oriented insurance companies will only suggest used parts (LKQ) when there is agreement from all parties; generally used parts are suggested when there needs to be a savings to justify the repairs. The insurance company’s obligation is to restore your vehicle to “pre-loss” condition – not better than it was and no worse.

What is the difference between collision insurance and comprehensive insurance coverage?

Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance may vary. Generally, collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by a collision with another object. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your automobile from incidents such as vandalism, theft or glass breakage. It is generally a good idea to periodically review your policy and ask your insurance agent what exclusions are in your policy.

What happens if more damage is found on my vehicle?

Today’s vehicles are very complex; so it can difficult to see all the damage during the initial inspection. Therefore, finding additional damage has become very common; estimates written without a thorough disassembly of the vehicle often have overlooked additional damages. Auto Body Hawaii is the exception; our DFR process (Disassembly for Repair) all most always assures no surprise damage.

If additional damage is found, it is documented and discussed with you and the insurance company. The insurance company may, or may not, want to come see the damage. These supplemental charges are itemized, authorized and billed along with the rest of the repairs.

If the insurance representative wants to come see the additional damage, the repair process could be delayed from 2 – 5 business days. Be mindful that any additional parts found to be damaged will have to be ordered and that can lead to another delay (based on availability.)

TESTIMONIALS

I’m so happy with the whole process and the service that I received from Auto Body Hawaii. Thank you for making my experience so enjoyable!
Shannon