Auto body repair without insurance

Some states require an accident be reported immediately after it occurs
If you do not have to report an accident, you can choose to pay for any damages from an accident
Paying for your damages could result in more serious consequences such as increased insurance rates
Having a car accident has a lot of repercussions; one of which is that your vehicle may need repairs that require going through your car insurance policy. Many people wonder if they can pay for their repairs rather than going through their insurance company.

The simple answer to this is yes, you can pay for your own repairs, but there are some things to consider before taking this course of action.

Read through this article to learn whether paying for repairs without using your auto insurance policy is a smart move or not and then be sure to enter your zip code in above for a free car insurance comparison!

What Happens After an Accident

Every state has different rules about accidents. If you are in an accident with another vehicle, you may be required by law to report it.

Every state has a monetary amount associated with the reporting of an accident to the police. This amount can range from $1,000 to $5,000 in estimated damages.

In other words, if you have a fender bender, you can skip the police call and pay for your damages without even contacting your insurance company, although this is not recommended.

Once you report an accident, your insurance company must be notified.

If you cause an accident, your insurance company will send someone to assess the damages to your vehicle and the vehicle of the other person in the accident. They will then write a check to the other driver.

What happens next depends on the type of insurance coverage that you have.

If you only have liability coverage on your vehicle, then your vehicle isn’t covered by the insurance company, and you are responsible for the costs.
If you have collision coverage, your insurance company will cover the damages to your vehicle, or you can refuse the payment and pay for the damages yourself.
When You Pay for Your Damages
Rotating tires at an auto shop

If you are the cause of an accident, and you damage another vehicle, then your insurance rates are going to go up. You can, however, control the cost of that increase by paying for your repairs.

Your increase will be based on how much the insurance company has to pay for your claims, so paying for your repairs will reduce long-term costs. This increase might be a good idea for you if you have some cash in hand, but you don’t think that you can afford the long-term costs of a premium hike.

However, you could end up losing your collision coverage until you provide proof that the repairs are done on your vehicle to the satisfaction of your insurance company.

Especially if your vehicle is financed, this additional step could create problems if you were planning on holding off on the repairs.

Your lender requires that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage (in addition to your liability coverage) on your vehicle until it is paid in full. When you purchase the vehicle, you sign an actual contract agreeing to this called an Agreement to Provide Insurance.

If you don’t have the coverage you are required to carry, your lender has the right to take your vehicle.

In most cases, however, they will simply purchase insurance for the vehicle and bill you for it.

You don’t want this to happen because they will purchase what is called a forced insurance policy, and the premiums can be two to three times more expensive than the premiums that you are getting from your current insurance company.

If your insurance company does continue to insure your vehicle, they will refuse to pay for damages that may have been caused by a prior accident if a future accident occurs.

For example, if you have an accident that damages the right front quarter of the car and you decide to pay for repairs yourself, you may decide not to do it, or you may not provide proof that the work was done.

If you have an accident six months later and your whole front end is smashed up, your insurance company can legally subtract the cost of repairing the right front quarter from the total repairs that they will pay for.

When to Consider Paying for Your Repairs
Front car damage; when you should pay for your own car repairs without insurance.

There are times when paying for your repairs makes sense.

– Repairs less than deductible
If you have a $500 deductible and $200 in repairs, your insurance company isn’t going to pay for those damages anyway.

There is no point in filing a claim (which will lead to increased premiums) when they won’t pay for the damages. Any claims you call in go on your record, even if no payment results.

– If you are in an accident that doesn’t include another vehicle
You aren’t required to report a one-car accident unless you damage someone’s property in the process.

It is considered insurance fraud to have an accident in which you don’t pay for repairs and then use a future accident to have the repairs made.

– If you’ve already made several claims
If you’ve made a lot of claims on your insurance, and your insurance company has warned that they will drop you if you have any further claims, then you will want to pay for your repairs if possible.

Having no insurance at all is not only against the law, but it can be financially disastrous should a serious accident occur.

Insurance protects you against an accident. A serious accident can cost thousands of dollars in repair and liability costs.

Saving Money on Car Insurance
If you are concerned about the amount of coverage that you currently have, you feel that you are paying too much for your current insurance policy, or you don’t have insurance at all, it is time for you to discover who can make you the best offer on your auto insurance premiums.

Buying auto insurance is much like any investment; you can and should check things out before you make a purchase.
Royal Auto Collision helps you get the best quality collision repair from your insurance company – at no extra cost! With training, equipment and certifications not found at other body shops, we can return your car to pre-accident condition.

Royal Auto Collision, the Accident Experts!
Don’t let your insurance company FIX your car… Just let them PAY for it!

Royal Auto Collision’s goal is not to make insurance companies happy. It’s to make our customers happy by giving them the best quality repair work possible.

If you had a serious health problem, would you let your health insurance company send you to the cheapest doctor in town to make sure THEY got the best deal? Of course not! Yet that’s the fate of many vehicles after an accident. Your insurance agent may suggest or recommend a shop that he/she has a relationship with and will repair your car in the most cost-effective way for THEM… But that may not ensure the best quality workmanship or even new, OEM parts for YOU.

Unfortunately many drivers don’t realize that Ontario law guarantees that you alone can choose who repairs your car after an accident and you have the right to tow or drive your car to your CHOICE of registered repair shop… and your insurance will pay for the work just the same. While your vehicle is not as important as your health, it’s probably one of your most valuable possessions. So when something goes wrong, you want to trust it to a shop you know and that won’t cut corners fixing it.

Royal Auto Collision works with ALL auto insurance companies, but our top priority is you, the vehicle owner. At some repair shops, the needs of the insurance company are served before the needs of the customer, but not at Royal Auto Collision. We fight for YOUR interests, to make sure you get the best repair work possible. We Work with All Auto Insurance, so we’ll never cut corners to serve their bottom line. In fact, we’ve become known in the GTA area as the “Accident Experts” because of our highest quality auto body work (click here for our Before/After Gallery) and because we know how to deal with insurance adjusters and agents efficiently and professionally to get your vehicle repaired quickly, with top quality parts and workmanship.

Unlike most body shops in the GTA area, we have the EXPERIENCE, CERTIFICATIONS and EQUIPMENT that allow us to bring your vehicle back to pre-accident condition, including I-CAR GOLD CLASS certification, a standard of excellence achieved by less than 10% of body shops nationwide. And you can feel confident in choosing Royal Auto Collision since we guarantee all our work! Royal Auto Collision offers a lifetime warranty on our collision work and paint!

Accidents happen, so keep our phone numbers handy. In fact, save them on your cell phone NOW: Royal Auto Collision Office 905-282-1622 and our AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE ONLY: 905-625-7900. Call Royal Auto Collision customer service for more information on your rights as a consumer and how we can help you get the best repair after a collision.

We accept ALL auto insurance plans and can offer exceptional results with OUR GUARANTEE — at no additional cost. Any questions? Call us at 905.282.1622.

Contact your insurance company and report the accident.
Your adjuster will take all of the details and try to determine who is at fault. The adjuster will either waiver or apply your deductible accordingly, once a claim has been made. Remember – it is you that decides which body shop will repair your vehicle.
The adjuster will send a damage appraiser to the collision shop that your vehicle is at to assess and negotiate the repair damage.
When your vehicle has received approval for repair, the shop will contact you to sign a repair order before proceeding with the repairs.
Parts are ordered and a body technician is assigned to repair your vehicle.
Your vehicle is then sent to prep and paint.
The vehicle is then ready for parts assembly and the detail department clean-up.
Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car or must I use the one referred by my insurance?
Do I need to contact more than one shop for an estimate?
If my insurance company does not agree with the amount of the loss, do I have any recourse?
How can I handle the insurance process with the least amount of hassle?
Where can I turn if I am unhappy with the repairs done by the shop?
Where do I get a claim number?
Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?
If my vehicle’s frame is damaged is it a total loss?
Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?
How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?
How can I get a rental car?
How will I know when my car is done?
Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Do I have to pay a deductible?
Who do I pay my deductible to?
What forms of payment do you accept?
Can I wash my car after I pick it up?
Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car or must I use the one referred by my insurance?
ABSOLUTELY YES – Only you may select the repair facility. You have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require that you go to a particular shop. If your vehicle is a BMW leased vehicle, you are required to use a BMW Certified Collision Repair Centre.

Do I need to contact more than one shop for an estimate?
NO – Only one estimate from the shop of your choice is required of you. Obtaining any additional estimates is the obligation of the insurance company. Again, you have the right to choose which shop will repair your vehicle and at no additional cost to you. Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims centre before having your car repaired.

If my insurance company does not agree with the amount of the loss, do I have any recourse?
YES – When the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, both parties are entitled to arbitration. A typical arbitration clause would explain that when the insured and the insurer fail to agree on the amount of the loss, either party may demand an independent appraisal within 60 days of the date of loss. The insured and the insurer must each select a competent appraiser, and the appraisers in turn must select a competent and disinterested umpire. Should there be a disagreement as to the amount between the appraisers, they must submit their differences to the umpire.

How can I handle the insurance process with the least amount of hassle?
Your best bet is to select the shop of your choice to do the repairs and assign them the right to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. A reputable shop like Royal Auto Collision will put your best interests first and will improve your chances of negotiating a fair settlement. Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all the necessary work. If you’re not sure why one estimate is different from another you’ve received, please ask us.

Where can I turn if I am unhappy with the repairs done by the shop?
Your first effort should be to resolve any problems directly with the shop that did the repairs. Involving the insurance company or another shop may only escalate the problem and increase the difficulty in getting it resolved.

Where do I get a claim number?
A claim number is issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just write it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process. Our friendly staff will do the rest.

Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?
We can order most of your vehicle’s parts at the time the insurance company authorizes the repairs and then schedule your vehicle for drop-off a couple of days later. However, we will not know all the parts that will be needed until are able to complete the disassembly process and carefully inspect your vehicle for any hidden damage. On modern vehicles, hidden damage is almost inevitable. If your vehicle is found to be unsafe to drive, then we can immediately help you arrange for a rental vehicle or give you a ride home.

If my vehicle’s frame is damaged is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of the-art computer measuring system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.

Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?
Yes. Just let us know what other work you would like done so we can make the necessary arrangements.

How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
Your personal contact person here at Royal Auto Collision can give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete the repairs to your vehicle. Also, you can be sure we will stay in touch with you throughout the course of the repairs so you will never be left wondering how the repairs are going.

Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?
Yes, we would be happy to provide this service to you. We want each customer’s visit to be a positive experience and will work diligently towards that goal. We provide a valet pickup and delivery service.

How can I get a rental car?
We deal with Canada Car Rental so if you need a rental car, we can make the necessary arrangements for you to pick one up when you drop your car off (30 minutes notice required). However, your insurance company will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.

How will I know when my car is done?
You will be notified when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your personal contact during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Yes. Royal Auto Collision guarantees all repairs with a Lifetime Warranty.

Do I have to pay a deductible?
The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. If you carry broad collision, and you were not at fault, your insurance company most likely will waive your deductible. Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident when you make the claim, and by reviewing the accident report filed with the police department. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether you will be responsible to pay this when you pick up your vehicle.

Who do I pay my deductible to?
If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay Royal Auto Collision when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.

What forms of payment do you accept?
The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is with a major credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, & American Express. Of course, cash and certified checks are always welcome.

Can I wash my car after I pick it up?
Recommendations and Precautions In The First 30 Days
DO Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade.
DON’T Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. Do not «dry wipe» your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. Avoid parking under trees and utility lines, which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.