Collision Center FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

(Click to read answers)

What are your hours of operation?

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5:30pm.

Where do I get a claim number?

Insurance companies issue claim numbers once you have turned in the accident claim to them.

Will the parts be ordered before drop off my vehicle for repairs?

Yes. We order the parts once you have scheduled a time to bring it in for repairs. This ensures the parts are on-site the day you drop off the vehicle.

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 a 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, then that section can simply be replaced.

Can you match the paint color?

Today's modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. We have made a major investment in the finest paint system available, and we constantly upgrade its technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle's paint matches. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.

Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the shop?

Yes. Just let your Estimator know what other work you would like to have done, so that he or she can make the necessary arrangements.

How long will my vehicle repairs take?

Your Estimator will give you an idea of the amount of time needed to complete the repairs to your vehicle.

Can I get a ride home or to work when I drop off my car?

Yes, we would be happy to provide this service to you. Be sure to let your Estimator know when you book your vehicle for drop-off.

Will Mel Rapton (Honda) set up a rental for me?

Yes, we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies 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 can plan on your vehicle being ready for the end of the day on the final day of repairs. However, we will call you if we finish ahead of schedule. Feel free to call or e-mail your Estimator during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?

Yes, all repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle.

Do I have to pay a deductible?

The amount of the deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. If you were not at fault, your insurance company may 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, call your agent. He/she 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 collects my deductible?

If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay MEL RAPTON (HONDA) when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren't sure about your deductible, call your agent. He/she 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 is with a major credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Of course, cash is always welcome.

What are the betterment charges?

Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use (i.e., tires, batteries, and suspension parts) are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process. These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles on your vehicle.

Can I wash my car?

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS FOR 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.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS FOR THE FIRST 90 DAYS
Don't...Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.



Consumer Bill of Rights for Motorists

Must I obtain three estimates?

Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy states otherwise, no one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the car owner, may do so, should this be your desire.

I was told that I must take my car to a certain repair shop. Must I do this?

Answer: Generally, no. No one can force you to go to a certain repair shop unless your policy states otherwise.

I don't believe I was at fault in the accident. Should I use my own collision policy or try to collect from the other party?

Answer: Try to collect from the other party because you will not have to pay a deductible. Also, if you use the other person's policy, you may be entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired, and no accident should be charged against your policy.

Who is responsible to the repair shop for my repair bill - the insurance company or me?

Answer: You are. You may direct your insurance company to pay the repair shop, but the payment must be in the hands of the repair agency when you pick up your vehicle. Keep in mind, you are the customer and the insured. The repair shop owner looks to you for payment and you look to the insurance company for payment.

Who is responsible for the safety, workmanship and guarantee of my auto repairs - insurance company or repair shop?

Answer: Generally, the repair shop is responsible.

I am sure that the other driver is at fault, but no one has made any effort to see to the repairs of my auto. What can I do?

Answer: You are the owner of the automobile. Only you have the legal right to make arrangements for the repair of your automobile, not the insurance company.

Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims service?

Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy provides otherwise, it is not mandatory to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims service. Usually it will suffice for you to call your insurance company and tell them where the vehicle can be examined by a claims person.

If I go to a drive-in claims service, do I have to take the car to its preferred shop?

Answer: Generally, no. However, if you decide to take your car to the preferred shop, ask your insurance company to implement its "elects to repair" clause (check your insurance policy). This may cause the insurance company to be responsible for, among other things, the quality of repairs.

I am having a problem with the insurance company. Can the state insurance commissioner's office help me?

Answer: Perhaps, yes, but the commissioner's authority is limited! The commissioner's office in your state can describe the scope of authority for you.

Can the insurance company and service shop make an adjustment and start repair on the auto without the owner's consent?

Answer: No. Never. You should be presented an estimate to know what is being repaired on your vehicle before repairs are made.

A Final Word...

Most state laws make it unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle that is unsafe or has defective equipment. Insist on having your vehicle restored to its pre-accident condition. Do not be pressured into having repair work done by a specific shop simply because of lower price. The owners of some repair shops have pledged their shops to a rigid code of ethics. This code is designed to protect you and your property. All of this information was found on the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) website. Please refer to this site if you would like more information http://www.asashop.org/tips/bill.htm.