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What should I do if I am involved in an accident?

A:Regardless of how minor you believe the accident to be, you should always notify the police and complete an accident report. Your next call should be to the collision repair shop of your choice. Your shop will answer questions, assist you in the claims process, and advise you on how to proceed with the repairs to your vehicle.

My insurance company provided me with a list of preferred repair shops. Where should I go?

A:In Massachusetts, you have the right to choose the registered repair shop of your choice. Insurance carriers have agreements with repair shops all across the Commonwealth, but it is ultimately your choice where your vehicle is repaired. It is important that you choose a Massachusetts registered repair shop, as we are all required to be fully bonded and insured. For more information regarding your rights in the repair process.

Why do you ask for my registration when I visit your shop for a free estimate?

A:We ask for your registration because it has your unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and other pertinent information such as your name and address. We use an estimating software package that will match up your VIN with the correct make, model and trim panel in our database. This allows us to give you the most current, accurate pricing for any parts related to the repair of your vehicle. Our database is not connected to the Registry of Motor Vehicles or your insurance carrier.

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

A:Your insurer must inspect the damage to your vehicle at the location of your choice, including your chosen collision repair shop (MGL 26 8 G).

What are Aftermarket, or LKQ parts?

A:Aftermarket parts are not made by car manufacturers. They are produced in the automotive aftermarket and are becoming increasingly popular due to their low cost for insurers. While the law allows for insurance appraisers to write for aftermarket parts, the collision repair shop can and will refuse to use these parts if they do not fit the vehicle properly or do not meet the safety standards of CAPA Certified parts. For more information on aftermarket parts click here . LKQ (Like, Kind, and Quality) are used, orginal equipment parts made by the car manufacturer. Again, insurers write for LKQ parts because they are lower in price than new, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Though the law allows for the use of these parts, you do have the ability to negotiate for the use of OEM parts in the repair of your vehicle. We always use OEM parts for self pay repairs unless the consumer states otherwise.

Why did the insurance company charge me a betterment?

A:The insurer will depreciate certain damaged parts for normal wear and tear. Anotherwords, components such as mufflers, exhausts, and tires are common targets for betterment. The insurance company assumes these parts were subject to wear and tear so they will not pay full price for the new part. The insured is then responsible for the difference in price. We have found over the years some customers are successful in negotiating with the insurance company for a reduction in betterment, or elimination altogether. It does seem to be on a case by case basis, but it is certainly worth a try.

Can you save me money off my deductible?

A:When you choose an insurance policy, you are presented with many different types of coverage which include varying deductibles. Whichever coverage/deductible you choose is your responsibility. The insurance company subtracts your deductible amount from the check and it is your responsibility to pay that amount, whether it be $300, $500, $1000 or higher to the collision shop. The only time money can be saved is if you choose NOT to have a specific part repaired or replaced. That is always on a case by case basis, and it has to fall within the guidelines of CMR 212.