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What do I do if my car needs more repairs than originally estimated?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 10:45 AM


We tend to throw around lots of different terms in the auto body industry.  One you might not have heard before is “supplement,” which refers to any additional repairs that are called for outside of the original estimate.  Does the thought of this happening stress you out?  Try not to worry! 

First, let me explain how it’s possible for your car to need more repairs than originally estimated.  During an estimate, here’s what happens:

We begin the estimate with plenty of documentation.
To cover every base, our estimator will carefully examine every area of your vehicle and document every section with visible damage.  We may even need to lift panels to see if your framework requires any repairs.  Our estimator will list out every possible body and paint work necessary.

taking notes

Next, we determine the cost of parts and paint.
To determine the cost of parts and paint, we use a third-party system that all body shops use.  The system provides the cost of every part and quantity of paint.  During this process, we also factor in how quickly parts can arrive once the repairs begin.

Finally, we calculate the cost of labor and the length of time needed for repairs.
To calculate labor hours, we consult a series of formulas that have been set by industry best practices and insurance company allotments.  Once we have that figure, we can factor in the time it would take for parts to arrive, and that will give us an estimate for when your vehicle will be repaired.


How can the estimate be wrong?
An estimate, by its nature, is never 100%.  Some damage doesn’t become obvious until a technician has taken apart a section and discovered it.  An estimator isn’t able to take apart your entire car during the estimating process, so there’s no way for them to see everything.

However, a supplement shouldn’t be a major hassle for you.
The worst-case scenario is most likely that you’ll have to wait for a check from your insurance company, deposit it, and then wait for it to clear so you can pay the body shop for the supplemental repairs.  This scenario can be avoided by selecting a body shop that will handle this kind of thing on your behalf. 

At Bel Air Autobody, the sister company to Ward Automotive, we can provide you with a customer service representative to communicate with your insurance company for you.  The representative will guide you through the entire process of having your car worked on by us.      

It is important to us that you know your car will be in the best hands when you bring it to us.  We are proud to service our neighbors in Harford County, including Aberdeen, Bel Air, Burns Corner, Darlington, Edgewood, Fallston, Havre de Grace, Hickory Hills, Jarrettsville, Joppatowne, Perryman, Pleasant Hills, Pylesville, and Riverside.  At Bel Air Autobody and Ward Automotive, we hope to be the shop for all of your auto repair needs.

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Topics: auto repair estimate, auto body shop estimate explained, customer service, body shop services, damage estimate, auto repair supplement, auto repair costs, auto body shop terms explained, Auto body repair plan, Shop terminology, additional repairs