Can I get an estimate over the phone?

It is difficult to accurately estimate damages over the telephone. Although we always welcome inquiries, it is preferred that we actually see the vehicle in order to make a fair and precise estimate of damages.

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Can I choose where I want my vehicle repaired even if the insurance is paying and suggest I bring it to one of their Direct Repair facilities?

Yes you have the right to have your car repaired at any shop you choose. A commonly believed misconception is that you are required to get more than one estimate when seeking repair work. This is not the case and there is no law requiring you to get more than one estimate. You are free to choose any reputable repair provider you wish. Your insurance company is required by law to pay the reasonable cost to restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition according to the coverage you purchased. Your insurance policy will specify what coverage you have. We will work on your behalf to ensure this happens. As with any program, the vehicle owner should make a choice of shop based on the reputation of the shop, certification and expertise of technicians and warranties offered.

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How do I start an insurance claim?

The first thing you should do is call the claims department of your insurance company. Typically, this number can be found on your insurance card. The Clams Department will give you a claim number at that time. Let them know that you will be having your vehicle repaired at Rich’s Auto Body, and bring your claim number when you come in for your estimate.

Every insurance company handles claims a little differently. Many companies now offer 24/7 claims support, mobile apps, and on-line claims service. At Rich’s Auto Body, our top priority is you and getting your vehicle returned to you in pre-accident condition. Once you file your claim we can handle everything else for you.

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Which insurance companies do you work with?

Rich’s Auto Body works with all insurance companies.

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When can I bring my car in for an estimate?

Our office and shop is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. We are also available for scheduled appointments after normal business hours and on weekends. You can reach us at 607-829-3583

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When will the parts be ordered for my repairs?

If you are going through your insurance company, we will order parts as soon as we receive approval for repairs from your insurance company. If you are not going through an insurance company, we will order your parts as soon as you approve our estimate. All parts will be ordered and arrive at the shop prior to the scheduled date to begin repairs.

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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. Most cars these days are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians with the aid of our state-of-the-art measuring system can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications.

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Can you match the paint color?

Yes, provided that your vehicle is an original factory color that is not faded or discolored. The following is a brief description of how paint matching works:

Your vehicle carries a paint code printed on a label on your vehicle. This code is broken down into a formula given to automotive paint manufacturers. A repair shop uses the formula to mix the color within their chosen brand of paint.

We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.

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How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?

It will depend on the amount of damage, availability of parts, whether hidden damage is uncovered during the repair process, and repair shop scheduling. Our office staff will give you an anticipated completion date.

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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 we will work diligently towards that goal.

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How can I get a rental car?

Remember that rental coverage on your policy may pay for all or part of a rental car while your car is getting fixed, so be sure to check your coverage. 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.

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How will I know when my car is done?

When you schedule your repair, we will give you a tentative completion date. Your repairs will be completed in a timely fashion without compromising quality standards for the sake of time. If we anticipate major changes to the delivery date, we will contact you. Rich’s Auto Body will keep you updated during the repair process of your vehicle. You will be notified the day before your vehicle is finished so that you can make transportation arrangements.

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Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?

Yes. Rich’s Auto Body Shop guarantees their workmanship on all repairs with a Lifetime Warranty as long as you own the vehicle.

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What is a deductible? Do I have to pay a deductible?

A deductible is the amount of money that you are required to pay out of pocket before your expenses are paid on a claim.


If you are in an accident and you have:

    • $3,000 of damage to your vehicle.
    • $500 deductible.

You will pay $500. Your car insurance company will pay the remaining $2,500.

When you have an accident, your car insurance company will pay for damages up to the limit of your policy. Regardless of how serious how the accident is, you will only need to pay your auto deductible.

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To whom do I pay my deductible?

You will pay Rich’s Auto Body directly for your deductible when you pick up your vehicle.

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What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept insurance checks, cash, & personal checks. If your vehicle has a bank loan, your insurance company might make the check payable to you and the lender. It is your responsibility to have the lender endorse the check. Most lenders will want a copy of the repair estimate, please let us know and we would be happy to make copies for your bank.

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What are betterment charges?

Betterment means that your repaired vehicle is in “better” condition after the repairs than it was before it was damaged. The resulting improved condition of the vehicle is known as betterment.

For example, if your vehicle has a rusty front bumper and you run into another vehicle, the insurance company may impose betterment charges. The reason for this charge is that the insurance company is only responsibility to pay to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition, not new condition.

Any betterment charges would have to be paid directly to Rich’s Auto Body.

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Can I wash my car?

You can wash your car with a mild soap, and clean water. Do not use any course cloths.

You should wait 4 weeks before using any industrial chemicals to wash your vehicle.

Especially during the first sixty to ninety days after a new paint job, you should never use commercial car washes and waxes on your car. Most people will take their cars to an automatic or more professional car wash such as a drive-thru car wash. Utilizing these car washes can damage finish if done so during these first sixty to ninety crucial days.

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