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#4622328 - 01/02/18 11:00 PM Body shops VS insurance
bowlofturtle Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 761
Loc: Chicago
Maybe some of your body shop people or insurance people can help shine some light into this.

Say you get into an accident, make your insurance claim and i get 3 quotes.

#1 small corner body shop - $800 for bumper, fender and paint (bondo everything)
#2 well known shop in town, dealership certs or w/e - $1600 for bumper, fender and a little paint blend (good non-oem parts)
#3 High end shop, all certs you can think of - $3500 bumper, fender, blend doors/hood and etc. (all OEM stuff)
#4 The insurance's recommended place quoted about $1200, non-oem, no blending.

Say i go with option 3, not because of OEM but i've seen the work and its looks good. They talk to my insurance blah blah and car gets done. All i pay is my deductible in all cases. How does #3 get the insurance to agree to pay $3500? If the insurance declines and says $2000 max, what happens then do they just start cutting corners or reject my car in general?
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#4622331 - 01/02/18 11:03 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8764
Loc: Phoenix
The insurance company says what they are going to pay and that's it. The shop can argue more time is needed and submit a supplement. If it's a claim on your own insurance, you almost certainly agreed to wording for LKQ parts - not new OEM. Depending on the color, you might be able to get the to pay for blending into the adjacent panels. Most shops won't even write you an estimate for an insurance job...
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#4622338 - 01/02/18 11:22 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19809
Loc: CA
No one knows the true repair cost until the vehicle is disassembled and checked for additional damage. Some preliminary estimates are thorough, some are sloppy. Keep in mind that if you take the insurance company's payment, the payment will be based off of the preliminary estimate....so you are likely leaving money on the table. However, as a starting point, most insurance companies will require you to obtain a preliminary estimate (includes taking pictures) from one of their in-network shops to decide if car is worth repairing. Most companies will use this "preliminary estimate" as their pre-approved amount for repairs.

Once you choose a repair facility (assuming they are not in-network), your repair shop will disassemble the car and write a full estimate. In general, there will usually be some differences between the actual findings and what the preliminary estimate accounted for. At this point, your shop will call the insurance company for a supplement. Most supplements require a visit from the insurance company's adjuster unless the difference is minimal (3-digits). If there is a disagreement, usually the two will "work it out" since the car is already disassembled and neither party wants to be responsible for delays and have to pay additional rental car costs. Nowadays, due to cost reductions, it is not uncommon for it to take 1 week or more for an adjuster to get out to the shop for the follow-up inspection....so this is where a lot of the delays occur.

If you take your car to an in-network facility, the process goes a lot quicker. Most in-network shops have a certain amount of authority for repairs. So if the total repairs fall below a certain dollar amount, the shop can order the parts and do all of the work without requiring an on-site visit from an adjuster.


Edited by The Critic (01/02/18 11:24 PM)
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#4622343 - 01/02/18 11:35 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4740
Loc: MTL, CANADA
They get it back when they jack your premiums up smile More the cost the more the increase. Your insurance company may or may not provide you with a list of who you can work with.
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#4622344 - 01/02/18 11:44 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
bowlofturtle Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 761
Loc: Chicago
I do agree some initial inspections are better than others. Some people quote everything and anything that could be wrong and some will just do the few parts. That's the whole Joe's corner body shop VS a high end, 3 full paint booth and etc.

The whole "work it out" is the part that I'm not understanding. Something has to give right, either parts or labor. Instead of getting paid 10 labor hours on the car, they might have to agree on 6.

I know most insurance companies have a insurance labor rate vs a standard, I've seen other people's insurance paperwork. Like the shop rate is now $45/hour instead of $89.
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#4622345 - 01/02/18 11:47 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
WhyMe Offline


Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 515
Loc: Washington for now
my understanding is that "steering", the practice of forcing you to use a shop that the insurance company suggest is illegal. you should be able to take it to any shop you want.

yours sounds like a very simple repair and in my experience in something so simple the price does not vary much. now if it was more extensive then they would need to take it apart to do a more thourough inspection. to have them pay the extra for the $3500 one you would need to justify the extra cost to them. perhaps you have pearl paint and its needs to be completely repainted to match.

in my expereince blending paint was always included if there was a adjacent panel. bumper maybe not, but a fender most certainly. only one i have seen are if people paid out of pocket themselves and cheaped out and painted just the panel.

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#4622346 - 01/02/18 11:47 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19809
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle


The whole "work it out" is the part that I'm not understanding. Something has to give right, either parts or labor. Instead of getting paid 10 labor hours on the car, they might have to agree on 6.

Usually the differences are for small items that add up. For instance, the estimating software may pay 2 hours to remove and reinstall (r/r) the bumper, but also pay an extra 0.3 hr to r/r each foglight. Or the book may specify a certain amount for final polishing that the insurance may not agree to. Stuff of that nature. They are minor items that can run up a bill very quickly. Ultimately the shop's name is on the repair, so the shop may decide to do the repair anyway for less payment.
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#4622348 - 01/02/18 11:54 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8764
Loc: Phoenix
Need some more detail from OP on what was different about these 4 estimates and what car the repair is on. If I read it correctly, we're going from a repairable bumper cover and fender on a 2005 car to replacing the fender and cover with new OEM parts, that's a big change and not something you'll likely get your own insurance company to approve.

Just for discussion sake I am not even bringing up hidden damage like the absorber being cracked or something missed on the quote like r/r foglamps. A shop will catch that and get it added.
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#4622349 - 01/02/18 11:54 PM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
14Accent Online   content


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
Another option is to ask the high-end body shop to use quality used OEM parts.

I would rather have, say, a used OEM fender installed that was straight vs. a "sorta fits" aftermarket. If you prep and paint it properly, a used OEM fender will almost always look better than a new aftermarket from China.
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#4622353 - 01/03/18 12:08 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: dishdude]
bowlofturtle Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 761
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Need some more detail from OP on what was different about these 4 estimates and what car the repair is on. If I read it correctly, we're going from a repairable bumper cover and fender on a 2005 car to replacing the fender and cover with new OEM parts, that's a big change and not something you'll likely get your own insurance company to approve.

Just for discussion sake I am not even bringing up hidden damage like the absorber being cracked or something missed on the quote like r/r foglamps. A shop will catch that and get it added.


Honestly its just a front bumper, fender and OEM HID headlight. Extras like plastic inner fender, bumper/corner light, bumper inserts.

I want to go with the high end shop, yes its a 2005 with 130k. I honestly dont really care if i get OEM parts or not. I'm just worried my insurance isn't going to pony up the $ the shop is asking for. I figure the shop will come down a bit but maybe not enough and i get stuck in no man's land.
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#4622355 - 01/03/18 12:15 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8764
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Need some more detail from OP on what was different about these 4 estimates and what car the repair is on. If I read it correctly, we're going from a repairable bumper cover and fender on a 2005 car to replacing the fender and cover with new OEM parts, that's a big change and not something you'll likely get your own insurance company to approve.

Just for discussion sake I am not even bringing up hidden damage like the absorber being cracked or something missed on the quote like r/r foglamps. A shop will catch that and get it added.


Honestly its just a front bumper, fender and OEM HID headlight. Extras like plastic inner fender, bumper/corner light, bumper inserts.

I want to go with the high end shop, yes its a 2005 with 130k. I honestly dont really care if i get OEM parts or not. I'm just worried my insurance isn't going to pony up the $ the shop is asking for. I figure the shop will come down a bit but maybe not enough and i get stuck in no man's land.


I'm even more confused now. The HID headlight, fender liner, marker light and bumper inserts are broken? How could you possibly get an estimate for $800?
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#4622358 - 01/03/18 12:28 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
fields Offline


Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 120
Loc: TX
I take my car to the body shop and tell the ins. that is where it will be fixed. Handle it. I do not take it to a cheapo shop. Been using the same shop for 40 years.


Edited by fields (01/03/18 12:29 AM)

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#4622359 - 01/03/18 12:37 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
I'm pretty tired, so I cant barely read and make sense of what I write...lol


So, here is a quote from your question;

"How does #3 get the insurance to agree to pay $3500? If the insurance declines and says $2000 max, what happens then do they just start cutting corners or reject my car in general?"


Its all a negotiation process, shop #3 can either agree to repair the vehicle or decline. You do not need 3 estimates. The shop estimator and the insurance adjuster normally do the estimates together. Actually the insurance adjuster does the estimate, but often times will negotiate flag times for certain repairs with the shops estimator. Its a lot like health care....lol
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#4622360 - 01/03/18 12:54 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19809
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Need some more detail from OP on what was different about these 4 estimates and what car the repair is on. If I read it correctly, we're going from a repairable bumper cover and fender on a 2005 car to replacing the fender and cover with new OEM parts, that's a big change and not something you'll likely get your own insurance company to approve.

Just for discussion sake I am not even bringing up hidden damage like the absorber being cracked or something missed on the quote like r/r foglamps. A shop will catch that and get it added.


Honestly its just a front bumper, fender and OEM HID headlight. Extras like plastic inner fender, bumper/corner light, bumper inserts.

I want to go with the high end shop, yes its a 2005 with 130k. I honestly dont really care if i get OEM parts or not. I'm just worried my insurance isn't going to pony up the $ the shop is asking for. I figure the shop will come down a bit but maybe not enough and i get stuck in no man's land.


The high-end is just telling you how they would prefer to fix the car, but it is very likely that they will end up using the same aftermarket (or used) parts and doing the work for a similar cost as the other folks. None of these shops are charging their customers huge out of pocket premiums for insurance jobs - they would not be able to stay in business.
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#4622369 - 01/03/18 01:49 AM Re: Body shops VS insurance [Re: bowlofturtle]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16981
Loc: Michigan
Well, much depends on the insurance company first...some are worst than others..

An 05 with 130k? If I was guessing car in your sig, pushing 3 grand will total it out pretty quick..

Here in MI, due to the cost of insurance and fraud, I've seen drivers with 20+ years with a company and dumped on their claims due to some really crazy reasons...

2017 was the year the insurance companies paid out their most money ever..expect them to cut where they can...
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