Auto Accident Help
You’ve had a car accident,,,now what?
First, we suggest you review the Auto Insurance Claims we have provided on our web site. Then, we recommend that you read the list of steps we have compiled below to help you with your auto insurance claim process:
Step 1 – Report Your Auto Accident
The first thing to do after your auto accident is to report your auto accident directly to your insurance company. When phoning in the loss, you should have your policy number, as well as all the information on the parties and other vehicles involved in the auto accident.
If the damage to either vehicle involved in the accident was over $1,000 or if any person was injured, you should file a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report *.
You should retain a copy of the crash report for your own records and then mail copies of completed report to:
- The local Police Department in the city or town where the accident occurred
- Your Insurance Company
- The Registry of Motor Vehicles Crash Records Dept.
Step 2 – Obtain a Motor Vehicle Damage Appraisal
Once you have reported your claim, you will need to obtain a auto damage estimate of the cost to repair the collision damages.
If your vehicle is SAFE TO DRIVE, your insurance company may direct you to take it to a Drive-In Appraisal Center or they may ask to come to your home or place of work to inspect the damage. Alternatively, you may also ask your insurance company if they will accept an estimate written by one of the licensed appraisers at DBA Auto Body, Inc. If your damage is less than $1,500 then your auto insurance company may accept our estimate.
If your vehicle is NOT safe to drive, please call and ask us to send a tow truck to pickup your vehicle. If you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, it should cover up to 2 tow bills related to your auto accident.
If your car is taken to a tow yard after the accident, please call us as soon as you know the location and phone number of the tow yard. The tow yard will charge $35 per day storage and the daily storage fees can add up quickly.
If your car is towed into our shop then your insurance company will send an auto damage appraiser to our shop to appraise your collision damages with us.
Step 3 – Schedule Your Collision Repairs at DBA Auto Body, Inc.
Please call DBA Auto Body, Inc. to schedule the repair date for your driveable car after it has been appraised. When you drop off your vehicle we will ask you to sign two documents:
The Direction to Pay allows your insurance company to pay us directly for the cost of your repairs. Signing a Direction to Pay also enables us to release your vehicle as soon as your repairs are completed — so you don’t have to wait to receive a “check in the mail” from your insurance company.
To ensure that your repair process goes as smoothly as possible, our recommendation is to sign the Direction to Pay, however, if you do not wish to sign a Direction to Pay, please sign and return this document to us: Notice of Refusal to Sign Direction to Pay
We also negotiate insurance supplements directly with your auto insurance company and we accept this negotiated amount as payment in full for your repair bill. As always, you are responsible for paying your deductible if it applies.
The “average” time for your car to be in an auto body shop for an insurance claim is at least 8 to 10 business days. This is because we need to re-negotiate your original estimate on most insurance claims. Insurance appraisers will not typically write a complete estimate the first time they see your car. This is because they want to see that the car is being fixed before they pay for labor that may never happen.
Step 4 – Arrange for Your Rental Car
If you need a rental car for the duration of your repairs, we will be happy to set it up for you. Our rental partner offers a convenient pick-up and drop-off service for your rental vehicle right here at our shop. Please be advised that our rental partner has also agreed to offer you a very reasonable out-of-pocket daily rate in the event that you don’t have rental coverage on your insurance policy.
We often see customers who wish they had opted for rental coverage on their auto insurance policy so, if you don’t have substitute transportation coverage on your policy, we recommend that you consider adding this coverage for possible use in the future. At a minimum, we recommend choosing $30 per day and up to $950 per claim. This amount will cover most of the cost for a mid-size sedan for almost a month.
Step 5 – Pay for Your Auto Collision Repair
If your vehicle is repairable, payment is normally sent out within 7-12 business days from the date you reported the accident. If you signed a Direction to Pay with DBA Auto Body, Inc. your insurance company will send a check directly to us.
If you are at fault in the accident, your insurance company will subtract any deductible you may owe from the payment they send us. We will collect your deductible when your repairs are completed and you come to pickup your car.
If you receive a direct payment check from your insurance company, we ask that you retain the check and bring it with you when you drop off or pickup your car. If you choose to deposit the direct payment check, we ask that you replace it with a bank check for the same amount.
For your convenience, you may use a credit card to pay for your deductible. We accept both MasterCard and Visa.
Step 6 – Pick up your Vehicle and Drive Home
We will communicate with you throughout your repair process to advise you of the status of your repairs.
When your car is ready for pickup you will be pleased to find that it has been cleaned inside and out. Rest Assured that, in our business, the job is never completed until the customer is 100% satisfied.
DBA has been in the auto body repair business for over 20 years. We are family-owned and we pride ourselves in our continuous record of repeat and referral customers. We have earned the trust of our customers by providing exceptional repair work and customer services.
We are often asked about how to negotiate with insurance companies in the event that a vehicle is declared a total loss. Here’s a link to a great article which will help you negotiate your total loss auto insurance claim.
Thank you for choosing DBA Auto Body, Inc. for your auto body and auto collision repair needs.