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Select from any of the below areas for answers to some of our frequently asked questions. If you are looking for answers that you can’t find here, please send us a message here.
Accident Scene: What should I do?
Immediately following an accident it is important to think carefully as fear, anger and frustration have a tendency to rise. A calm and informed reaction to an accident will reduce your chances for additional grief and expense.
You have certain obligations at the scene of an accident. Find out what they are in the Oregon DMV “Your Responsibilities in an Accident”.
Call us first, before calling your insurance company. We’ll arrange for a tow and rental car, if needed and we’ll walk you through what to do next. Call us for help:
- 503-257-9255 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or
- 1-800-INFO-FIX (1-800-463-6349) after hours
We can repair your vehicle regardless of what insurance company is involved. Oregon law protects your right to choose the repair shop of your choice – we’d like you to choose us.
Accident Report: Do I need to file?
- Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $,1500;
- Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident;
- Injury or death resulted from this accident; or,
- Damages to any one person’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1,500
You can get an accident report form at Oregon DMV offices or we have them at our shop for your convenience.
After the Accident … What do I do first?
Estimate … Do I need one?
No, you do not. There is no Oregon insurance claim requirement that you obtain an estimate prior to choosing and leaving your vehicle with the shop of your choice. We highly recommend that you choose a shop based on their merits: integrity, reputation, credentials and longevity. Contact the shop for assistance, and THEN notify the insurance company and let them know where you have chosen to have your repairs done.
Estimate … I have an insurance estimate, now what?
Choosing us to repair your vehicle will ensure a guaranteed repair for your vehicle. Bring any insurance estimate with you when you come in.
Frame Damage … Will my vehicle drive the same?
We have the equipment, training and certified technicians to properly repair and return vehicle frame and unibody damage to factory specifications. We use a laser measuring system and have access to manufacturer specifications to ensure accuracy in the repair process.
Paint... Will it match?
We use one of the finest paint systems in the world, Spies Hecker, a division of DuPont Performance Coatings. When we prepare paint for your vehicle, we use the paint code affixed to your vehicle by the manufacturer to ensure proper color selection for your vehicle.
Our painter is an expert in his craft and we guarantee a color match (unless the paint on your vehicle is faded, oxidized or severely worn). If you are being told by another shop that the paint on such a vehicle will match exactly on a vehicle with these paint conditions, we recommend you proceed with caution. New and well-maintained paint is shiny; oxidized paint is dull, faded paint has had the color change from the original, and severely worn paint may be a combination of many wear and tear factors. Please call us to discuss your options and expectations if you think your vehicle may fall under these conditions.
Paintless Dent Repair.. Can you do it and what is it?
Yes, we can have this done for you. Paintless dent repair is a type of repair that is done from the backside of the panel to remove a ding or small dent without having to perform body work or painting. It is most effective on small dings and there must be access to the backside of the panel.
Parts "OEM, Aftermarket, Salvage" … What do these mean?
Our first choice of parts is new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts; those are parts made by your vehicle manufacturer. However, there can be good reason to use parts other than new OEM parts, and we are happy to discuss the alternatives with you. Your insurance policy may not pay for OEM parts if lower-priced aftermarket parts (parts NOT made by your car manufacturer) or salvage parts (used parts) are available. Aftermarket and salvage parts are sometimes referred to as LKQ (like kind and quality) parts.
We cannot force your insurer to pay for something other than what is written in the policy you purchased. You always have the option to pay the difference between what your policy covers and what your preference is. Ask us what the cost difference is if you would prefer new OEM parts.
Personal Belongings … What do I do with them during the repair?
Before leaving your vehicle with us for repair, please remove your personal belongings. This increases our efficiency during the repair and final vehicle cleaning, and will ensure your belongings stay clean and safe while we repair your car. Please leave us the owner’s manual, and (if you have one) the radio reset code and a wheel lock key.
Repair Process … What I can expect?
Our repair process consists of nine steps as explained in our section “crash to completion”.
Service Work … Can you coordinate service work during the repair?
Let us know what service work you would like to have done and we will make the necessary arrangements for you.
Scheduling … How do I make an appointment?
Timeline … How long will my repair take?
No two accidents are exactly the same, making each repair unique. Auto body repair is an art form performed by our craftspeople, not an assembly line process. It requires many decisions based on your expectations and your vehicle’s unique damage. Check with us for the specifics for your vehicle.
Body Shop Choice … How do I choose?
It’s your responsibility as the vehicle owner to choose a reputable auto body shop. Ask people you trust for a recommendation. Ask about the shop’s credentials: Do they have the I-CAR Gold Professionals designation? Are they ASE and I-CAR welding certified? Check out the shop’s record with the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s office.
Certifications & Certificates … Do you have any?
We are proud to have the following certifications or certificates:
I-CAR Gold Class designation since 1991
Standox Standoblue brand paint from Axalta Coating Systems (formerly DuPont Performance Coatings)
Chief Automotive frame equipment
Guarantee & Warranty … Is your shop’s work guaranteed?
Fix Auto Portland East guarantees all repairs with our Lifetime Limited Warranty.
Claim Number … How do I get one?
Claim numbers are issued by your insurance agent, your insurance company or the other person’s insurance company at the time you report your accident.
Direct Repair Programs (DRPs) … What are they?
A Direct Repair Program (DRP) is an agreement – akin to the “preferred provider agreement” your doctor may have with your health insurer – between an insurance company and body shops. One of the primary goals is reducing costs associated with claims. There are as many differences in DRPs as there are insurers. Insurers offer some auto body shops a DRP agreement in order to consolidate the insurer’s claim management efforts, and then encourage their customers to have repairs made at these selected shops. In Portland, for example, there may only be a handful of shops on the DRP for any particular insurance company.
There can be pros and cons involved with DRPs for you (and for shops). As with any buying decision, we encourage you do some research and only choose a body shop that you are comfortable with, one that you feel will explain your options and work for you, and most importantly, one you can trust.
A body shop that has integrity will do right by you, will work to maintain a stellar reputation, and will honor its warranty if needed, whether or not they participate in an insurer’s DRP. Whether a shop participates in an insurer DRP should not be the only way you choose a shop, because it’s not necessarily an indication of whether or not that business is ethical and qualified.
We have hand-picked a few insurance direct repair programs (DRPs) in which we participate. These programs are ones that focus on making the process more convenient for you rather than just pushing for the “cheapest” repair. We do not compromise repair and safety procedures in order to participate in an insurer’s program.
Deductible … What is it and do I pay?
The deductible is the amount you agreed to pay (when you purchased your policy) on each loss before your insurance company pays. A deductible ONLY applies when you make a claim with YOUR auto insurance policy to pay for repairs. For example, if you are in an accident that causes $2,500 worth of damage and your deductible is $500, you are required to pay the first $500 to us, and your insurance company will pay the remaining $2,000.
Your deductible is paid directly to Fix Auto Portland East at the time you drop off your vehicle or when repairs are complete.
Deductible … Will you cover it?
We like to say “Yes” to our customers. But this is one question to which we have to say “No”. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company to which you agreed when you purchased it. It stipulates that you pay your deductible. To not do so could be considered insurance fraud. A shop that is willing to commit fraud against your insurer may be just as willing to be unfair with you. If there is some aspect of the repairs you don’t want to do in order to save money, we can discuss this when you come in, and help communicate with your insurer when applicable.
Insurance Claim … How do I file?
Call your insurance agent or the phone number on your insurance card (or the insurance company of the other person if they were at fault). You may be asked to make a recorded statement. It may be helpful for you to write down the accident details prior to making a recorded statement.
Insurance “Collision” & “Comprehensive” Coverage … What are they?
“Collision” coverage pays for physical damage caused when you car collides with another car or object. We recommend an annual review of your policy and its coverage with your agent or insurer. Ask about what is covered and what is not.
“Comprehensive” coverage pays for damage to your vehicle not covered by collision coverage, such as fire, theft, explosion, glass breakage, animal collision or vandalism. We recommend an annual review of your policy and its coverage with your agent or insurer. Ask about what is covered and what is not.
Insurance Recommended Shop … Do I have to go there?
No, you do not. We can repair your vehicle no matter what insurance company is involved. Some insurance companies will attempt to convince you to take your vehicle to “their” shop for an estimate or to be repaired. They may attempt to convince you that doing so will ensure that the repairs will be guaranteed and may be done more quickly, but this is not a given. We highly recommend you do some research before making your shop selection.
Read through our FAQs for helpful tips. All shops with integrity and that are reputable will have a reasonable guarantee or warranty – just like we do – that will be important to you should a problem arise. Ultimately, repairs are guaranteed by the shop doing the work.
Under Oregon law your right to use the repair shop of your choice is protected. No matter what an insurer may say remember, it’s your vehicle and it’s your choice. We hope you choose us.
Insured or Claimant … Which am I?
You are the “insured” when you have filed a claim with your insurance company for the damage to be paid for by your policy. You are the “claimant” when the other person is at fault, you file a claim with their insurance company and their insurance company will be paying for the damage.
Insurance Questions … Where do I find answers?
Check the Oregon Insurance Division “Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance”.
Insurance Rates … Will they increase after an accident?
Any accident or loss has the potential to affect your insurance rates. We recommend you consult your agent or insurance company to assist you in determining the impact a given claim will have on your policy rates.
Rental Car … How do I get one and who pays?
If you need a rental car, call us and we will make the reservation for you.
- If your insurance company is paying :: Full coverage insurance does not necessarily include coverage for a rental car. Your insurance company will pay for a rental car ONLY if you have this coverage on your policy and ONLY within the limits of the policy you purchased. Repair time may exceed the limits of the policy you purchased. When this occurs, you are responsible for the additional rental costs.
- If the other person’s insurance company is paying :: Their insurance company will pay for a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired.
- Useful information about auto rental coverage ::Many of our customers have not known that including rental coverage in their auto insurance policy can be very economical. It is common for a rental car to cost about $35 per day. Annual rental coverage can often be purchased for under $50. Consult with your agent or insurance carrier and discuss your rental coverage options. This coverage must be on your policy prior to having a loss to be effective.
Shuttle Service … Can you take me home or to work?
When you leave your vehicle for repairs, we will gladly drive you to your home or work within our service area. Calling ahead to schedule is appreciated.
Deposit … Do I pay before repair begins?
You may be asked to pay a deposit if we are ordering parts before you bring your car in if you are paying the repairs yourself or are collecting for the repairs from a private party. Most insurance claim repairs do not require a deposit.
Lien-holder … What is it?
A lien-holder is most commonly the bank or credit union that loaned you money to purchase your vehicle. Sometimes in a loss paid for by an insurance company, the lien-holder will be listed as a payee on the insurance check. If this occurs notify us immediately; it is common for the lien-holder to require proof that the repairs have been completed in order to obtain their endorsement on the check.
Payment … Who is responsible, who pays and when?
You are ultimately responsible for payment and for obtaining payment from the insurer or private party paying for the repairs. If you would like assistance, just ask and we can help. Some insurers pay us directly. Our preferred method of primary payment is with the check issued you by the insurance company. You can give us the check any time during the repairs or at the completion of the repair. It is necessary that all payees endorse the check. A payee is any person or business named in the “pay to the order of” area, including any lien-holder. We also accept cash, personal check with proper ID, and in some cases credit cards. We cannot accept credit card payment by phone.
Repairs must be paid for at the time repairs are complete. Storage fees will be charged to you if the repairs are not paid for and the vehicle picked up within 5 days of completion. We do not accept checks or credit cards from people we do not have a repair contract with (i.e., if a private party other than you is paying for the repairs).
Total Loss … When is my vehicle a total loss?
A vehicle is a total loss if the insurance company declares it to be. Usually, this is because the cost of repair is impractical. The insurance company can total a vehicle whenever it determines that your car is no longer financially or structurally reasonable to repair, even if you disagree. For more information about total loss and your rights, read this State of Oregon document, “Vehicle Total Loss”.
How soon after repairs can I wash or wax my car?
Do not wax or polish your vehicle for 90 days as the full curing process takes place over this time. Here are some other tips to keep your vehicle looking its best:
- Hand-wash your vehicle; commercial car washes may damage paint.
- Wash your vehicle out of direct sunlight and when the surface is cool; wet the surface thoroughly, use a mild car wash soap, rinse well and only dry with a thoroughly damp chamois or squeegee made for specifically for that purpose.
- Wash off any bird droppings, tree sap, gasoline, antifreeze or any chemicals as soon as possible to reduce potential paint damage.
- Do not wipe your vehicle’s dirty paint with a dry cloth; it will act like sandpaper against the finish.
- Do not scrape snow or ice from the paint as this may scratch the paint.
Give us a call
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Número de teléfono: 503-257-9255