Does insurance cover the cost to sanitize my vehicle if I have an accident and need collision repairs made?

It is fair to say that during this time, sanitizing a vehicle is a necessary part of the repair procedure. The determination of whether insurance coverage applies for these procedures would be based upon the individual insurance policy. Alternatively, it might be a decision made by the insurance carrier, based upon the level of customer service that carrier is willing to provide to help protect your health and safety during a deadly global pandemic.

North Andover Auto Body Inc, views any safety related service as a requirement in the repair process. We strive to adhere to all safety procedures and requirements recommended by the vehicle manufacturers. We consider exposure to the COVID-19 virus to be a direct threat to the safety of our employees, our clients, and insurance appraisers. FOR THE PROTECTION OF EVERYONE ,WE WILL NOT REPAIR A VEHICLE WHICH HAS NOT BEEN SANITIZED. We are referring to the WHO and the CDC for guidance and information regarding how to protect everyone from exposure. Until a better process is presented, we will adhere to the processes we have developed. For large repairs our sanitizing bake process will be used. For small repairs, our process for sanitizing high touch areas will be used.

My vehicle is unsafe to drive, what should I do?
Contact our office and we will arrange to have your vehicle towed to our shop. We will handle the billing process for you and can also arrange to have a rental vehicle either delivered to you or waiting at our shop when you arrive.
The estimate you gave me is different from the one I received from my insurance company. Will this be a problem, or if your estimate is higher, will it cost me additional money?
You may find that our estimate is higher because we attempt to be as accurate as possible on our first inspection in an effort to minimize parts delays and keep additional hidden damage costs to a minimum. The estimate you receive from your insurance company is usually based upon visible damage only. The insurance appraiser is aware that once the vehicle is at a shop, it will be taken apart and it will be assessed for any missed or hidden damage. A supplemental appraisal will then be arranged with your insurance company.

We will handle this entire process for you and whenever possible we will arrange to bill your insurance company directly for any additional repair costs. In most cases you will only be responsible for your deductible (if it applies) and any amount deducted by your insurance company for ” wear and tear items” such as tires, batteries and some suspension components. This is known as a betterment. If your estimate contains betterment items we will inform you of this and advise you of methods you can use to sometimes minimize or be refunded for those costs.

My vehicle is heavily damaged and will require mechanical, frame and cosmetic repairs. Can you handle these types of repairs?
Absolutely! In fact, heavy collision has always been one of our specialties and it has helped us to build our reputation over the past 30 years. We handle the entire process for you from start to finish. If, on occasion, you have a mechanical repair requiring specific testing instruments, etc. which we may not have, we will coordinate any necessary mechanical repairs with the mechanic of your choice, with the dealer, or one of the mechanics from our winners circle. We make all necessary frame repairs at our facility and we always follow the specific manufacturer’s guidelines when repairing your vehicle. We consult outside information sources and attend numerous training courses to insure that all the repairs we make are made safely and properly.
My insurance company gave me a list of referral shops to repair my vehicle. Some of these shops are highlighted, am I required to choose one of these shops?

You may choose any shop on the list regardless of whether they are highlighted or not. The highlighted shops merely indicate those shops which have entered into a contract with the insurance company . These shops have agreed to make their repairs according to rules and policies which may allow the insurance company to control how your vehicle is repaired. Sometimes those policies are not always in your best interest. The fact is that insurance companies, like all other businesses, are looking for ways to control costs. While attempting to contain costs, however, it is possible to lose sight of the fact that the automobile needing repair is more than just that. It is a major investment to its owner. It is something the owner must depend on every day to transport themselves and their children safely from place to place.

As collision repairers it is our responsibility to make certain that the proper repairs are made. North Andover Auto Body will only make repairs in accordance with our very high standards, therefore, in many cases we choose not to enter into those contracts which we feel may prevent us from delivering a repair which meets our standards. To sum up, regardless of the insurance company you are using you may have your vehicle repaired at North Andover Auto Body. You are the consumer and the choice is yours.

Do not be coerced into believing that the repairs will not be paid for or that the repair job will be inferior if you do not choose a “highlighted” shop. Statements like these are simply false. Further, and most importantly, our work is always guaranteed. We do not require a mandate from an insurance company to guarantee our work. We have guaranteed our work for over thirty years! If this is your first accident or you have not used our services in the past, PLEASE check out our customer reviews so that you may better understand how we operate.

What is a preferred/referral shop and why is North Andover Auto Body not listed as a preferred /referral shop by my insurance carrier?

 A preferred/referral shop is a shop that has entered into a contractual agreement with your insurance carrier. The repair shop agrees to adhere to guidelines set by the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier, in return, refers repair work to the repair facility. The guidelines can include agreements to accept a specific reimbursement rate for labor as well as for paint and materials. Very often, the shop must agree not to charge for specific procedures or to repair something which might have been better to replace. By agreeing to follow these guidelines, it is reasonable to suggest that in some cases, the quality of the repair might be compromised. Inferior parts might be installed. Necessary processes and procedures may be disregarded because they are too expensive to perform for free. Cheaper, inferior paint and materials might also be used. 

Consumers need to question the motivation behind these guidelines and agreements. Could it have a negative effect upon the quality and safety of the repair made to your vehicle? 

Now more than ever, with the complexity and high cost of automobiles, it is imperative that specific processes and procedures are performed. High quality paint and materials must be used and repair facilities must strive to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended procedures as closely as possible. 

North Andover Auto Body does not enter into preferred/referral shop agreements. We prefer to dictate the repair plan, rather than having the repair plan dictated to us by the insurance carrier. This is the only way we can continue to provide the level of quality and customer service we are known for. 

Will I be required to co-pay for the repairs to my vehicle?

 There are only a handful of repair facilities which insist on the highest level of repairs. The complexity of safety systems requires that specific procedures be followed. In an effort to provide the highest quality repair, some repairs require certain procedures and processes which are initially denied or only partially reimbursed by your insurance carrier. We do our best to educate the insurance appraisers and help them understand why specific procedures are required. We always provide supporting documentation and proof that the procedure or process is necessary. Still there are times when procedures are denied or only partially covered. In these instances, it is necessary for us to balance bill the consumer. We encourage consumers to insist upon being reimbursed by their insurance carrier and we will assist whenever possible. Given the high cost of your vehicle and the complexity of the safety systems, is it prudent to accept a substandard repair to avoid a co-pay?