Reading the Estimate

Deciphering the Estimate

When you receive the collision damage estimate(s) from the shop and or insurance company, it will probably be fairly confusing if you try to read it. To make matters worse, if you get one estimate from the insurance company and one from the shop, they will probably be different.

There are several possible reasons for differences in the two estimates. Some insurance companies don’t allow their appraisers to include damage that they can’t see – even if through experience they know something is broken, they are not permitted to include it in their appraisal. If it doesn’t show in a picture, they can’t write for it.

Another very common reason for differences is omitted and/or overlooked items. Automobiles are very complex and most insurance appraisers are under pressure to examine several vehicles daily. On the other hand, the body shop appraiser usually tries to include all the damage at the beginning. Since the shop is not bound by the insurer’s rules of “visible damage”, the estimate generated by the collision center is usually more accurate. This is in the best interest of everyone involved because it allows for better parts ordering, resulting in fewer delays in the repair process for the shop, and a quicker return for the customer.

The best way to compare estimates is by going over them line by line. Generally, the more lines on an estimate, the more thorough it is.

Sometimes there is a considerable difference in parts prices. Insurers often write for “Like Kind and Quality” (LKQ) parts, Recycled parts, or “Aftermarket” (A/M) parts. “Recycled” parts are parts that are used. As long as these parts are in good condition, this is not a problem – after all, the parts on all vehicles on the road are actually used. “Aftermarket” parts are parts that are made by companies other than the original manufacturer of the automobile (Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan etc.). These parts, also sometimes referred to as “Quality Replacement Parts” (QRP), are generally inferior.

Protect your Rights!

Protect Your Investment!

Contact Collision Consulting Today!

Email: info@CollisionConsulting.com

Or contact the office nearest you

Or call

866-DV-CLAIM (866-382-5246)

(please note: the toll-free number is not a 24-hour service - if you get our voicemail, please leave a message)

Collision Consulting Office Locations

PhoenixTucsonMarylandMississippiThe CarolinasPhiladelphiaNew JerseyChicagoOther Locations

Collision Consulting does not offer legal advice. This website should be used for educational purposes only. No information on this site should be considered legal advice or an interpretation of the law. Laws vary from state to state, therefore you are urged to research the specific laws, and your rights, within the state in which you reside. If you have specific questions regarding your rights, or the laws in your state, please contact an attorney. Your use of information and/or material contained in this website is at your sole discretion and is provided as is without any kind of warranty expressed or implied. Collision Consulting will not be liable for any damages that arise from using the information and/or materials listed and/or posted on this website, including direct, indirect, incidental, punitive and consequential damages. Collision Consulting may provide links and/or reference to other websites. Collision Consulting has no responsibility for the content on these websites and shall not be liable for any damages that may arise from the use of that content.