We don’t tend to look forward to car accidents. Especially if they lead to hidden auto body damage found during repairs.
Every collision in unique, it’s true. Depending on which part of the vehicle the collision occurs and the speed involved, damage can range from superficial dents and scratches to deep internal destruction.
Damage Found During Repair
The modern safety innovation of “crumple zones,” areas designed to crush on collision to absorb impact away from passengers, can also cause unpredictable damage to bumpers and under the hood.
After your vehicle is involved in an accident, you’ll receive a visit from an insurance company. The inspector will perform a scrutinizing visual inspection of the damage.
They will provide their estimate of repair and ultimately issue a payment for the amount they deem it will cost to put your vehicle back to its original state.
When you visit a collision repair center or an auto body shop, an auto body technician will perform their visual inspection which involves surveying the exterior of the car and using their expert opinion to determine a cost of repair.
Despite the fact that these two separate visual inspections occur, it is still tough to identify every level of damage inflicted on a vehicle before repair. Very often, what is referred to as “hidden damage” can be later uncovered by the collision center.
When is Additional Damage Usually Discovered?
This hidden damage, as its name suggests, is tucked away in parts of the vehicle undetectable during the visual inspection.
After the collision center has begun the process of repair by removing the damaged areas of the vehicle, they will be able to diagnose further any additional potential harm done to the automobile.
If hidden damage is revealed, the collision center should contact you immediately to alert you of the findings.
As the car owner, you should then contact the insurance company to inform them of the damage uncovered by the auto body shop.
Contacting the Insurance Company to Address Damage Found During Repairs
A representative from the insurance company will return to re-inspect the vehicle at the collision center in order provide what is called a “supplemental estimate.” This new estimate will take into consideration the hidden damage discovered by the technician.
The insurance inspector will then negotiate a cost with the auto body shop that works for both parties. Once satisfied, the supplemental estimate should cover the cost of the additional damages that are found.
Sometimes, auto body shops and insurance companies find trouble reaching an agreement though, and the car owner will suffer as their vehicle sits in limbo at the shop. However, if you commit to using a reputable and trusted local collision center, you will not need to worry about this issue.
An estimate, especially one made on visual inspection, is just that… an estimation of cost. It is impossible for an auto body professional to know in advance the exact cost of repair.
Due to the likely event of hidden damage though, remove the opportunity of stress by putting your car into the hands of a responsible collision repair center.