What should I do in case I’m in an accident?
Accident scenes can be very shocking, especially right after the impact occurs. Try to remain calm and do the following:
- Stop your vehicle. If you drive away, you could be charged with a “hit and run.”
- If you are blocking traffic in a dangerous place, pull off to the side of the road or into a well-lit parking lot.
- Contact the authorities. Try to assess the scene if anyone else is hurt. Otherwise, wait for the ambulance and/or police.
- Turn off your engine and wait for assistance.
- Be courteous to all parties.
- If you suspect the other driver may be drunk, do not confront him or her. Tell the police and let them handle the situation.
- Take photos before you leave the scene.
- Avoid making statements about responsibility to the other driver, witnesses, police or anyone else. Do not state that you are at fault, even if you think you may have caused the accident.
- Contact your insurance company once you are calm and have gathered pertinent information. They will likely interview you on the spot and request photos.
- Once you have contacted the insurance company be sure to get a claim number for reference
- Acquire a copy of the police report.
- Call us for assistance with repairs to your vehicle.
What should I do after an accident?
Here are some tips for dealing with the aftermath of an accident.
- Remember that you have the right to go to the repair shop of your choice. Your insurance company or the other drivers insurance cannot require you to go to a particular repair shop.
- Do not drive your car if it is unsafe. If you can safely drive your vehicle, bring it to us as soon as possible.
- If you cannot operate your car, truck or SUV, call us and we can tow your vehicle.
- Differences in repair estimates are common. It is your vehicle, you deserve the highest quality repairs. Read the fine print and consider carefully before you accept the lowest repair estimate.
Why is Berli's not on my insurance "Preferred List"?
We work for you the client not the insurance companies. We follow OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) repair guidelines an we prefer to repair your vehicle using quality OEM parts. Body shops on an insurance companies “Preferred List” have a signed contract with an insurance company to repair the vehicle the way the insurance wants. Often times these repairs are not based on the OEM recommended procedures. You should know that it is not always in your best interest to go to a body shop on a “Preferred List” . Insurance companies purpose is to make their customer whole after an accident.
My insurance company told me that Berli's labor rates are higher than the "Prevailing Competitive Rates" in the market, is this true?
“Prevailing Competitive Rates” is misleading and made up by the insurance company to persuade customers to shops they want you to go to. According to the State of Texas insurance companies owe what is considered “fair and reasonable.” This being said there are times that an insurance company may not pay our labor rates upfront. We have found that many times if a customer contacts the insurance company directly they will cover the rates after the fact. The majority of the insurance companies pay our rates. Normally the labor rate difference, if there is any, is not much money. Please consider the fact that not all repair facilities are equal in their ability and equipment. Some repair facilities do not allocate much time or money on training, state of the art equipment, or quality paint that is needed to provide a quality and safe repair. If you end up having to pay labor rates they will be a small fraction of what you will potentially lose if you take your vehicle to an average repair facility. Remember at Berli’s Body & Fine Auto Finishes we work for you and not the insurance company. We will look out for your best interest. The customer will also be notified of any issues or costs up front prior to the work being performed on your vehicle. We treat our customer’s vehicle as if they were our own and our reputation we have maintained throughout the State of Texas confirms this practice.
What if my insurance company says I have to go to another shop to get and estimate?
Your time is valuable and should not be wasted because an insurance company wants to try and lure you to one of their shops. This is a waste of your time and the time of the shop they are steering you too. Tell the insurance company you have already chosen a shop and you have the right to take your vehicle to the shop of your choice. The reality is by taking your vehicle to a shop on the insurance list for the initial estimate will add sometimes up to a week of delays in the repair process. If you can get the insurance to allow you to take your vehicle to the shop of your choice then that shop can review the damages with the insurance company. This can eliminate a supplement request that normally takes an insurance company a week to approve. Your shop of choice can now start repairs immediately with no delay once they receive your authorization to do so. If you get residence call us we can help. Remember your time is valuable and you should not have to waste your time driving around town to get an estimate.
The insurance is telling me if I take my car to Berli's it may be a week or longer before they can look at my car, is this true?
This is another steer tactic that the insurance company uses to discourage customers to going to a shop of their choice versus one that is on their “preferred list.” Normally an insurance company will be out within a day or two. Remember each day your vehicle sits the insurance company is losing money. Also the State of Texas requires the insurance company to respond in a timely manner. Regardless with your authorization we can move forward and write up a complete repair estimate prior to them coming out which will reduce delays. We recommend doing this if liability has been determined. By doing this we can once again eliminate a supplement from the repair process that normally takes an insurance a week to approve.
The insurance is telling me if I take my car to Berli's they will not put me in a rental, can they do this?
This is yet another scare tactic to steer you to go to a shop on their “preferred list.” Regardless of where you take your vehicle for your repairs you are entitled to a rental car as long as your have the coverage under your policy or you’re a claimant. We can assist you in getting into a Enterprise Rental car. Enterprise works with most insurance companies and has a direct billing process so you should not have to pay upfront.
Can you communicate with my insurance company to work out the details?
Absolutely. We take care of the estimate and notify you when the vehicle can go in for service. Most times, the insurance company will pay us directly so you don’t have to worry about payment. You will likely have to pay a deductible depending on your insurance. Contact us today to learn more about the process.
I need my car back ASAP. How can you get me back on the road?
Once we write your estimate, it is approved and you authorize us to begin work, we will set up a time line and let you know when your vehicle will be ready. It may take a few days or weeks depending on the extent of the damages to provide a quality and safe repair. If you need to get back on the road before then, we will be happy to set up a rental car for you, and in many cases can communicate with your insurance company to handle the payment.
How do I know that I am getting the best service?
We have maintained the highest reputation in the Austin area for quality and customer service. Many collision shops advertise and say they do quality repairs but in most cases it’s just advertising. Our reputation wasn’t built on advertising. Our customers have built our reputation by word of mouth based on the quality repairs we have been providing since 1983. We pride ourselves in our workmanship and our customer service. Our estimators and technicians are some of the highest trained and educated in the Austin area. They are consistently learning about the latest innovations in body repair. The estimators and technicians here are I–CAR trained and ASE certified. They are also factory trained by many of the high end vehicle manufacturers out there today. These credentials ensure that you get quality repairs by knowledgeable automotive professionals.
Do you charge for estimates?
No. We provide free estimates as a courtesy to our customers.
Do I need to make an appointment for an estimate?
Estimates are written during normal shop hours. While an appointment is not required, it is a good idea to check ahead.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. We provide a written guarantee of our workmanship and a limited-lifetime warranty on all auto body repairs and painting for as long as you own your vehicle. We stand behind our repairs and our reputation.