Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced Autobody, Hilton Head Island wants you to be informed on all of your auto body repair, collision, insurance, and paint questions. In this FAQ section, we will answer your common questions to help make the repair process run as smoothly as possible.

Will my insurance company pay for a rental?

Yes, if you have rental coverage. Also check with your agent or insurance company to see how much of the rental is covered; some policies pay the full amount, some will only pay a percentage. If the claim is a liability claim (the accident was not your fault), the full amount will be covered.

How will I know when my car is done?

You will be notified by phone when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your advisor during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

Is there are warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?

Yes. We guarantee all of our repairs with a written Lifetime Warranty.

Who do I pay my deductible to?

It will be your responsibility to pay Advanced Autobody, Inc. when you pick up your vehicle.

Do I need more than one estimate?

There is no state law requiring you to obtain more than one insurance estimate. In fact, most insurance companies will work with a single estimate from a reputable body shop. We recommend that you choose a body shop you are comfortable with, like Advanced Autobody Inc., and allow them to work directly with your insurance company to see that your vehicle is repaired properly and returned to you as soon as possible.

If there is hidden damage, who will pay for the additional cost?

Hidden damage is very common in collision repair due to the complexity of today’s vehicles. The initial repair estimate is just that, an estimate. All insurance companies understand this and expect supplemental costs on significant repairs. In most situations the only portion of the repair bill you would pay would be any applicable deductible. Any additional repair costs will be paid by the insurance company as it is their responsibility to return your vehicle to pre-loss condition.

Can I choose where to have my car repaired?

The choice of repair facility is 100% yours. Although an insurance company may suggest shops on their “list” or who they prefer to work with, anti-steering laws prevent an insurer from mandating the use of a particular body shop for them to pay for the repair. We do participate in a number of insurance company direct repair programs which streamline the repair process, however the choice of repair shop us ultimately yours.

Do I have to take my car back to the dealership for repairs?

Many dealership body shops do fine quality work, however, independent body shops still repair the majority of collision damaged vehicles. There are laws in place to prevent auto manufacturers from voiding warranties due to repairs done by shops other than dealers of those product lines. By not selling cars or changing oil, our full focus is on collision repair and we feel the difference shows in our customer service and finished product.

How do I know that the body shop is qualified?

Most people don’t need auto body repair often. Unfortunately when you do, it’s not always easy to know which repair center to choose. That’s why Advanced Autobody, Inc. is a proud AAA approved quality-rated auto body repair center. The PPG paint products that we use carry a lifetime paint performance guarantee as well as having earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. In addition to the lifetime paint performance guarantee, we provide a lifetime warranty on the entire repair.

What are betterment charges?

Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use (i.e., tires, batteries, and suspension parts) are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process. (Example: If your tire has 50% of the tread remaining, you would owe for the 50% of the tire that has been used) These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles and age of your vehicle.

When can I wash my vehicle?

You can wash the vehicle immediately. Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth, sponge, or mitt. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade. Do not use a commercial brush car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface.

When can I wax my vehicle?

Do not wax or polish the vehicle in the first 90 days. This will allow the finish to cure completely. After the first 90 days keep a coat of polish or wax on the vehicle. This will help keep your finish looking new.

Can the shop help bury my deductible?

No. When you purchased your insurance policy, you signed a contract saying you will pay the first amount of the claim up to your deductible. Repairers should not be asked to hide the deductible. That practice would constitute fraud by both the shop and consumer. The penalties for insurance fraud are severe. If a shop offers to save your deductible, they are absorbing that at your cost. They are not doing the said repairs in order to make up for your deductible. This could lead to unsafe and unsatisfactory repairs which will ultimately cost you at some point.

Do I need more than one estimate?

No, it is up to you to decide how many estimates you would like and if you want to discuss the repairs with more than one shop. If you have selected a shop, have your insurance company deal directly with them.

Can I have my vehicle repaired at the shop of my choice?

Yes, it is your responsibility, and your right, to choose who will repair your vehicle. Also, if you cannot decide on a repair facility, your insurance company can recommend a repair shop. Many insurance companies offer Direct Repair Programs that take the hassle out of the claim process and provide for quicker repairs.

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is the process by which your insurance company pays for the repairs to your vehicle, and is obligated to collect from another insurer or party. Your collision coverage will require you to pay your deductible, which may be refunded once the other party pays.

The insurance company says my vehicle is a total loss. What do they mean?

The cost of repairs plus the value of the vehicle in damaged condition (salvage value) – is greater than the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident.

How is the actual cash value determined?

The insurance company will assign an appraiser to inspect the vehicle to determine its condition prior to the accident, or in some instances allow the repairer to make the determination. They may use a car evaluation service or the newspaper to determine pre-accident value. The owner should also determine the value independently.

Is the ACV Negotiable?

Sometimes. If you feel the ACV offered by the insurance company is too low, then you are obligated to prove this either through documented receipts of vehicle enhancement or written statements by qualified experts to determine the proper value.

What will happen to the vehicle after it is totaled?

The insurance company will sell it to highest bidder, who will either dismantle for parts or resell it after repairing it.

What if I want to keep my vehicle after it is totaled?

You have the right to retain ownership of the vehicle, but the amount of the settlement may be reduced by the salvage value.

Recommendations and precautions for your newly painted vehicle.

Do not “dry wipe” your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface. Scrapers can act like a paint scraper on a newly painted finish.