You've been in a fender-bender, and now it's time to find a Body Shop.
Luckily, there are plenty of them to choose from...and the majority do good work. So good, you can't even tell it ever happened.
Unfortunately, there are some bad actors out there who write estimates at a higher price when insurance is paying, over what they would charge someone if they self-paid. The most typical cheats are overlapping labor charges, shop supplies, waste disposal fees, and unnecessary services. Of course not all shops conduct business this way, but there are enough that one must be wary.
To keep things on the up and up, and to protect us AND our clients from being taken advantage of....Insurance companies hire INDEPENDENT Appraisers to inspect damaged vehicles and review estimates. These INDEPENDENT Appraisers remove any unrelated damage or junk charges from the estimate, make sure the labor charges are correct and in-line with market area pricing, and obtain a guaranteed price of repairs from Shop managers. Sometimes the difference between the original estimate and final price is substantial. INDEPENDENT Appraisers also do reinspections and approve additional funds, if any hidden damage is discovered once the repair begins. If a Body Shop refuses to work with an INDEPENDENT Appraiser, move on to the next one.
You are welcome to use any Body shop that you choose to have your vehicle fixed. The BBB, Google, and Yelp are great places to check out the reputation of a potential shop, before getting an estimate from them. If you are unsure or need some help finding one...your Claims Adjuster would be happy to refer you to a "preferred" shop. Preferred shops meet all of your Insurance company's vetting requirements, are subject to unannounced inspections and audits, and must also guarantee their work.