2930 East Apple Avenue - Muskegon - MI - 49442- (231) 777-1156

Insurance Claims

Below is some information that YOU as the consumer need to be aware of when you file a claim with your insurance company. Be sure to check with YOUR state laws or law attorney before accepting this as fact. The information provided on our web pages is not to be construed as legal advice - only YOUR attorney can provide that. Our Consumer Info area also has links to many current Michigan state laws regarding vehicle repairs within the State of Michigan.

Precision Collision Muskegon, Inc. can accept and process your insured collision repair claim with almost ANY insurance company. At the time of your FREE ESTIMATE, we will inform you if we are able to directly process your insurance claim on your behalf. We also accept cash, check, money order, or major credit card for payment of services provided. Please feel free to contact us if you are in question as to how to pay for your services.

If you are processing an insurance claim, please read the following information below and also please be sure to read the information provided in our Consumer Info link. You may also want to become famililar with our Warranty Policy. If you have ANY questions about the integrity or quality of OUR work, please be sure to ask at any time during the FREE ESTIMATE process. We would be more than happy to show you some of our work. Keep in mind that if your accident is insured, YOU have the opportunity to determine WHERE YOUR insurance dollars actually go to - whether actually locally within YOUR community or outside of YOUR community.

For many people, the experience of being in a car accident and having to deal with an insurance company and also a repair facility can be a VERY frustrating experience - simply for the fact of not knowing what to do. We would like to educate you and make you aware of YOUR rights when filing YOUR insurance claim and looking for a reputable collision repair facility. Many insurance companies and/or collision repair facilities WILL NOT make YOU aware of this information. Keep in mind that it is up to YOU to be aware of YOUR rights and to see that they are ACTUALLY followed through with. The collision repair facility and the insurance company actually have minimal laws that they actually have to follow. If your rights were violated, then it is also up to YOU to report it! If you choose not to report it, then the practice will continue on for others who come across it just as you do.

Make YOURSELF educated and aware of YOUR rights - BEFORE you request services.

All repair facilities, whether an affiliated insurance collision repair shop or not, should work for you in repairing your car to it's pre-accident condition, with regards to safety, appearance and reliability. If for any reason the shop will not offer these warranties, you are within your rights to - AND SHOULD - have the vehicle repaired at another facility of your choice. Although YOUR insurance carrier CAN recommend, they CANNOT require you to use a specific facility OR select from a list of their "preferred" shops. If your vehicle is leased, read your contract carefully as it probably contains stipulations to consider in selecting a collision repair facility. You will find that many policies tend to like the dollars flowing from one owned company to another owned company.

FIRST RULE OF THUMB - Be aware of ALL of your rights and stick to them!

First of all, your basic rights in the State of Michigan:

You have the right to select the collision repair facility of YOUR choice.

You have the right to GENUINE, original equipment parts (OEM).

You have the right to an itemized WRITTEN estimate before ANY repairs are started that will cost $20 or more.

You have the right to know about and approve (or refuse) any work done BEYOND the estimate.

You have the right to RECEIVE or INSPECT all replaced parts. Be sure to ask for them when you pick up your vehicle.

You have the right to a guarantee that your vehicle will be repaired to factory specifications.

You have the right to have repairs made by a Michigan certified mechanic.

You have the right to an itemized final bill.

You have the right to be reimbursed for any diminished value.

You have the right to a local retail market evaluation if your vehicle is totaled.

If you didn't cause the accident, you have additional rights from the at fault insurance carrier including:

The right at no charge, to a rental vehicle of like kind, size, and quality to your own.

The right to recovery of any deductible or betterment charges.

  • 10 Things That You Need To Know...and More!

    1 - Your car is the second largest investment that you are likely to make during your lifetime. Preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired professionally. Keep in mind that "professionally" means "properly". To preserve a vehicle's value, it must be repaired so as not to add any diminished value that is not inherent. Safety should be the paramount issue in collision repair. Many insurance companies and/or collision repair facilities tend to forget this fact. Make sure that YOU do not, and stick to it.

    2 - NEVER drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages. If the vehicle has been in an accident, there may be hidden damage that could cause serious safety issues that you may not be aware of. See if the repair facility or the insurance company can provide you with towing services. Precision Collision can provide you towing services through ASAP Towing. Keep in mind that YOUR insurance company may not cover a SECOND accident in that same vehicle if it was later determined to be caused by safety issues created in the FIRST accident. Why risk your life and the lives of others?

    3 - Some insurance companies may want you to visit their own drive-in claims center before having your vehicle repaired. You CAN do this, if YOU choose, OR you can LEAVE your vehicle at a collision repair shop of YOUR CHOICE and ask that the insurance company inspect the vehicle there. Many people are not aware of this. Keep in mind that an insurance company may attempt to "delay their visit" or will state that they "may be unable to efficiently handle your claim" to inspect the vehicle in an effort to get YOU the consumer to go directly to their so-called "recommended shop" or the shop on the so-called "approved list" where they "do not even have to inspect it, work can begin immediately". This is a MANIPULATIVE PLOY to steer collision repair work to certain collision repair shop(s) of their own choice. Is this unfair? You bet! Is it deceptive? Absolutely! Do consumers sometimes give-in to this manipulation from insurance companies? Yes, far too many times. Most insurance companies will try to "persuade" you to (in fact most will say you have to - you don't) have your car repaired at one of their "affiliated" shops, "Direct Repair Program" facilities, or whatever that particular company calls it. These shops usually discount the repairs for the insurance company, using after-market parts (which do not meet the safety and appearance requirements of your vehicle's manufacturer), and taking shortcuts such as not replacing damaged hidden parts, repairing parts that should have been replaced, etc. Be aware of YOUR rights and stick to YOUR choice. Don't be bullied around with myths about the law, company policies, and YOUR rights!

    4 - You ARE NOT required BY LAW to obtain more than ONE estimate or appraisal. This ONCE estimate or appraisal can be at any ONE licensed Michigan facility that YOU choose! Precision Collision Muskegon, Inc. is licensed in the State of Michigan.

    5 - You have the RIGHT to go to the collision repair shop of YOUR CHOICE. YOUR insurance company CANNOT require you to go to a particular collision repair shop. Michigan law does protect consumers, however, insurance companies will use various word-tactics to deter consumers from doing so. Be aware of YOUR rights and stick to YOUR choice. Don't be bullied around with myths about the law, company policies, and YOUR rights! Your insurance company is required by law to promptly begin good faith negotiations with any licensed shop you select. If the damage is covered by insurance, you are entitled to have your vehicle restored to pre-loss condition with respect to safety, function, appearance and value; or to be compensated for the actual cash pre-loss value.

    6 - Differences in collision repair estimates are COMMON. A LOWER ESTIMATE may NOT include all necessary work. If you are not sure why one estimate is different from another estimate that you have received, BE SURE to ask the collision repair shop manager why. The only real gauge of potential savings on the repair of a damaged vehicle is the FINAL BILL including ALL SUPPLEMENTS. This is the consumers weapon against any inflated charges or safety factors left out! Keep in mind the part about diminished value.

    7 - Choose a collision repair shop that has uni-body repair equipment and/or also has certified technicians (such as by I-CAR, ATEG, or ASE for example). The use of a well trained collision repair shop is very important! In Michigan, the repair shop also has to be a repair facility licensed by the State of Michigan - as well as the mechanics who work there. Verify this information while you are there - or online before you visit.

    8 - Ask if the collision repair shop will be using manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts. Michigan law REQUIRES all repair shops to inform the consumer if non-OEM parts are used in a repair. If the facility fails to inform you of this, then they may be liable for expensive/embarrassing repairs at no cost to you at a later date.

    9 - Ask if the collision repair shop offers a written repair warranty. Many insurers will tell the consumer that "they cannot guarantee" the work of a non-approved collision repair facility. However, most insurers DO NOT directly guarantee a collision repair shop's work anyway. They require their "chosen" collision repair shops to offer a warranty, but they do NOT ACTUALITY OFFER IT THEMSELVES. YOU, the CONSUMER, should ask YOUR insurer to offer you a written copy of "their" guarantee if they try this approach on you.

    10 - Let the collision repair shop that YOU choose help YOU to negotiate YOUR claim with the insurance company - this often leads to a better deal. This applies only to certain collision repair shops in certain instances. Your choice of collision repair shop MAY be able to help you out with certain issues. Certain collision repair shops will also need the help of the consumer to leverage ANY possible effect that this may even have. DO NOT rely on this - it is mostly a myth.

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