Frequently Asked Questions

I was involved in an accident, now what?

You may see us any time for an estimate and you are not required to speak with your insurace agent first. However, you may choose to speak with your agent first for advice. There is nothing wrong with open dialogue between you and your agent. You’re the customer and you may ask anything you’d like without fear of automatically “reporting” your accident. Your rates will not go up simply because you have a conversation with your insurance agent.

Come by the shop and let us write you a free estimate while you wait. Once you discuss the extent of the damage with our appraisers, you will have an idea of how you’d like to go about getting the vehicle repaired. If you decide to go through your insurance company we can help steer you in the right direction. You may also choose to pay for the repair out-of-pocket without making an insurance claim once you weigh your options.

I was told that I must use a certain repair facility, do I have a choice?

YES. You always have the right to choose which repair facility you would like to use. Your insurance company (adjuster, agent, or other representative) may recommend a particular shop, but they cannot tell you that you must use a certain facility. This is a Pennsylvania State law.

What about multiple estimates? I was told to get three from different shops.

You are never required to obtain multiple estimates. This is a tactic that some insurance companies use in order to shop around for the lowest price in order to save money on their end. It’s a game that you do not need to participate in. If you prefer to obtain multiple estimates and shop around then by all means do so. However, you are not required to.

What's a deductible and when do I pay you?

A deductible is an amount of the repair cost that is not covered by your insurance company. This is an amount that you are required to pay before the insurance company will begin paying. Your deductible amount is set by the terms of your insurance policy, and is commonly seen in $0, $250, $500, $1000 amounts.

As an example: Your total repair bill was $5000. Your policy is written so that you have a $500 deductible. When you arrive at the shop to pick up your vehicle after the repairs have been completed, you will pay $500 to Excel Collision and the insurance company will pay us $4500.

Whether you are paying for your repairs out-of-pocket or you are only paying your deductible amount, you are responsible for paying the full amount upon completion of the repairs.

OEM vs. Aftermarket parts

OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. An OEM replacement part is one that was produced by the manufacturer of your vehicle and is identical to the one that was installed on the assembly line during production. An aftermarket part is one that was produced by a third party company as a replica of the OEM part.

How will the use of aftermarket parts affect my repair?

At Excel Collision we use only the best quality aftermarket parts in our repairs. These parts are CAPA Certified. Using high quality aftermarket parts ensures that your vehicle will truly be repaired to pre-accident condition. When we repair your vehicle using aftermarket parts, rest assured that the part will pass our strict quality standards before it is installed.

I have an estimate that calls for aftermarket parts to be used. What if I want OEM instead?

Your insurance policy dictates what parts we use in the repair of your vehicle. Some policies are written to state that you are guaranteed an OEM part as replacement. Other policies and certain insurance companies will not guarantee OEM parts replacement, in which case a high quality aftermarket part will be used for the repair. Refer to your own insurance policy or speak with your insurance agent to determine what parts they will pay for.

If you want to use OEM parts instead, you may be required by your insurance company to pay the difference in price.

Is my car totalled? Who decides whether or not my car is repairable?

You have probably heard the term “totalled” in reference to the status of a vehicle after an accident. “Totalled” = total loss in insurance terms. This simply means that the repair costs exceed the value of the vehicle.

Although we may write an estimate for time and cost to repair the vehicle, it’s up to your insurance company whether or not they will pay to have it fixed. They take a number of things into consideration in order to determine the fair market value of your vehicle and then consider the repair costs before deciding whether it’s worth the money to repair the vehicle.

We, as a repair facility, have no choice in the matter.