We had a doozy of a hail storm a couple weeks ago and my 2016 Forester took some hard shots. ~$7000 worth of hard shots according to my insurance carrier (Progressive). I instantly called a body shop I've worked with a few times over the last couple vehicles I've owned who talked me through the process of how it would work:
- bring car to progressive cat inspection site
- wait for estimate (which will be disgustingly low)
- send estimate to body shop and leave them with car for 4 to 6 weeks
- body shop will negotiate with Progressive to get funds for all work required without me paying for anything else beyond my deductible and rental car (past 21 days)
That all sounds great, but #4 leaves me a bit skeptical. Before I started asking too many questions of the body shop (I suspect, they have scripted responses to questions/concerns about that topic... i suspect the same of Progressive), I wanted to get the lo-down on how all that works from someone in the know but that doesn't have any involvement in the process.
I don't doubt that the estimate (funds authorized) Progressive provided is WAY low as I'm well aware that they don't make money by giving money out freely. So is it a case where the body shop actually will/can get the additional required funds from Progressive to do the work that needs to be done and to do it right? OR...
- do I need to be on the lookout for corners being cut (more so than usual)?
- might the body shop try getting creative by telling me something like Item X is not really necessary but Item Y is very necessary but Progressive hasn't allocated enough to cover it so we're just going to take the money from Item X, skip doing it all together and add that money to Item Y?
- do I need to be prepared for them to say at some point "Progressive isn't paying enough. if you want this done right, you have to pay another $3k out of pocket"?
And I'm not talking about being aware of a place that is just straight up dishonest. This shop has been in town getting a lot of positive reviews for over a decade. I'm talking about the general way that things go in these atypical situations.
It's going to be bad enough already being without my car for that long and it was lucky that i called that day to get an appointment on the books with the body shop because other people in town that I've talked to who waited a couple days to start calling around for appointments are looking at September before the shop can take them. Because of that I don't have the luxury of getting multiple quotes and/or potentially getting under the skin of the body shop by asking a bunch of questions that more or less implies that they might be operating in a less than 100% ethical manner.
With all that said, if anyone with experience/knowledge/wisdom could let me know what I'm likely to encounter (in a general sense) and suggest what I might want to be watching out for, I'd be most appreciative. Thanks!!