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Independent VS Direct Repair

Never take your vehicle to a repair facility suggested by an insurance company! It will always be in their best interest. Shops who are part of programs such as Blue Ribbon, Service First, Pro Shops (to name a few) are "in network" or "Direct Repair" facilities. These types of shops are contracted by the insurance companies to do exactly what they tell them, even when it means cutting corners and making you unhappy with the repair. Cutting corners during a repair can diminish the value, appearance, safety and longevity of your vehicle. Remember, the insurance company is not your friend! Their job is not to repair your vehicle, but to pay for the repairs and that's all. Independent shops work for the owner and not the insurance company. A & L Body Shop, Inc. is an independently owned and operated auto body repair facility and offers a Lifetime Warranty on all structural repairs and refinishing.


Immediately call the proper authorities. Then call A&L Body Shop and we will handle the property damage claim process for you.

NO! If you are not at fault in the accident then the other vehicles insurance company should be contacted.

YES, North Carolina state law states that you must have all taillights, headlights and turn signals in proper working order on your vehicle. Also, NC traffic laws state that you cannot emit a white light from the rear of your vehicle while in forward motion. If you are a claimant or have rental coverage then you should be in a rental vehicle.

The Insurance company is the only entity that can say your vehicle is a total loss. NC state law says that if your vehicle is damaged more than 75% of the vehicle's retail value the the vehicle is a total loss. Insurance companies will sometimes total a vehicle for a little less than 75% if there is a possibility of a lot of "unseen" damage.

You have two options. The insurance company will pay you the current market value of the vehicle. With that you can either allow the insurance company to take your damaged vehicle or you can retain the vehicle for roughly 10-20% (this is negotiable) of the vehicles value and then have it repaired. Let me explain a bit more about "Retaining" the vehicle. If your vehicle is worth $10,000 and you opt to retain at an agreed amount of 15%, the insurance company will write you a check for $8500 (the value minus 15%). With that money you can then have the vehicle repaired.

No. The insurance company, at this point, takes on a role similar to a car salesman. They will offer you a low value and hope you accept it, this is where the haggling should start.

Insurance Companies are not in the repair business. They are in the risk business (gambling business). When you are in an accident, whether you are at fault or not, they know they owe the claim. The question is how much do they owe. There is nothing in writing anywhere saying how much they owe you. They make it their job/goal to pay as little as possible. Knowing this, do you still think that they are your friends? Of course not!

Insurance Tips

  1. Never have your car repaired by a collision facility suggested by an Insurance Company. It will be in their best interest, not yours.
  2. Your Car is the second Largest investment you are likely to make. Preserve its' value and your safety by having it repaired professionally.
  3. Never drive a vehicle that could be unsafe or will not pass a state inspection due to damage.
  4. Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your vehicle repaired. Do not do this! You may leave your vehicle at our shop and our estimator will handle the claim for you.
  5. There is no law requiring you to obtain more than one estimate. The insurance company has two choices: Pay from the First estimate or inspect your vehicle themselves.
  6. You have the right to go to the repair facility of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop.
  7. Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. If you're not sure why one estimate is different from another you've received, please ask us.
  8. Ask if the shop will be using genuine parts made by the manufacturer (OEM) in your repair.
  9. Make sure you are covered. We offer a lifetime warranty on all repairs.
  10. Lastly, the insurance company is not your friend. They are after one thing... and that is to save themselves money. If they feel they can get away with cutting corners during your repair then they will. Even if it means that you lose value, safety, and longevity from your vehicle.