• Preowned

Marion Collision Center

2700 Cree Drive
Directions Marion, IL 62959

  • Collision Center: 618-993-1801

What to Do After a Car Accident

For most people, having collision repair or vehicle paint work is not something that occurs very often.  All of our customers have important concerns and we're always here to answer every one of them.  Find the answers to some of the most common questions below.
Q. What should I do if I have an accident?

The duties you need to perform after you have an accident are prescribed both by state law and by the terms of your contract. Obviously, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone is all right and call an ambulance if one is needed.

Second, for most accidents in most states, the police should be notified.

Third, you should give the other driver(s) involved in the accident your name, address, telephone number, and the name of your insurance company and/or your insurance agent. You also need to get this same information from the other driver(s).

Fourth, at the first opportunity, you should contact either your insurance agent or your insurance company to notify them that you have been involved in an accident.

Finally, there are a number of conditions in the insurance contract that you must satisfy in order to receive compensation from your insurer. For example, you need to cooperate with your insurer during any investigation undertaken during the claims settlement process. Failure to complete any of these actions can, and sometimes does, result in non-payment by your insurance company for losses that otherwise would have been covered.

Q. How do I know if an auto body shop is a quality and professional facility?

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)  and I-CAR  are training and certification associations for the collision repair industry. Look for these ASE  and I-CAR  logos which indicate that technicians at that facility are well trained and certified by these associations.  Marion Collision Center's technicians are all ASE  and/or I-CAR  certified.  Collision Center Manager, Shane Kelley, is not only I-CAR  certified but is also an ASE  Certified Master Technician and ASE  Certified Estimator.  The staff at Marion Collision Center has over 100 years of combined experience producing the finest body and paint work in southern Illinois.

Q. What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

It is important to know the differences between the collision and comprehensive coverages for a couple of reasons.

First, in order to make an informed purchasing decision about these optional coverages, you need to know the difference between them.

Second, the deductibles under the collision and comprehensive coverages are often different in amount.

Q. Who decides whether or not my car can be repaired?

After evaluating the damages to your vehicle, your insurance company has the option of repairing your vehicle, replacing your vehicle, or reimbursing you for the vehicle's actual cash value (ACV). Actual cash value is the amount your vehicle would have sold for on the date of the accident.

Your insurance will elect to replace your vehicle or reimburse you for the ACV in those instances where the vehicle is economically impractical to repair.

A vehicle is considered economically impractical to repair, or a total loss, if the cost to repair the vehicle equals or exceeds the vehicle's ACV on the date of the loss. In many instances an insurance company will total a vehicle if the appraised damages equal 80% of the vehicle's ACV because often, once repairs are begun, additional damages or "hidden damages" are found which would render the vehicle a total loss by definition. (This is sometimes referred to as a "constructive total" loss)

Q. Can I choose my own repair shop?

Yes. Provided the repair shop is licensed, your insurer has to try to reach an agreed price with the shop of your choice. Your insurance company may provide you with the names of body shops who can do the repairs on your vehicle.  These are often called "preferred shops" by your insurer.  Remember that these shops often get named as a "preferred shop" because they have a history of performing repairs in the least expensive fashion regardless of quality.  This is often why the insurance company prefers these shops.  Know your rights as an insured driver.  You have the right to choose any repair shop that you like as long as they are licensed.  Marion Collision Center is a licensed repair shop and we will work with any insurance company.  But we never lose sight of the fact that we are working for you, not your insurance company.  Pleasing our customers is what makes Marion Collision Center #1.

Q. Can I ask my insurer to recommend a repair shop?

Yes. At your request, your company must recommend a qualified repair facility convenient to the vehicle's location which will repair the vehicle at the price the insurance company is willing to pay.  These repair facilities are in essence working for the insurance company and not necessarily the customer.

Q. Does my insurance company have to use new parts to repair my car?

No. The contract of insurance only obligates the insurance company to restore your vehicle to the same condition it was in before the loss. Most of the time, this requires the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.  Many times, the insurance company will try to use after-market parts whenever it can to cut costs. After-market parts are parts made by a manufacturer other than the original manufacturer and may not always be the best choice.  Marion Collision Center uses OEM parts whenever possible and will even work with your insurance on a better price to make sure we can use as many OEM parts as we can.  Using OEM parts is the best way to ensure that a quality repair can be done on your vehicle.

Q. Do I have to accept non-OEM parts?

No, the final choice is yours. However, if the insurer wants to use non-OEM parts and you decide to use OEM parts, you may have to negotiate with your insurance company at covering the cost.  We are experts at working with your insurance company to make sure we can offer you a superior quality vehicle repair.

Q. Do I have to pay a deductible?

When you bought your policy, you chose a deductible for your physical damage coverages. This is the amount you are responsible for if a claim occurs. The higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your physical damage coverage. Your insurer will deduct that amount from the settlement of your claim.

Q. Can you match the paint color of my vehicle?

Today's modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. Marion Collision Center has made a major investment in the finest paint system available and constantly upgrades its technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle's paint matches.  We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.