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Faq's

Frequently Asked Questions

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Categories:

What To Do In The Event Of An Accident | Towing | Rental Cars | Estimates |
Repair Process | Insurance | Payments | Post-Repair Care

What To Do In The Event Of An Accident

1. SAFETY FIRST
If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic and turn on its flashers. Put out warning triangles or flares if you have them. Then stand a safe distance away while you talk to other drivers or wait for help.

2. ARE YOU INJURED?
Double-check yourself and others around you to make sure no one is hurt. Even a fender bender might have caused an injury that's not noticeable right away. Summon medical help if there is any doubt.

3. CALL THE AUTHORITIES
Call the police, especially if there has been substantial damage or anyone is injured or acting confrontational. Ask for the investigating officer's name and contact information, and for the accident report number so that you can follow up.

4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
Obtain the name, address, phone number, drivers license number, plate number, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident, along with the names of anyone with injuries and any witnesses. But don't argue over who is at fault or admit blame.

5. RECORD THE SCENE
If possible, take photos of the scene (a cell-phone camera can come in handy) or draw a diagram showing the cars' positions. Contact your insurer right away.

6. CALL PAN AMERICAN COLLISION CENTER
After recording the scene, call Pan American Collision Center and we will guide you through the next steps of getting your vehicle repaired quickly and safely.

Click here to find out your legal responsibilities in the event of a collision, according to the state of California.

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Towing

Yes! Give us a call during business hours and we will get everything set up for you. If it is after our business hours you can tell the towing company to drop it off in our parking lot.

If you are going through insurance, the tow bill will be billed directly to them. If you decide to pay out of pocket, the tow bill will be added to the final bill and due at the time the repair is complete.

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Rental Cars

If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.

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Estimates

We offer all estimates free of charge and appreciate you making an appointment so we can guarantee the time it requires to make you feel comfortable in your decision to let us repair your vehicle. Use the link below to start the estimate process.

• Click Here to Start Your Free Mobile Estimate

If you would prefer to bring your vehicle in, please contact us at any of our locations and make an appointment.

No, it is up to you to decide how many estimates you would like and if you want to discuss the repairs with more than one shop. If you have selected a shop, have your insurance company deal directly with them.

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.

If your insurance adjuster already came to look at your vehicle you are able to call and schedule the repairs, you can fax or email us a copy, drop it off or give us your insurance information and we can attain our own copy of the estimate. We must start the repair process from the original estimate.

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The Repair Process

Yes, it is your responsibility, and your right, to choose who will repair your vehicle. Also, if you cannot decide on a repair facility, your insurance company can recommend a repair shop. Many insurance companies offer Direct Repair Programs that take the hassle out of the claim process and provide for quicker repairs.

There will be times when estimate prices differ. In this case please bring it in to us to go over where the differences are. It could be that some damage wasn't seen by the other shop. We try to include all damage in our initial estimate in order to prevent a supplement and get your vehicle back to you quicker.

Each repair is unique and the length of time it takes to repair your vehicle depends on numerous variables. We should be able to give you an approximate out date once the initial estimate is written.

You have the right to retain ownership of the vehicle, however the amount of the settlement may be reduced by the salvage value.

There are three types of parts that can be used and if you go through insurance it will be determined through your company's policy. By law, a vehicle five years within the year it was manufactured must use OEM or Reconditioned parts on the vehicle. If your vehicle is more than five years old it is possible to use Aftermarket or Salvage parts. Your insurance company will tell us which to use.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts: These are brand new parts directly from the manufacturer of your vehicle. They are the most expensive and contain a warranty if any problems should arise.

Reconditioned Parts: These are OEM parts that have been damaged and repaired back to factory specifications.

Aftermarket Parts: These are new parts that are developed by a company other than your vehicle's manufacturer. These are similar to OEM parts and still carry a warranty but are generally cheaper. Many aftermarket parts carry a certification by CAPA which helps ensure the integrity and basic quality of the part. If a situation arises where the part does not align properly or appear identical to the original part then it will be returned and a different part type will be used. Pan American Auto Body always puts the safety and condition of your vehicle ahead of price. You can rest easy knowing we will not place aftermarket parts on your vehicle in order to achieve an inexpensive repair.

Salvage Parts: These are used OEM parts usually taken off totaled vehicles from a salvage yard. This is generally the cheapest option.

Yes. We have a limited lifetime warranty on all of our work for as long as you own the vehicle. It is important to know that your body shop is the only party responsible for a warranty on your repair, NOT your insurance company.

We do everything in our power to ensure your vehicle is back to pre-accident condition as your vehicle leaves any one of our shops. If you notice anything that doesn't seem right or experience any problems, please do not hesitate to give us a call or stop back in. We warranty all of our work and will fix any issues that arise. If it turns out to be something the insurance company needs to be brought in on we have procedures in place to get everything taken care of.

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Insurance

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.

The cost of repairs plus the value of the vehicle in damaged condition (salvage value) - is greater than the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident.

The insurance company will assign an appraiser to inspect the vehicle to determine its condition prior to the accident, or in some instances allow the repairer to make the determination. They may use a vehicle evaluation service or the newspaper to determine pre-accident value. The owner should also determine the value independently.

Sometimes. If you feel the ACV offered by the insurance company is too low, then you are obligated to prove this either through documented receipts of vehicle enhancement or written statements by qualified experts to determine the proper value.

Subrogation is the process by which your insurance company pays for the repairs to your vehicle, and is obligated to collect from another insurer or party. Your collision coverage will require you to pay your deductible, which may be refunded once the other party pays.

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Payments

If you were not at fault and the repair is going through the other party's insurance, then you will not have a deductible. A deductible is determined at the purchase of your insurance premium and can range anywhere between $50 and $3,000. If the repair is going through your insurance policy, then the cause of the accident will determine the deductible amount. Ask your insurance company or go through your policy to find out.

It will be your responsibility to pay Pan American Collision Center when you pick up your vehicle.

No. When you purchased your insurance policy, you signed a contract saying you will pay the first amount of the claim up to your deductible. Repairers should not be asked to hide the deductible. That practice would constitute fraud by both the shop and consumer. The penalties for insurance fraud are severe. If a shop offers to save your deductible, they are absorbing that at your cost. They are not doing the said repairs in order to make up for your deductible. This could lead to unsafe and unsatisfactory repairs which will ultimately cost you at some point.

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Post-Repair Care

You are able to wash your vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge as soon as you get it back.

For the first 30 days we suggest that you:

• Do NOT use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes/sponges can mar the finish and damage the surface.

• Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days.

• Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface.

• Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish.

• Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.

For the first 90 days we suggest that you:

• Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.

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Affiliations & Certifications

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