Stuff You Need to Know
Here are a few facts that we believe EVERY vehicle owner should know before a collision happens!
- You need to understand what your insurance policy covers. Read your policy. Here are 3 popular misconceptions:
- “Rental is part of my full coverage.” NOT TRUE. It is a separate coverage.
- “Uninsured Motorist coverage is vehicle protection.” NOT TRUE. It is a form of medical coverage.
- “As long as you have insurance coverage, you don’t need to carry your insurance cards.” NOT TRUE. It is the law that you must have insurance cards in your vehicle and in your wallet/purse at all times.
- Proper, correct repairs protect the investment in a vehicle. Vehicles are, at least, the second most expensive purchase in your lifetime…
- Just because you can drive away from the scene of the accident, doesn’t mean your damaged vehicle is roadworthy or safe to operate. Here are some warning signs:
- Headlights, turn signals, brake lights are dim, out, or flash out of sequence
- Alignment is “out” – Is your steering wheel off-center? Does your vehicle “pull”? Do you hear any strange noises?
- Mechanical damage – Do you see any fluid leaks or smoke?
- Mirrors are gone
- Windshield damage – This can severely impair your vision
- Seats damaged
- Airbags deployed
- Seat belts inoperable
- Duct tape is NOT a safe repair.
- If an estimate is required, the vehicle owner, by law, only needs to obtain one.
- You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice.
- Check out the shop you want to repair your vehicle.
- Ask about a shop’s reputation.
- Check the shop on the internet.
- Visit the shop or repair facility, ask them to explain the “repair process.”
- Use your 3 most common senses when choosing a repair facility:
- Sense of sight
- Sense of smell
- Sense of hearing
Then ask yourself, “Is this the body shop I see in my nightmares?” Or, is it the repair facility that looks like it should be listed in the latest Better Homes & Gardens® magazine?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my insurance policy so important?
Your policy is a contract between you, the vehicle owner, and the insurance company. In this contract, you and the insurance company agree to many items, including:
- The amount of your deductible(s).
- The amount of coverage you carry.
- The type of parts the repair facility could use to repair your vehicle.
If I let you repair my vehicle, can you "hide" my deductible?
No. This practice is also known as insurance fraud. If you want to reduce your deductible, change the contract with your insurance company. Ultimately, YOU are the one who loses if you find a shop that will hide your deductible. The shop is going to do the repair for less money which means you will get a lower quality, poor repair, or cheaper parts than you wanted.
Why does Arnold's put used parts on my estimate when I want new ones?
If you are the insured, many times your insurance policy states that the insurance company can ask Arnold’s to install used, or LKQ (Like Kind and Quality) parts to keep the repair cost down. At times, Arnold’s will use these parts to keep the repair cost down as opposed to turning your car into a total loss. Arnold’s will install only quality LKQ parts on your vehicle to ensure that our warranty is valid and that we will not jeopardize the safety or integrity of your vehicle.
At what point do I have to state that I wrecked my car when I am trading it in?
In Iowa, there is a Damage Disclosure Law that you must obey. You can find the form at www.iowatreasurers.org/.
- Click on “Forms”
- Click on “For Motor Vehicles”
- Click on “Damage Disclosure Statement (form #411108)”
The 2-page form is self-explanatory.
My door is repairable, but I want a new part installed. Can you write the estimate for a new part?
Arnold’s could include the new part. However, when the insurance company reviews the estimate, they will call and ask why we included a new door when it is repairable. When we tell them this is what the owner requested, two things will occur:
- Arnold’s will be chastised by the insurance company or be accused of insurance fraud.
- The insurance company will only pay for the repair.
Does Arnold's charge for their estimates?
Will Arnold's come to my home or workplace to write an estimate?
Yes, we will. Go to Schedule an Appointment on this website for more information or call us at (563) 388-0004.
All the insurance paperwork and accident forms are confusing. Will you help me?
Definitely, yes. Please ask and one of us will help you.
If I let you repair my vehicle, can I make payments on the amount I owe?
Being a small business, Arnold’s cannot afford to allow that to occur. However, we can help you make arrangements with a local company that will allow you to make payments to them.
Who is responsible for full payment of the repairs?
The vehicle owner is responsible for the payment. Please refer to the authorization you will sign when you drop off your car to begin repairs. It is your responsibility to make sure the insurance company you are working with pays you or Arnold’s before you take delivery of your vehicle. Please call ahead and make sure payment arrangements have been made before you come to get your vehicle.
Thanks for choosing Arnold’s and allowing us to repair your vehicle!