Body shops prepare for hundreds of cars wrecked in snowstorm
SALT LAKE CITY- Nearly 700 cars crashed on the Wasatch Front during the extended snowstorm this week. That’s a lot of mangled metal and plastic that needs to be repaired.
“A lot of slide offs,” said Marion Mott, general manager at Schneider Auto Karosserie Body and Paint in Salt Lake City. “People just slip and slide, and bang into each other.”
If you wrecked your car, or merely dented it in the snowstorm, you’re probably caught in the flood of Utahns seeking repairs. Auto body shops are just getting started on the work. While auto body shops are not overwhelmed with work right now, they are experiencing a higher volume of those initial calls for estimates.
“A lot of phone calls,” said Mott. “A lot of foot traffic. People just dropping in to have us write an estimate.”
Cars that were towed away from a crash usually end up in an impound lot for a few days, Mott said.
“They typically will show up a week or 10 days after the snowstorm,” said Mott.
It takes time for motorists and their insurance companies to sort out the best place for repairs.
The average cost to fix a drivable car: $2,100 at Schneider Auto Karosserie Body and Paint. Drivers with insurance pay less.
“Everything, but your deductible. We’ll work with the insurance company,” Mott said. “It’s his job to make sure the insurance company pays to fix your car properly.”
Keep in mind, no matter who insures your car, you get to choose who fixes your car, even if your insurance company steers you to a different shop.
“It’s 100 percent your choice who fixes your car,” said Mott.
Mott also recommends reviewing your insurance policy to make sure it fits your current needs, including rental car insurance to take care of your transportation while your car is getting repaired.
“It doesn’t cost much,” said Mott. “When your car is wrecked, and you don’t have a rental car, that can really complicate the whole process.”
He also advises making sure your insurance policy is written for factory parts, or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. Many policies are written for aftermarket replacement parts that aren’t as good.
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