Image Auto Body Inc
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Frequently Asked Questions
What if my vehicle is totalled?
If the insurance company determines the your vehicle is an economic total loss (the cost of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle), they will notify you and usually give you a choice of either selling the vehicle to the insurance company or retaining the salvage. In most cases it is in your best interest to sell the vehicle to the insurance company. The amount of the offer from the insurance company will be determined by what comparable vehicles are selling for in the area or by Kelly Blue Book or NADA valuations. What is paid out to tow companies and the body shop for teardown or storage has no effect on the price. However, the amount the insurance company can collect on the salvage does influence this price. You are then liable to visit the body shop and sign a release to the insurance company, once you have negotiated a final price with them; including tax for the vehicle. You will also be responsible to empty any personal items from the vehicle before signing the release. Should you retain salvage, the insurance company will pay you a lesser amount determined by the value of the vehicle minus the salvage. The vehicle is then yours to do as you please. NOTE: that if you decide not to repair the vehicle, the body shop can charge you storage and any costs associated with teardown or put together on the vehicle.
Where to go?
Image works with all insurance companies. California law allows you to have your vehicle repaired at the Repair facility of your choice. So if you like us - bring us the vehicle and let our experts in the front office negotiate and work with your insurance company. Remember Image offers a lifetime warranty on all workmanship.
The first paperwork you should receive is a copy of the estimate. It describes all the work that is to be done on your vehicle. Should you need help understanding this estimate, call the insurance company or the body shop and review it with them. Should something be omitted on the estimate, please bring the omitted item to the body shop's attention, so that it can be handled during the repair process. The next piece of paper you will receive is the Authorization to work on the vehicle. The body shop needs this signed before they can work on your vehicle. To expedite repairs, please sign this as soon as possible. Many body shops including Image includes a Limited Power of Attorney on this sheet. Signing this helps expedite the repair process. It allows us to negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to repair the vehicle properly. Remember, we are the experts. The insurance company may be paying the bill, but with few exceptions, no insurance agent has ever repaired a vehicle. The insurance company must report to its shareholders and show profit. You need someone looking out for your interests; a good body shop is necessary. The rest of the paperwork, is given to you when you pick up the vehicle, this is a final bill, receipt if needed, any warranty paperwork, possibly a customer satisfaction survey and any sales or specials which you may be interested in. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Finally, give yourself some time. Don't be in a hurry when you pick up your vehicle, remember, your car is possibly the second most expensive investment you have ever made just behind your home.
Yes, Image Auto Works offers a limited lifetime guarantee on all of its work. We guarantee our labor for the lifetime of the vehicle as long as you own it. The paint manufacturer also has this guarantee on its paint with exception of road hazard, which here in California is rock chips. Parts are guaranteed by the manufacturer, most for at least 30 days.
When do I pay my deductible?
The deductible is the first payment on any claim if you are going through your own insurance company. If you are hit by another party and going through their insurance company there will be no deductible. The deductible is collected the the time you pick up your vehicle by the body shop. You will also be required to pay the body shop any and all payments already paid to you by the insurance company for the repairs. Checks covering supplemental damages are usually paid directly to the body shop. Finally, you will also be required to pay for any additional services you request of the body shop; such as oil change, etc and any betterment charges passed on to you from the insurance company during the repair.
When will my vehicle be ready?

The repair process:

  1. A written estimate is prepared for the customer and insurance company. NOTE: The estimator can only write what they can see - therefore the final repair cost is almost always higher than the first estimate due to hidden damage.
  2. A date for the customer to drop off the vehicle and the estimated completion date is provided. The completion date is estimated at the total labor hours on the estimate divided by 4-5 hours per day. An estimate with total labor hours of 20 hours should be ready in 4-5 working days. Additional reservations for rental cars, etc. are arranged.
  3. The owner of the vehicle signs an authorization to the shop to begin repairs on the vehicle.
  4. The insurance company reviews the estimate, compares this with a description of the accident report, verified coverage, and approves the estimate.
  5. Parts are ordered.
  6. Parts received.
  7. Vehicle arrives for repair.
  8. Vehicle is disassembled and re-inspected.
  9. A supplement estimate is written if additional damage is found.
  10. The insurance company reviews the supplement and additional photos of the damage, then approves the additional repair,
  11. Additional parts are ordered per the supplement.
  12. The estimated completion date is re-computed.
  13. Additional parts are received.
  14. Structural and Unibody repairs are completed if necessary.
  15. Mechanical and suspension repairs are completed if necessary.
  16. New parts are installed.
  17. Priming, Sealing & Corrosion protection is applied.
  18. Body work is inspected for paint.
  19. Vehicle is prepared for paint department.
  20. Vehicle is primed, blocked and sealed.
  21. Vehicle is cleaned and taped.
  22. Vehicle is degreased.
  23. Vehicle color is mixed and matched to vehicle.
  24. Vehicle is painted with color.
  25. Vehicle is painted with protective clear coat. NOTE: 3-stage vehicles require additional paint process.
  26. Vehicle finish is bake dried. This assures crosslink in chemicals for OEM factory finish and longevity.
  27. Paint work is inspected. Any contaminates, dirt, etc. which may have found its way into the paint are nibbed and buffed out.
  28. Alignment is completed if necessary.
  29. Air conditioning is recharged is necessary.
  30. Vehicle is inspected for burnt out lamps, full fluid levels, etc.
  31. Dash indicator lamps are reset.
  32. Vehicle is test-driven.
  33. A final bill is prepared adjusting any cost difference for parts and faxed to the insurance company for final approval.
  34. A final approval is granted from the insurance company.
  35. Vehicle is washed.
  36. Customer is notified of vehicle completion and scheduled for delivery.





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Contact Image Auto Body 650-365-1300
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