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  #1  
Old 07-22-2004, 06:57 PM
E93067's Avatar
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Bodyshops and insurace work?

Not ever having had to deal with an insurance claim and a bodyshop I'm looking for any advice from anyone who has gone thru this before. My situation is this: The insurance claims adjuster made an estinate using all OEM recycled parts. I looked up all the parts myself on the benzbin.com and found that I could get OEM new parts for less that the recycled parts. So I asked the body shop if they could buy the parts from the benzbin.com directly or if I could buy the parts myself. They said no to both options, because they said they could not gurantee the parts??? My responce was, you can't warrenty new parts?, but you can warrenty recycled? They said that is their policy.

Is this normal? should I take my poor Mercedes elsewhere?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 07-22-2004, 07:11 PM
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don't rush into anything, a good shop would have been receptive to your suggestion.
Other list members can guide you better than me.
list your insurance company, the shop name and the parts,
you'll get feedback on exactly how to handle things
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2004, 07:27 PM
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No good shop would be receptive to that plan. The first problem is that it is illegal to substitute in a contracted deal that was already set up with the insurance company. The insurance company also allows the shop 25 % added for parts profit. Did you offer that?

If you wish a different type of repair then you will have to deal with your agent or adjuster. In most cases they will also charge a percentage betterment (proration) to YOU if you get new parts. After all your parts were not new.
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Continental Imports
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2004, 08:39 PM
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Wagonworks in Virginia was receptive to that plan- and they have a quite good reputation.
A good bodyshop will contact the insurance company on your behalf.

Listen the insurance company is going to try to keep the prices as low as possible, it is common for the bodyshop to contact the insurance company to readjust estimates.
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2004, 09:34 PM
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I had the very same situation a few years ago when my wife's car needed a complete front end. (Honda CR-V)
The insurance company allowed for a recycled front end (both fenders, bumper, grill, radiator, A/C condenser, hood, lights etc) and gave the bodyshop the OK to start the work.
When I saw the recycled front end that had been delivered to the bodyshop, I told them I would pay the difference for new Honda OE parts. He said NO WAY.
I told them to stop working on the car untill I settled with the Insurance Co.
I argued for 2 days and won the case.
The car was sent to a Honda dealer for repair and I paid the difference in cost of parts
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2004, 12:58 AM
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Thanks to eveyone for the much needed feedback on this suject, every comment was helpfull.

I called the insurace rep handeling my claim and what they explaied to me was that on a 12 year old car its normal practice for the claims adjuster to specify recycled parts. Insurance companies are not required to use new parts, only to get your vehicle running as it was prior to the accident. If you want to pay extra for new parts then you can pay the differance.

In my situation its a little different. The price for the recycled parts is higher than the new parts. For example:

Recycled radiator $414

New Behr Radiator $326.95 (benzbin.com)

Recycled AC Condenser $400

New AC condenser $331.49 (Car Parts Wholesale)

The list goes on, for headlights, grill, etc...

Why would I want used parts when new parts cost less and they will probably last longer?

I really don't know who I should be going after here. The BodyShop says I should talk to the person doing the estimate for the insurance company (claims adjuster), the claims adjuster said I need to talk directly with insurance rep who is handeling the claim, the insurance rep says its beetween me and the body shop.

The bodyshop will not tell me who they get thier parts from, so I don't know what they are actually paying. They will not guarntee parts unless they purchase them, and they will not purchase parts from any of the places that I suggested or let me buy the parts myself. They keep telling me that I need to put preasure on the insurance company to ok OEM parts.

I may be wrong, but I think this bodyshop is using me to drive up the estimate. In the end they will probably be buying the same parts from? for how much? and I will never know what really happened.

This whole thing seems really shady, is this how it is supposed to work? I'd rather not post the shops name until this whole thing has been resolved.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2004, 08:16 AM
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Try a different shop?

The shop I use would much rather use new parts than recycled, and the shop is very willing to work with the insurance company and if the insurance company balks I will have to make up the price difference.

Thing is you have the lower prices for the new parts documented.

checkout my shops web site
www.wagonwork.com
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2004, 08:39 AM
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Sounds like some funny business to me.

Used parts should not be sold at much more than half of list price for new. I'm not sure I would ever use a used condenser. any way the list price for the rad is 550 for new at MB the condenser is 560. I presume the used prices include the 25% mark-up (that is cost plus 25% real business people consider 25% mark-up to mean 25% of total price - a different amount).

As long as you realize that you can no more ask the body shop to sell at cost than you could Sears, then you can probably get this accomplished. You will still be facing the warrantee issue.

Since there is NO WAY you can indemnify the shop from warrantee/liability, it is a large hurdle. It is the number one reason I generally do not install customer supplied parts (except for good customers on a one time special reason basis).
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2004, 05:52 PM
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Smile The answer is Money

Follow the money and you will find the solution.

Suggestion - Take the money from the Insurance Company and sub out the work for your self.

The auto shop probably wants to service all parts from a single source. That source has the parts you listed.

Wit the single source - the auto body shop will get your car in and out faster. Hence saving them selves’ money.

The "better" prices you were quoting were from different sources - too much pain for the auto shop to experience for a car they have no affinity with.

You, on the other hand, like the car and want what’s best - new parts.

My story is slightly similar - 1985 560SL - I had a slight fender bender - but the hood needed replaced.

Poof - the appraiser decided the car was a total - before they even knew what the totaled value is. The appraiser told me the story of "fast turn around" and the needed profit.

I gladly took their money. As a spare car I had all some to shop and get quotes. I did none of the physical body work, but found an auto shop who would do the work with the parts I provided. I was clear with him that I want all to be happy - and he charged me the rate he wanted (included some of the profit he would have gained from the parts.) I made out! The car is on the road - in great shape with extra money in my pocket.

Summary - don't settle - compromise.
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Thanks for the help
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'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
02 E430 in the stable
'14 LS460 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (198K) found a new home
'99 E320 (80K) (gave it's life for me as we hit a bumper)
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2004, 06:51 PM
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In almost all states (definitely Arizona, Connecticut, Florida) you have the right to contract with the body shop of your choice - the insurance company cannot require you to go to a specific shop.

You have the right to NOT fix your car - you can pocket the money and just drive it or junk it. However, if you choose this option, your insurance company might not fix it again if there is a subsequent claim.

You also have the right to have your car fixed properly - and while that might allow for LKQ (like in kind and quality) parts to keep some costs down, it shouldn't be for "all" recycled parts.

I handle several insurance claims per month (I own a motorcycle repair shop). In most cases, the adjuster writes up all new parts, and then if I want to make a deal with the customer, that is up to us.

I agree with Steve - well run shops don't let customers supply parts (except under special, rare situations). But, a well run shop should work with the customer to get what they deserve, and as close to what they want as possible.

I also agree with Steve that there is something funny here...

-David
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2004, 10:40 PM
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Alls well that ends well

In the end I finally got everything repaired to my satisfaction using all new parts. Had to pay about $300 out of my own pocket, but I think it was worth it. The way I figure it, If you plan on keeping the car why put a used AC Condenser, Radiator, just soedn't make sence..

I did have to almost take the bodyshop to small claims court when they did not want to warrenty their faulty repairs. Luckily they saw the error of their ways and paid to have the car repaired at a Mercedes specialist who knew what they where doing... I cannot stress any further that Bodyshops do Bodywork and Mechanics do engine work. This place tried to do both and really did not know what they where doing when it came to the electrical, cooling system, power steering, etc... Perhaps their are other bodyshops that can, but this wasn't one of them.

If I had to do the whole thing over again I would have called my local Mercedes dealership and asked for the names of authorized shops only. If I had gone to an authorized repair shop chances are pretty good that the work would have been done right the first time.

This was my first accident and I learned allot from it. Glad I was able to walk away with a better understanding of how the whole insurance process works and my car in one piece.

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