Frequently Asked Questions

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1. How can I authorize repairs to my vehicle without visiting your shop?
Please click HERE to download our repair authorization form and fax or e-mail it back to us at ClaimsManager@NorthIowaCollisionCenter.com
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2. Do I need to get more than one estimate?

No, that has never been a law, nor is it a law today. The way that vehicles are designed and engineered, it’s next to impossible to give an accurate auto body repair estimate without disassembling the vehicle. Most customer-oriented insurance companies realize this fact, and no longer ask you waste your time by getting multiple estimates. Remember, nobody – not your dealership, insurance company, or any other auto body shop – can give you an exact price. Be very cautious of anyone who claims they can.

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3. Is it my choice who fixes my car?
Absolutely! It is always your choice who fixes your car. An insurance company, car dealer, or responsible party may make suggestions for accident repairs, but the choice is always up to you.
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4. Where do I get a claim number?
Claim numbers are issued by the insurance company at the time the claim is reported.
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5. How can I get a rental car?
If you need a rental car, we can help to 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. A phone call to the insurance company or agent to verify coverage and limits can save headaches down the road.
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6. Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?
Yes. We do offer pick up and/or delivery service in Clear Lake and Mason City.
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7. How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?
Your advisor will give you an estimate of the time needed to repair your vehicle.
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8. Can you match the paint color?
Today's modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. We have made a major investment in the finest paint system & equipment available. Regular upgrades with this technology and equipment ensure that each vehicle's paint matches. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the repair process.
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9. What kind of paint do you spray?
PPG Waterborne paint.
Since 1992, PPG's waterborne paint systems have been used by refinishers and OEMs across the globe. What makes these waterborne basecoats successful is their ease of use and ability to match a car's finish regardless of whether the original paint was solventborne or not.

Environmental Benefits:
  • Reduces production of volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Improves air quality
  • Promotes health and safety of employees
  • Achieves performance and quality
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10. What is diminished value?
Diminished Value is the loss in a vehicle's value as a result of having been damaged. Depending upon the severity of sustained damages and the quality and thoroughness of the repair, a portion of its original value is restored; the extent of which must be determined by a recognized Diminished Value Expert. The remaining difference between the vehicle’s original pre-loss value and the restored value is considered the loss related Diminished Value or commonly referred to as “DV”.
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11. If the frame of my vehicle is damaged, is it a total loss?
No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company's determined value of your vehicle. Now most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.
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12. Will parts be ordered before I drop my vehicle off?
Yes. We typically order parts for your vehicle shortly after you schedule for repairs. If your vehicle is not safe to drive or undrivable we would order parts as soon as we had the approvals from both you & the insurance company.
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13. Where do the parts come from?
We have many parts vendors that we work with both locally and nationally.
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14. What kind of options are there for parts?
There are 3 kinds of parts that can be used on a vehicle.
  • OEM: An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, manufactures products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name.[1] OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a replacement part made by the manufacturer of the original part. Source: Wikipedia
  • Aftermarket: Aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry, concerned with the manufacturing, remanufacturing, distribution, retailing, and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, tools, equipment and accessories for light and heavy vehicles, after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the consumer, which may or may not be manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer. Source: Wikipedia
  • Recycled: Also known as Salvage or used; are parts that are taken from a vehicle that is beyond it's useful life. The vehicle may be out of commission, but there are still many useful parts on these types of vehicles.
Most insurance policies will state what kind of parts can be used in the event of an accident. Those will be the parts that are searched for first. All parts are inspected for quality & fit.
If your insurance company requires the use of parts other than OEM, you do have the option of upgrading to OEM, but you would be responsible to pay the price difference between what the insurance company has authorized & the OEM price.
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15. Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the shop?
Yes. Just let your advisor know what other work you would like done so that he or she can make the necessary arrangements.
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16. Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Yes. We guarantee our paint & body work in writing with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Please click HERE to view our warranty documentation.
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17. Will this work void my existing manufacturer warranty?
No.
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18. Do I have to pay a deductible?
You may be responsible to pay a deductible. You should check with your insurance agent to learn what your deductible may be for the type of accident that you have had. Typically you will have a deductible for a comprehensive or a collision claim. Also, the amounts may be different for these types of claims.
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19. Who do I pay my deductible to?
Your deductible payment is due & payable to the shop. At North Iowa Collision Center, your deductible payment is due when your repairs are complete & you come to pick your vehicle up.
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20. What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, Debit Card, Master Card, Visa, Discover & American Express.

Payment is due, in full, before vehicles are released.
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21. What are betterment charges?
Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use (i.e., tires, batteries, and suspension parts) are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process. These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles on your vehicle.
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22. How will I know when my car is done?
You will be notified when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your adviser during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.
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23. Are you open on Saturday?
We do not have regular business hours on Saturday. However, Saturday appointments may be made in advance.
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24. Can I wash my car after it has just been fixed?
RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS

DO
  • Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Always use clean, fresh water.
  • Wash your vehicle in the shade.

DON'T
  • Use a commercial car wash.
  • Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface.
  • Do not "dry wipe" your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish.
  • Avoid high speeds 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.


RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS
  • DON'T · Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.
  • DON'T · Do not use waxes or polishes containing silicone.
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25. Can I drop my vehicle off outside of business hours?
Yes.
Please leave your keys in the drop box that is located near the front door.
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