488 Brunken Ave. Salinas, CA 93901 | (831) 422-2460

Frequently Asked Body Shop Questions

Can I choose any auto body shop?
Yes. By law you have the right to have your vehicle repaired at any licensed auto body shop. The choice is yours, it is not the insurance company’s choice, although the insurance company may recommend a body shop to you, the choice is always 100% yours.

What’s the first thing I should do in the auto body repair process?
Bring the car to an auto body shop that you can trust, like Searson Body Shop. Make sure you’re comfortable with the shop and that it’s your repair center of choice. The insurance company might recommend that you first go to a drive-in claims center, but this can lengthen the process and you might be referred to a shop that you’re not comfortable with. You can actually leave your car with us and have the insurance company inspect your car at our facility.

Do you work with my particular insurance company?
Yes. We work with all insurance companies. We know their adjusters and their processes. You can take advantage of our existing relationships within the insurance industry; we will be your best advocate in the repair process.

Do I have to pay for any extra damage you find after the first inspection?
No, you do not have to pay for extra damage related to your accident. The insurance company will re-inspect and approve the extra auto body repairs. (This is called a “supplemental.”)

Who pays for my rental car?
Insurance policies often pay for your rental car; it depends on what policy options you selected when you purchased your policy. We can arrange a rental car to pick you up in most cases. We have relationships with area rental car companies, including Enterprise and Hertz. There is usually a daily cap on rental car expenses paid by your insurance policy, thus we recommend that you read your policy closely.

How long will my repairs take?
Each case is different; we will give you an approximate timeframe at the time of your free estimate. You will be notified of your car’s progress. Hidden damage is occasionally discovered once the repair process begins, you will be notified immediately if such damage will lengthen the process.

How soon will repairs start?
Repairs will start as soon as you sign the repair order. Your parts will be ordered when you drop off your vehicle.

Do I have to pay anything when I leave my car with you?
No, all payments are processed after the job is complete.

How long will the free estimate take?
It takes Searson Body Shop about 20 minutes to issue an auto body repair estimate, and the estimate is completely free of charge.

Can you take me home or to my office after I drop off the car?
Yes, we have a free shuttle that operates within a 5 mile radius of our shop.

Will my car be just like it was before the accident? Will the paint match?
Yes, we will repair your car to factory specifications. The paint will be matched to the factory formula.

Do you guarantee your work?
Yes, all work comes with a written lifetime guarantee. We guarantee every single repair we make, regardless of the technicalities of your insurance policy. If you find something wrong with your repair after you leave our body shop, simply return and we will fix the problem. This is good for as long as you own your car.

What is my deductible?
Your deductible is determined by your insurance policy. We cannot do anything to change your deductible. You will pay your deductible and the insurance company will pay for damages in excess of the deductible. Your deductible will be paid to us.

What if I get estimates that differ in price?
Different estimates are common; make sure both the lower and higher estimates detail all the work they intend to do. If an estimate doesn’t have enough detail to satisfy you, ask the estimator to explain how he calculated the total estimated cost.

What type of equipment and certifications do you have?
Our professional auto body technicians are I-CAR certified. We are constantly updating our equipment. Our equipment is computer controlled and connected to database with factory specifications. We would be delighted to show you around our facility and discuss the latest in auto body repair technology.

What should I do after I get my vehicle back?

  • Wait 30 days after painting to wax.
  • Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight.
  • Use fresh water and auto paint soap.
  • Wax your car every four to six months.
  • Avoid high-pressure hoses and hard brushes at commercial car washes.
  • Protect your vehicle from the elements, tree sap and bird droppings. Rinse off any bird droppings, tree sap, road residue and other liquids as soon as possible. Stop by one of our stores if you need further expert advice.

What forms of payment do you accept?
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Cash & Check