Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get a claim number?

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.


Are you open on Saturday?

No. But we are open Monday through Friday, 7:30am - 5:00pm and Sundays, 8:00 am - I:00pm.


Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?

Absolutely. We generally order your vehicle's parts at the time that we write the estimate and schedule your vehicle for drop-off a couple of days later unless your vehicle is found unsafe to drive...then we would help you arrange for a rental vehicle as soon as possible. This enables us to provide quicker turnaround time.


If my vehicle's frame 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. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of-the-art computer measuring system, 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.


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 system available - Spies Hecker - and constantly upgrade its technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle's paint matches. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.


Can I get the other service work done on my vehicle while it is in the body shop?

Yes. Just let your advisor know what other work you would like done so that he or she can make the necessary arrangements.


How long will the repairs to my vehicle take?

Your advisor can give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete the repairs to your vehicle. Be sure to check with your advisor for the specifics on your vehicle.


Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?

Yes. We would be happy to provide this service to you. We want each customer's visit to be a positive experience and will work diligently towards that goal. We provide a pickup and delivery service free of charge to all 5 boroughs as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.


How can I get a rental car?

If you need a rental car, we can help you 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. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are. We have an Enterprise Rent-A-Car conveniently located across the street from our shop.


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 email your advisor during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.


Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?

Yes. We guarantee all repairs with a Lifetime Warranty.


Do I have to pay a deductible?

The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. If you carry broad collision, and you were not at fault, your insurance company most likely will waive your deductible. Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident when you make the claim, and by reviewing the accident report filed with the police department. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he/she will tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether you will be responsible to pay this when you pick up your vehicle.


Who do I pay my deductible to?

If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay us when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren't sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he/she can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.


What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept insurance company checks, bank checks or cash.


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.


What are "OEM" parts?

OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacture" and is used to describe parts made by or for the manufacturer of your vehicle. So OEM Ford parts come from Ford, Mercedes parts from Mercedes and so on.


What are "Aftermarket" parts?

Aftermarket (A/M) is used to describe parts that are produced by some manufacturer other than the one who originally made your car. Some aftermarket parts carry certification that helps ensure the basic quality of the part. Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than new OEM, but for some applications may be a better choice than used OEM parts.


What are "LKQ" Parts?

LKQ stands for "like, kind and quality." Most of us are more familiar with the other term for this category, which is "Used Parts." The term LKQ should more precisely define a sub-category of used parts that are just like the ones on your vehicle before the loss.


Do I have to use the shop my insurance company recommends or can I always take it to Collision Specialists of Inwood?

You can always take it to Collision Specialists of Inwood. The insurance company cannot tell you where to repair your vehicle. Some insurance people with special interests will attempt to convince or STEER you to fix your vehicle at their PREFERRED SHOP. Should this happen, please contact Collision Specialists of Inwood; our professional claims handlers can guide you through this unfortunate practice. Remember, that it is the insurance adjuster's job to satisfy the customer and close the claim at the lowest possible cost.


Do I have to get multiple estimates?

No, you do not need to get multiple estimates; you only need to notify your insurance representative as to where you will be having your repairs done. Your insurance company will work hand in hand with your choice of shop to insure you receive the service and quality repairs you have come to expect.


But what happens if the insurance company's estimate is lower than the one I get from Collision Specialists of Inwood?

Insurance companies are generally willing to pay for a proper repair. The insurance company appraiser may include only the most obvious damage in their estimate. At Collision Specialists of Inwood, we try to write as thorough an estimate as possible.

Just bring the insurance estimate in with you and we can go over the differences. If necessary, we'll notify the insurance company of the changes we need to make. Generally this just takes a phone call and we will bill your insurance company for the supplement at the completion of the repair. Although it does not happen often, some insurance companies will refuse coverage of certain necessary operations even though those operations are required to properly repair your vehicle. Unless you, "the Boss," tell us to perform the inferior repair, we will charge the insurance company storage while the vehicle is left idle in the shop. Generally, that provides some amount of motivation to resolve the impasse and provide you with proper repairs.


What happens if more damage is found?

Today's vehicles are very complex; so it can be difficult to see all the damage during the initial inspection. Therefore, finding additional damage has become very common; estimates written without a thorough disassembly of the vehicle often have overlooked additional damages. Collision Specialists of Inwood is the exception: our DFR process (Disassembly for Repair) almost always assures no surprise damage.

If additional damage is found, it is documented and discussed with you and the insurance company. The insurance company may, or may not, want to come see the damage. These supplemental charges are itemized, authorized and billed along with the rest of the repairs.

If the insurance representative wants to come see the additional damage, the repair process could be delayed from 2-5 business days. Be mindful that any additional parts found to be damaged will have to be ordered and that can lead to another delay (based on availability.)


What is the difference between collision insurance and comprehensive insurance coverage?

Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance may vary. Generally, collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by a collision with another object. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your automobile from incidents such as vandalism, theft or glass breakage. It is generally a good idea to periodically review your policy and ask your insurance agent what exclusions are in your policy.


Will my rates go up?

Your rates may or may not go up depending on who is at fault, and the type of loss; also your driving history may influence a rate increase. Your insurance agent or customer service representative can assist you in determining the impact of a given claim on your own policy premium.


What about my personal belongings?

Before dropping off your vehicle, we recommend that your remove your personal belongings or anything of value. Our insurance covers damage to your vehicle as a result of fire, theft, or even employee error, but it only covers the vehicle and its factory installed parts. Consequently, we do not assume liability for other items that you choose to leave in your vehicle.
Even though our team is comprised of very honest people, they often remove interior parts to gain access to the damaged area or to protect the interior from damage. One misplaced item can cause a lot of hard feelings and we value your good opinion.


Can I wash my car?

Recommendations and Precautions in the First 30 Days
DO - Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car was solution using a soft cloth or sponge. Always use clean fresh water. Wash your vehicle in the shade.
DON'T - Do not 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. - Do not drive 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

  • Hours
  • Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 5pm

  • Address
  • 425 Doughty Blvd.
  • Inwood, New York 11096