Estimate & Auto Body Repair FAQs

Getting an auto body repair estimate can be a daunting and intimidating experience for someone new to the collision repair industry so below are commonly asked questions along with some definitions of terms. If you have any questions not listed here feel free to contact one of our eight collision repair locations.

Where do I start after I’ve been in a vehicle accident?

Step 1: Call your insurance agent. Your agent will take a report of the accident and will then give you a claim number.

Step 2: Call Gates Auto Body. We can assist with towing your damaged vehicle and also provide free loaner vehicles. We can help you with any collision repair concerns you might have.

Is it possible to obtain an auto body repair estimate over the phone or the internet?

Unfortunately, no. Gates Auto Body needs to personally inspect your vehicle closely to accurately complete an estimate.

Do I need an appointment?

Vehicle repair estimates are written Monday through Friday between 7:30am and 4:30 pm and no appointment is necessary. Drop in anytime during normal business hours and we’ll take the time to inspect your vehicle. However, scheduling an appointment can diminish any possible waiting time. To schedule an appointment, please call one of our eight collision repair locations.

How long will an estimate take?

Unless the vehicle is severely damaged, most repair estimates take about 15-25 minutes.

What if someone else gives me a lower estimate?

Since all body shops charge the same for labor and parts, the difference is in how thorough our visual estimate is compared to other facilities. Compare their estimate to ours, and you’re likely to see more items on a Gates Auto Body estimate. That only means we’re being honest and up front with you about the extent of the damage. Bring any estimate to Gates Auto Body and we’ll be happy to explain the difference!

Is your estimate 100% accurate?

We have given you a visual estimate. This means we have assessed your car’s damage to the best of our ability based on what we can see and based on what we suspect. Once we tear down your vehicle, there may be additional hidden damage. If there is, we’ll quote it and with your permission repair it and will work directly with your Insurance Company with any supplements.

How will I get around while my vehicle is being repaired?

All of our eight Gates Auto Body locations provide repair customers with a free loaner vehicle regardless of repair time or insurance coverage. Although, if you have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy or if you are a claimant we may charge the Insurance Company responsible.

Want to learn more about our Free Loaner Vehicles?

Can Gates Auto Body repair any kind of car?

Absolutely! Gates Auto Body technicians are intimately familiar with all foreign and domestic cars and are I-CAR Gold and ASE certified. That means you don’t need to take your import to a “certified” repair shop for your particular brand.

Will Gates Auto Body work with my Insurance Company?

Yes. Gates Auto Body works with all Insurance Companies and directly handles all the paperwork with them.

Want to learn more about our relationships with Insurance Companies?

Does my Insurance Company have the right to inspect my vehicle?

Yes, they have a right to inspect your vehicle, but are not required to do so. If your company chooses to perform an inspection, have them inspect it at one of our eight collision repair locations. Our Madison locations already have relationships with various Insurance Companies, and because of this some companies have offices located in our facilities, or allow our qualified estimators to inspect the vehicle on behalf of the Insurance Company.

Do I need to get more than one estimate?

No. If your Insurance Company asks you to get more than one estimate, let them know that Gates Auto Body will be performing the repairs on your vehicle. Your insurance Company is welcome to send an adjustor to examine the vehicle at the shop.

Can I take my car to the repair shop of my choice?

Absolutely, you have the legal right to choose whatever repair facility you want. When reporting your claim, immediately let your Insurance Company know which shop you’d like to repair your vehicle. Your insurer should not attempt to influence your decision regarding where to have your vehicle repaired and is obligated to cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made.

Can I have my vehicle repaired with OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts and will my Insurance Company pay for them?

Your Insurance Company is only responsible for restoring your vehicle to the way it was before it was damaged. If your vehicle was not new at the time of the accident, the insurer does not have to pay for new OEM parts. Instead they must pay for LKQ (Like Kind & Quality) parts. Although, each person’s policy is different so be sure to check with your Insurance Company to see what your policy will cover. If you request new OEM parts on an older vehicle, you may have to pay the difference but Gates Auto Body will work with you on your available options.

How long will it take to repair my car?

Based on the estimate, we can accurately provide a completion date. Please keep in mind that once we are able to disassemble your vehicle, it is not uncommon to discover hidden damage. Should that happen, we will notify you immediately and inform you of any scheduled completion changes.

Our primary goal is to return the vehicle to you as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of the repair.

Will I have to pay a deductible?

Yes, but only if your policy includes a deductible and you have filled a claim with your Insurance Company. Whether or not you are responsible for a deductible depends on your policy and who was at fault. Your deductible may be different depending on the type of accident, for example, collision or comprehensive. Contact your insurance agent to find out your deductible amount.

When do I pay my deductible?

Your deductible is paid directly to Gates Auto Body when repairs are complete and you pick up your vehicle.

What forms of payment does Gates Auto Body accept?

We accept cash, check and all major credit cards.

Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?

Yes, we are so confident in our workmanship and the materials we use that we guarantee the repair for as long as you own your vehicle.

Want to learn more about our Limited Lifetime Warranty?

Will my car ever be the same?

There is absolutely no reason why your car shouldn’t be as good as it was prior to the loss, if not better! All of our technicians are trained in the latest collision repair techniques and we utilize “state-of-the-art” equipment to insure that your car is restored to its pre-loss condition. Gates Auto Body takes great pride in the work that we do and our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.


So take it to Gates today!