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Old 03-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #1
equinn
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Default Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

The short of it is my 3 was sandwiched last week..got rear-ended and pushed into the car in front of me. No front-side damage though. Its driveable, and there's no mechanical damage either. I had the other driver's Ins. Co. give an estimate today for the damage. Basically, the rear bumper needs to be replaced and the underside trunk body panel needs to be repaired and refinished (he said it curled up very slightly with the impact). Here are my questions:

- On the itemized list, for the rear bumper cover it lists "Replace PXN Reconditioned - $206.50". What does PXN stand for? Is this going to be a standard shell painted to match, not OEM? And is this an 'adequate' quote?

- There's an attached disclaimer that says the Ins co will guarantee all non-OEM parts used for life, which includes fit, wear, degradation, etc. It says if I want OEM, they will cover it, but they don't guarantee these parts. What's the best route? Does it matter?

- Ext. paint code was given as "29Y". Is that correct for 2005 Titanium Gray?

- Not sure my local mechanic is the best for body repair stuff. The Allstate people used Sterling Autobody as a baseline for estimates. Anyone have any experience with them? I read a couple bad reviews online, but they seem isolated. They are close too.

That's all for now. I'll update if I have anything else to ask. Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

It's your car, you have the right to have it repaired wherever you choose. I would take it back to a mazda dealer / mazda authorized repair shop and make sure that all OEM parts are used.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

I know, and that's what I was told by Allstate (I can get it repaired wherever I like).

But, as I said, my typical mechanic is not an expert in body work. And, from what I've read here and elsewhere, the dealer would simply send the car out to an auto body shop somewhere but charge a premium for the 2nd-hand work (plus, I have no say in where they take it). Not to mention if they overcharge based on the estimate and Allstate says no to the overcharges, I'd be on the hook for the remainder (Allstate disclaimer says they may only cover the cost of a refurbed OEM, not a new replacement, part at their discretion). The adjuster was very upfront, said the estimate is not binding by any means, but if they feel that external quotes are inflated or unnecessary then they will deny them. Then, it will be up to me whether to pay the difference, fight Allstate, or go elsewhere (I'd rather not drag this out to a 4 month me vs. Allstate battle).

With that said, that's why I asked the questions that I did. No idea what PXN is (does it mean non OEM?). Also why I asked about the Sterling chain, to see if they are a reputable place to go to or if I should look for an indy place instead.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

Sterling Autobody Centers? Anyone have feedback? I think I'm taking my 3 there tomorrow or Thursday...
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

[quote author=equinn link=topic=138541.msg2985752#msg2985752 date=1236710619]
- There's an attached disclaimer that says the Ins co will guarantee all non-OEM parts used for life, which includes fit, wear, degradation, etc. It says if I want OEM, they will cover it, but they don't guarantee these parts. What's the best route? Does it matter?

- Ext. paint code was given as "29Y". Is that correct for 2005 Titanium Gray?
[/quote]


1. Guranteed for what life? The life of the part? The life of the car? How often to plastic bumpers wear out on their own anyway? Besides, any decent body shop will warranty their work, independent of the insurance company warranty. The insurance company is just trying to save a buck.

2. Check the sticker on the drivers door jamb. It will list the correct paint code. Regardless of that, the body shop should colour match to your car, not just the paint code. Due to aging and variations between lots mean that buying paint off the shelf that is a exact match to your car is pretty much impossible.

3. As to where to get it repaired... are they any local detailers? Ask them who does good body work. There are a few forums where detailers hang out... with a bit of googling and some luck you might be able to find someone to ask....

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

My family owns a bosy shop so take this for what its worth. The ins co or a third party adjustor comes out to the shop (if you have the car there) and trys to skimp out as much as possible, on labor and on parts. Sure, you can try to push your ins. co. to pay for OEM but goodluck on that one. The body shop in all likliness is not going to try to charge more than the ins. co. will pay minus your deduction. Sometimes our shop will not do the work if the ins. co. is not being reasonable on labor. Sometimes other damage is discovered after the body panels are removed and in this case, we try to get the adjustor out again to approve the charges. Find a shop you trust and let them deal with your ins. co. as much as possible.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

Well, a Google search turned up that Allstate (the ins co of the person that hit me) OWNS Sterling Autobody Centers. Thus why I met the Allstate adjustor there, and thus why they used them as the baseline for their estimates.

I've also read some Allstate stories. In short, it seems as though they use the Sterling baseline KNOWING that the prices will be on the low side. From people's accounts, once you bring your car elsewhere for another quote (knowing that quote will be higher), they say the quote is too high for them to cover it and that you, the driver, is on the hook for the difference if you choose to get it repaired at the other shop. I couldn't find anything about them denying to use OEM parts if desired, so I will inquire about it.

With that said, I have not read too many negative reviews about Sterling. Most people that review them seem relatively happy, with a 'here and there' complaint which would happen with any large, national chain. I am tempted to just bring the car there, as I don't know this area well enough to determine who's 'trustworthy' and who isn't (relatively new to the area, and don't know many people who had had body work done). If they were touching the body panels, I would be a little more hesitant, but since its the bumper which is easy enough to replace if they F it up, I'll probably give them a shot. If its a shitty job, Allstate will be called. Simple as that.

I'll keep you all posted.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

Yeah, owning the body shop is a good way for the insurance company to pigeonhole the customer while at the same time ensuring a good profit for themselves. Win/win for them, often lose/lose for you though. Good luck.

When I wrecked my wife's civic, the Geico claims center was at a honda dealer with a body shop on the premises, so that was pretty much a win for us. Of course I still think they fucked something up but the car is such a shitbox that I don't particularly care about it anymore.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

My parked car was recently backed into by my sister about a month ago (go figure). She bashed the rear passenger door in and left a good gash in the body panel right after the door (near the fuel tank door). I have State Farm, yet the rest of my family has Allstate.

Went to Sterling Autobody since that is who Allstate works with, what a mistake. Let me explain some of my issues...

1) Asked for OEM parts only. Was not contacted, and LKQ (used) parts were used instead, along with "reasonable replacement" parts such as trim for the door.

2) The small plastic pieces on the bottom of our doors to help water escape were not installed. Another small plastic piece on the window trim that prevents water from entering was never installed.

3) When I got the car back, there was a bungy cord wrapped around my backseats headrests, the fuel door would not close properly, a tech had to mess with the switches for about an hour while I waited. The "tech" that worked on my car disconnected the battery....the plastic cover for the battery was laying on my engine and the hood was shut. You can imagine what happened to it.

4) Sterling's "lifetime warranty" DOES NOT COVER RUST OF ANY FORM. Thus, I might as well wipe my ass with it.

5) Took weeks for a relatively minor fix to be accomplished. Car was three days late after "promised" date.

I'm with others here, take it to a dealer and all OEM parts, but good luck with Allstate. Sterling low balls the estimate and thus Allstate tells you to piss off when any REAL body shop that will do quality work wants more money. Why do you think Allstate runs it's own bodyshop, for your gain?

I have a 2004, so it's a 5 year old car. However, I love my car and keep it in tip top shape. Because my sister couldn't bother to look behind her when turning her wheel, I now have a door that is missing basic OEM parts and a "warranty" with no rust protection, which is the whole f'n point of a body shop warranty.

I've contacted Sterling about the missing parts on my door, and they consider it acceptable since it's a used part. I can file a complaint with Allstate, but considering they run Sterling, where's that lead me? Up a creek with no pattle is where. Next time I will just pay the difference and go where I want, but hindsight is always clear. Don't make the mistake I did, but since it's a bumper I sincerely hope they treat you better than me. Best of luck.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Accident: Insurance Estimate and Repair Questions

i am so glad i don't have allstate..
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