950 Villa St, Elgin, IL 60120  -  (847) 695-6644

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What To Do In The Event Of An Accident  |   Towing  |   Rental Cars  |   Estimates  |   The Repair Process  |   Payment  |   Post-Repair Care

What to do in the event of an accident


1. SAFETY FIRST
If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic, turn on its flashers and put out warning triangles or flares if you have them; then stand a safe distance away while you talk to other drivers or wait for help.

2. ARE YOU INJURED?
Double-check yourself and others around you to make sure no one is hurt. Even a fender bender might have caused an injury that is not noticeable right away. Summon medical help if there is any doubt.

3. CALL THE AUTHORITIES
Call the police, especially if there has been substantial damage or anyone is injured / acting confrontational. Ask for the investigating officer's name and contact information, and for the accident report number so that you can follow up.

4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
Obtain the name, address, phone number, driver's license number, plate number, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident, along with the names of anyone with injuries and any witnesses. Don't argue over who is at fault or admit blame.

5. RECORD THE SCENE
If possible, take photos of the scene (a cell-phone camera can come in handy) or draw a diagram showing the cars' positions. Contact your insurer right away.

6. CALL FORREST AUTO BODY
After recording the scene, call Forrest Auto Body and we will guide you through the next steps of getting your vehicle repaired quickly and safely.

Click here to find out your legal responsibilities in the event of a collision, according to the state of Illinois.

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Towing


Yes. Give us a call during business hours and we will get everything set up for you. If it's after our business hours you can tell the towing company to drop it off in our parking lot. They will ensure it is locked and we have security cameras on site so you can rest easy knowing your vehicle is safe and secure.

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Rental Cars


If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements.

Yes, if you have rental coverage. Check with your agent or insurance company to see how much of the rental is covered; some policies pay the full amount, some will only pay a percentage. If the claim is a liability claim (the accident was not your fault), the full amount will be covered.

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Estimates


We offer most estimates free of charge and they usually take about 15 minutes to half an hour to complete depending on parts availability and extent of damage. Please use the link below to start the mobile estimation process if you can't make it in.

• Click Here to Start Your Mobile Estimate

If you would prefer to bring your vehicle in, please contact us and make an appointment.

No, Insurance companies cannot force you to acquire three estimates. You only need one estimate.
If you want more than one that is your choice.

No, this is your choice.
Insurance companies cannot tell you where to have your vehicle repairs done.

Their preferred shops have agreed to work with those particular Insurance companies rates, many shops are willing to work with those same rates.
Always ask.

Insurance companies do not warranty repairs done by the shop, even if done by their own preferred facility. The repair shop warranties its own repairs in every case.

Ask the shop of you choice about their warranty.

You should never be expected to pay extra for parts or repairs as long as they are related to the loss.

No, it is your right to obtain an estimate from the shop of your choice.

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.

If your insurance adjuster already came to look at your vehicle, or you have an approved estimate from another shop, you are able to call the shop of your choosing and schedule the repairs.

You can fax or email us a copy, drop it off, or give us your insurance information and we can attain our own copy of the estimate. We must start the repair process from the original estimate.

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The Repair Process


No. To make the process convenient for you, our repair authorization form is available to download and send back to us without having to make a trip back to our shop. Just follow the link below.

Click Here to visit our Repair Authorization Form.

Yes, it is your responsibility, and your right, to choose who will repair your vehicle. Also, if you cannot decide on a repair facility, your insurance company can recommend a repair shop. Many insurance companies offer Direct Repair Programs that take the hassle out of the claim process and provide for quicker repairs.

Each repair is unique and the length of time it takes to repair your vehicle depends on numerous variables. We should be able to give you an approximate out date once the initial estimate is written.

You have the right to retain ownership of the vehicle, but the amount of the settlement may be reduced by the salvage value.

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Payment


If you were not at fault and the repair is going through the other party's insurance, then you will not have a deductible. A deductible is determined at the purchase of your insurance premium and can range anywhere between $50 and $3,000. If the repair is going through your insurance policy, then the cause of the accident will determine the deductible amount. Ask your insurance company or go through your policy to find out.

It will be your responsibility to pay Forrest Auto Body when you pick up your vehicle.

No. When you purchased your insurance policy, you signed a contract saying you will pay the first amount of the claim up to your deductible. Repairers should not be asked to hide the deductible. That practice would constitute fraud by both the shop and consumer. The penalties for insurance fraud are severe. If a shop offers to save your deductible, they are absorbing that at your cost. They are not doing the said repairs in order to make up for your deductible. This could lead to unsafe and unsatisfactory repairs which will ultimately cost you at some point.

The insurance company will assign an appraiser to inspect the vehicle to determine its condition prior to the accident, or in some instances allow the repairer to make the determination. They may use a vehicle evaluation service or the newspaper to determine pre-accident value. The owner should also determine the value independently.

Sometimes. If you feel the ACV offered by the insurance company is too low, then you are obligated to prove this either through documented receipts of vehicle enhancement or written statements by qualified experts to determine the proper value.

Subrogation is the process by which your insurance company pays for the repairs to your vehicle, and is obligated to collect from another insurer or party. Your collision coverage will require you to pay your deductible, which may be refunded once the other party pays.

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Post-Repair Care


You can wash the vehicle immediately. Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth, sponge, or mitt.

• Always use clean fresh water.
• Wash your vehicle in the shade.
• Do not use a commercial brush car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface.

Do not wax or polish the vehicle in the first 90 days. This will allow the finish to cure completely. After the first 90 days keep a coat of polish or wax on the vehicle. This will help keep your finish looking new.

• Do not "dry wipe" your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish.
• 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. Scrapers can act like a paint scraper on a newly painted finish.

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