Is My Car Totaled? How Insurers Determine Total Loss

Car accidents are incredibly stressful, especially if your car’s damage is significant. Many car owners worry if the insurance companies will total the vehicle. This information can help you determine whether an insurance company decides your car is a total loss or chooses to sign off on the repairs.


When Is a Car Considered Totaled?

If you are in a severe auto accident that causes extensive damage, your insurance company may decide to declare a total loss of the car. In other words, your car is “totaled.” When the car’s damage costs more to fix it than the car is worth, it is considered a total loss. However, that does not mean that the repairs will cost more than the vehicle’s actual value. With a totaled car, the insurance company has decided it is not worth the cost to repair it. Calculating the total loss value of a vehicle is not easy to determine, and those calculations may vary depending on the state and insurance company. You will want to know your vehicle’s value because it can help you negotiate a better payout for your accident claim. It can also help provide you with the correct information to determine if you are getting enough to pay off your car loan.

Insurance companies use many variables to determine the value of your car. Some of these factors include:

  • Vehicle type: High-end and classic cars are valued higher.
  • Age of vehicle: Newer cars have a higher value than older cars.
  • Condition of vehicle: Mileage, tire wear, interior, and other factors can have an impact on the value of your car.


If the insurance company determines that you may have contributed to the accident in any way, they could reduce the total loss value. This calculation varies by state. It is important to understand your state’s laws regarding contributory negligence. Insurance companies often use a percentage to determine whether the car is totaled. Most totaled cars have damage between 70 and 75 percent of the value. For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000 and the cost to repair it is $7,000, the insurance company will likely total it. Here are some other things to take into consideration for your vehicle.


Older Models

The damage to a new car needs to be severe for it to be totaled. However, insurance companies will declare older vehicles as a total loss, and that can happen even if the damage appears minor. Insurance companies total older cars because they have a lower resale value than newer cars. It is often difficult to find replacement parts for older cars, and it may be expensive to install those parts. If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company will pay you the car’s value before the accident. After an older car is deemed totaled, your vehicle will most likely be sent to an auto salvage yard. Some auto repair training schools might purchase wrecked vehicles for students to use for practice.

Old Model Luxury Car

Actual Cash Value

You might have heard about the term “actual cash value.” If you could sell your vehicle before the accident, the actual cash value is what you would receive for the car. Most traditional car insurance policies cover vehicles using a formula to determine the real cash value. As mentioned, if the repairs cost more than a specific percentage of your car, it might not be worth fixing your vehicle. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Many classic cars can avoid being deemed totaled. You also might not face a complete loss if you have additional coverage on your vehicle, such as gap insurance.


Determining Your Vehicle’s Value

There are some things that your insurance company will use to determine the actual value of your vehicle. Your car’s total loss is determined according to its year, make, model, physical wear and tear, mileage, and damage caused by your accident. If your vehicle is in excellent condition, it will have a higher actual value than an older and worn out car. However, you need to keep in mind that vehicles can quickly depreciate. Even those minor accidents can cause insurance companies to declare your car to be a total loss.


Checking the Value

Insurance companies use their proprietary software to calculate your vehicle’s actual cash value after an accident. Unfortunately, you cannot use their software to determine your vehicle’s value. However, there are a few ways you can get an idea about your car’s value. If you have been involved in an accident, you can determine how much your vehicle is worth. Write down the year, make and model of your car, and the mileage at the time of the accident. You can then look up your vehicle’s value through various websites, like the Kelley Blue Book, National Automobile Dealer’s Association, or Edmunds. It is recommended that you check all of these sources to get an average value as they may all provide different information. There is a word of caution. Many claims adjusters will tell you that insurance companies do not pay claims based on the Kelley Blue Book values.

You might also want to check out the classified ads to see car prices in your area. The quality, model, and features of similar vehicles can help you determine your car’s value, and you can use it as a base for your insurance negotiations. These resources will only provide a ballpark figure. You don’t want to get your heart set on these estimated values.

Vehicle Inspection

Make Sure Your Upgrades Are Counted

If you have made any recent repairs to your car, you will want to provide receipts to calculate your replacement costs. A new transmission or engine can make a difference in the amount of payout money from your insurance company. Add the value of any options included in your car, such as high-quality speaker systems or custom paint accents, to the average you determined in your research. This should give you a value close to what the insurance company will offer. If you have aftermarket options on your vehicle, be sure to inform the insurance company before they provide you with the value they intend to pay. For any of those upgrades, you must keep track of your receipts. These upgrades can make a difference in keeping your vehicle safe from being declared a total loss.

Avoiding Issues With Your Insurance

There are a few words of caution when dealing with an insurance company. It is not uncommon for many car owners to receive a total loss payout check less than the total of your car loan amount. These situations can occur in several different ways. For example, your car can depreciate faster than the rate you are paying down for your loan. Your car loan might also be extended with lower rates, or you have wrapped your prior auto loan into the vehicle’s current loans. If you have included any extras like taxes, title fees, and extended warranties into your loan, you might still owe money after an insurance payout. Finally, those little or no down payment auto loans can cause you to take a loss when your vehicle is declared totaled.


You Can Avoid Some Shortfalls

For those financed cars that have been totaled, your insurance company will likely make a claim check payable to you and your lender. You will have to agree with your lender on how to release that insurance money. In most cases, the lender will be reimbursed first, and any remaining money will be released to you.

If you want to avoid owing money on your totaled car, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this scenario. You should think about collision or comprehensive coverage. These coverage plans can help pay to replace a totaled vehicle. For many owners who are leasing or financing their cars, these two separate coverages are required on your car insurance policy. If your car is already paid off, then these policies are optional. However, if your vehicle is totaled without these coverage plans, then you may have to pay out of pocket to purchase a replacement vehicle.

Gap insurance will also make up for the difference between your car’s actual total value and the amount you owe on the vehicle. With new car replacement coverage, you can avoid these monetary shortfalls. All these measures can help you to combat any issues with depreciation. You might also want to pay down as much as possible on your loan, warranties, title fees, and taxes.

Signing Paperwork

Is My Car Totaled?

Those who have been involved in an accident are probably worried about their vehicles. In the worst-case scenario, your car will be deemed totaled by the insurance company. If your car has been in an accident, contact Elmer’s Auto Body today to arrange for a no-obligation consultation. With the latest technology, we can help get your vehicle back to its original condition. Need an auto body shop near me? Make sure to reach out to us. Please give us a call at (856) 218-0202.

Understanding Auto Body Shop Certifications

When it comes time for a vehicle repair, you want to find a shop equipped to handle your specific make and model. From oil changes to frame repairs, vehicles can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Auto body shops often obtain different certifications to work on these vehicles. These certifications let consumers know that the shop can fix their vehicle. Here are a few things to help you understand these certifications.


Certification Basics

Many professional auto body repair shops require their technicians to earn specific certifications. The technicians must take professional training and meet particular requirements to be certified. There are several certifications that technicians can earn in the auto repair industry. Vehicle makers have their own set of special certifications as well. If the technician holds a specific manufacturer designation, they have been trained to understand the vehicle maker’s latest standards.

Auto body repair shops can also obtain certifications, like the I-CAR Gold Class designation. This certification is the highest training achievement in the collision repair industry. With this certification, the collision repair shop must train its technicians on a yearly basis. The shop also has highly skilled experts in four key collision roles: damage estimator, steel structural technician, non-structural technician, and refinish technician.


Professional Certifications

If you want to have your vehicle repaired by top-quality technicians, choose a shop with these major certifications. These qualifications let you know that the shop can work on your vehicle and complete repairs to the highest standards.

Assured Performance Certification

One of the top auto body shop designations is the Assured Performance certification. The Assured Performance Network sets the bar for the entire automotive collision repair industry. For an auto body shop, an Assured Performance certification is a major credential. Since Assured Performance is associated with high standards and excellence, this certification requires body shops to go to great lengths to achieve this designation. Many auto body shops will advertise that they are part of the Assured Performance Network.

Less than 10 percent of all auto body shops meet the requirements to be Assured Performance certified. These shops must pass all the requirements established by specific auto manufacturers. They also must pass an annual on-site inspection and audit. During the audit, the certified shops must have the proper training, equipment, tools, and facilities to handle all types of collision repairs. As a result, consumers can be assured that the repairs are completed using the latest technology and materials.

I-CAR Certification

I-CAR is known as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. This is a non-profit organization that trains mechanics in different practices. I-CAR believes that everyone in the

collision industry needs essential skills to complete a safe repair. With this certification, you can be confident that your vehicle is in safe and capable hands.

I-CAR certification is another gold standard for an auto body shop. Along with the certificates, I-CAR also offers classes, resources, and training activities. The highest recognition is known as the Gold Class certification. With this certification, you can identify those technicians who have been trained on the latest technology, repair methods, and vehicle models. Only 20 percent of auto body shops have the Gold Class certification.

OEM/Manufacturer Certification

With a manufacturer certification, the auto body shop can display different manufacturers’ logos, such as Ford, Chevrolet, or Tesla. Some manufacturers, like Tesla, have stringent requirements for their certifications. If you find a shop with this certification, they have met the highest training and excellence levels.

The manufacturer also approves OEM certifications. OEM stands for an original equipment manufacturer. You might think that you need to go to the dealership for quality work, but if your shop is OEM certified, they have the credentials to work on that specific brand of vehicle. They also have OEM factory-approved parts and understand the procedures to install those components.

The Better Business Bureau

You also want to look for the Better Business Bureau certification. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) uses their code of ethics, consumer reviews, business responses, and other programs to rate businesses in the community. Customers can see this public information for most businesses. An excellent BBB rating means that the shop has met stringent standards. The BBB considers the shop’s positive and negative reports, its response time and quality, and other factors when making a rating. If the business is deemed trustworthy, they are allowed to display a BBB rating badge alongside their business logo. As a result, many customers tend to associate a BBB rating with high-quality services.


Choose The Right Shop

When it is time to choose the right shop for your vehicle repair, there are a few things to consider, such as:

  • Reviews: You want to read reviews from real customers. These reviews can tell you what you can expect from a particular shop.
  • Services: Before you bring in your vehicle, you want to see what services are provided by the auto body shop.
  • Certifications: Many auto body shops are proud of their certificates, and they will showcase these industry standards. You want to find a shop that specializes in repairing your particular make and model.


Elmer’s Auto Body Offers High-Quality Work

If you are looking for the best auto body repair work, make sure to choose Elmer’s Auto Body. We have a team of certified professionals. Our technicians can repair a wide variety of models, including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and more. Along with that, we have Assured Performance and I-CAR Gold Class certifications.

Our team can help with:


Find A Qualified Auto Body Shop Near Me

If you are ready to let a highly qualified team handle your repairs, make sure to reach out to us. Elmer’s Auto Body has experience repairing a wide range of vehicles. You can count on us to get your car back on the road. We will restore your car’s appearance and functionality. You can schedule a consultation by calling the office at (856) 218-0202.

What to Do After an Accident

When you have been involved in a car accident, it can be frightening, stressful, and confusing. Your adrenaline is rushing, and your brain is still trying to figure out what to do next. You need to do a few key things to ensure you and others are protected. There are many ways to avoid a car accident. However, once it happens, you need to know what to do and what questions to ask for your insurance claim. These tips offer you sound advice to keep you and your passengers safe as you manage the accident scene.


What To Do After a Car Accident?

If you are involved in an accident, you have a legal obligation to stop. Even if there is not any damage, you will need to pull over to inspect your car. Never drive away from the scene of an accident. If you are involved in a hit and run, you can be in trouble with law enforcement authorities by driving away. It is also important to never admit responsibility for the accident. Your insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and determine the fault. Since your insurance policy is a contract, your car insurance company does not want you to assume responsibility or liability under any circumstances.


Determine the Extent of Injuries or Damages

For those accidents with other cars or pedestrians, you need to check if anyone needs immediate medical care. You never want to move anyone from a car unless there is a chance the vehicle will catch on fire. It is better to wait for emergency personnel. You can stay with the accident victim until help arrives. Make sure you stay on the phone with emergency services and help direct them to the individuals who might need assistance. If the crash is severe, you might want to wait for the police or emergency services to come to the scene before you move any vehicles.

Car Damage

Move Away from Traffic

Once you have determined that everyone is safe, you might want to get away from the flow of traffic. If possible, you should move the cars to the shoulder or side of the road. If you cannot drive your vehicle, at least get yourself out of the traffic flow by exiting the car and moving to the side of the road. It is not unusual for secondary accidents to occur when disabled vehicles are blocking traffic. Unless someone needs immediate help, you should wait to make any phone calls until you are safely away from moving vehicles.


Contact Emergency Services

Even in a minor accident, you want to contact the police to get an official legal accident report. These official documents will be important when you need to make a claim with your insurance company. As soon as you are safely out of traffic, call 911 to get emergency services on the way. Don’t try to direct or block traffic as the authorities will take care of that when they arrive. The dispatcher will send EMS, police, and fire vehicles to deal with the crash scene. Although police may not determine fault at the scene, they will document everything and put it in a police report that can be turned over to your insurance company.


Limit Your Conversation With the Other Drivers

Since you do not want to admit any fault or liability, you need to limit your discussion of the accident. You should only talk about the accident to medical professionals, police, and your insurance representatives.

Medical Professionals and Police

Collect Information

If another driver is involved in the collision, you must provide them with your insurance information. They must also provide you with their insurance. Before an accident, it is helpful to know what your insurance will cover should one occur with your vehicle. Some insurance companies have tow truck preferences, and you may need to reach out to them before calling a tow truck. Most insurance companies have 24-hour claims departments too. No matter what time of day or night the accident happens, you may be able to speak to someone at your insurance company.


Beware Of Unsolicited Towing Services

In some areas, tow trucks may appear at the scene before you have called your insurance’s preferred company. If this should happen, be careful as unscrupulous tow truck companies seek out car accidents to charge exorbitant fees. If you don’t recognize the company, inform them that you have already called a tow truck and thank them for their time. When your tow truck does arrive, ask them what the tow will cost and where they are taking your car. You will also want to know if there are fees to store your vehicle as you work through the insurance red tape. Request that they provide you with a receipt that indicates where the car will go and the tow costs. Once everything has been finalized, request a copy of an invoice to be sure you were charged properly.


Get All The Necessary Information

With the stress of a car accident, you need to understand what to do after a car crash. It is essential to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all those involved in the accident. You should note the description of the car and the license plate number for your records. However, the most important information is the insurance company information and the other car’s vehicle identification number. In most cases, the license plate numbers are not sufficient as insurance companies record the policy to the vehicle identification number.

Car Information

Car Accident Information Checklist

If you want to file a proper insurance claim, you need to collect a little information about the incident, such as:

  • Details about the accident
  • Driver’s contact information
  • Insurance policy details


Along with that, there are some other pieces of information that you need after a car crash.


Car Accident Form

If you want to be prepared for a car accident, then you may want to get an accident form from your local police station or DMV. Every state has a different format, and it is a good idea to take down as much information as possible. With these forms, you will be able to collect all the important information you need to make an insurance claim.


Ask for the Other Driver’s Information

You don’t want to talk about the accident with the other driver, but you can get their information for your records. You need the driver’s name, address, phone number, and additional contact information. The other driver’s insurance information is extremely important. In addition to their contact details, you should look at their insurance card. You will want to ask for the insurance company name and policy number. It is a good idea to write down the insurance company’s contact information.


Gather All the Details

After an accident, you need to record the description, make, model, and year of all the vehicles involved in an accident. You should note the date and time of the accident and the crash’s approximate address. Your notes should be as detailed as possible, and you will want to make notes of the direction of travel, a brief description of the accident, and the road conditions. Along with that, make sure to grab the witnesses’ names and contact information. Once a law enforcement official has arrived on the scene, you should ask for the name, badge number, and contact information of the responding officer.


Take Pictures of the Scene

Since many people have access to cameras on their mobile phones, you may want to consider taking photos. Many insurance companies have apps or emails where you can send those photos. These pictures can help you document any property damage, the cars’ position, the street addresses, and other pertinent information for your claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You have a lot of information to collect after an accident. Once you have made a police report, documented the scene, and collected the other driver’s information, you can call your insurance company. If there are no injuries, you may be able to contact the claims department from the scene. In some cases, a police officer might be able to talk to your insurance company and give more accurate information about the scene. However, you never want to rely on others to help with your claim.


Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me

It can be traumatizing to be involved in a car accident. First and foremost, you want to make sure everyone is safe after a vehicle crash. Once that has happened, you can start to collect information for your claim. Your insurance company will want you to get a professional inspection of your vehicle. After that has been completed, you will be able to have repairs completed at an experienced auto body shop.

At Elmer’s Auto Body, we can conduct an inspection and help bring your car back to its original condition. Our teams will use the latest technology to make your vehicle shine. If you want to schedule an appointment, give our office a call at (856) 218-0202.

What are the differences between OEM parts and aftermarket parts?

When something goes wrong with your car, a visit to the garage can be an expensive trip. Car parts are costly. If several things need to be replaced to get your vehicle back on the road, the cost can seem almost as high as when you purchased your car. In an effort to keep costs down, some repair locations will use aftermarket parts rather than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Before attempting to save money using aftermarket parts, there are some facts you need to know.


Original Car Parts vs Aftermarket

When you bring your car in for repairs at the dealership, you are more than likely to have original equipment manufacturer car parts installed in the vehicle. However, if you take your car to an independent auto body shop, they will use aftermarket parts for your vehicle. Like any car owner, you want to save some money on your repair bills. There are some benefits to selecting aftermarket parts for your car. In certain situations, you should add OEM parts to your vehicle. If you want to make an informed decision, you need to know the pros and cons of these specific parts. With this information, you can find a balance between quality and cost.


What Does Aftermarket Mean?

An aftermarket part is any part for a vehicle that was not sourced from the car’s original maker. Car manufacturers often contract with specific companies to build certain parts for your vehicle. In most cases, these aftermarket parts are produced in separate factories, and the companies often provide better quality components than the original products. These aftermarket parts are chosen because they provide the best fit for your vehicle. In addition to that, these parts have the same specifications that the manufacturer requires for their cars. If you use these direct replacement parts, they will not void your car’s warranty. It is estimated that about 80 percent of independent body repair shops will use aftermarket components. The other bright spot is that aftermarket parts are often less expensive than OEM products. For that reason, many repair businesses choose to use them for vehicle repairs.

Aftermarket Parts

Benefits of Aftermarket Parts

Aftermarket parts do have some benefits. Of course, the most obvious advantage is that they are less expensive than OEM products. In some cases, they may be significantly cheaper. However, the price will depend on the specific part or brand. Since the original part must come from the vehicle’s manufacturer, there are also more versions of aftermarket parts than OEM components. You can always shop around for the best price. If you want to be a savvy shopper, you might want to avoid those extremely low-priced parts. In some cases, the prices are too good to be true, and you should question the quality of those components.

Aftermarket parts often have an equal or greater quality than OEM products. In many cases, your repaired vehicle may have better parts than those original components. The manufacturers of aftermarket parts reverse-engineer these products, and they will work out any weaknesses of the parts. If you want to strike a balance between durability, noise level, cost, and performance, you might want to choose an aftermarket part. When you purchase an aftermarket part, you can find a product that provides you with all those qualities.

Along with that, you have a wide variety of choices with aftermarket parts. Some manufacturers specialize in specific parts, such as brake pads or spark plugs. You can also find many aftermarket companies that manufacture a wide selection of components for your car. In turn, you have a greater selection and a broader range of prices for your vehicle’s repair needs.

Finally, there is better availability with aftermarket parts. For the most part, you can walk into any gas station, local mechanic shop, or auto parts store and find a part that will fit your vehicle. If you need a specific part, it is readily available to install or repair that day. When you need an OEM product, you might have to wait a few days when you special order the part. If your vehicle is older, it may be challenging to find the correct OEM part you need. In that case, you will have to rely on aftermarket parts.


Some Concerns for Aftermarket Parts

As you can tell, there are plenty of benefits for aftermarket parts. However, a few things should be taken into consideration. Since many different manufacturers build the parts, the quality can vary. Some aftermarket parts are considered inferior because they use low-quality materials. You want to choose aftermarket brands that are known for their quality. If you are worried about choosing the right part, make sure to ask your trusted auto body shop for some recommendations.

With aftermarket parts, there is a large selection of products. However, with all these choices, the selection process can be overwhelming for many people. You might even run into the chance of purchasing a bad quality part for your vehicle. Several companies can manufacture a simple spark plug, but they are designed with numerous variations. If you are confused by these choices, make sure to consult your mechanic for advice.

Finally, while many aftermarket parts will not void your vehicle’s warranty, these parts might not have a guarantee attached to them. Some manufacturers sell aftermarket parts without a warranty. However, this is not always the norm for manufacturers. Many of these companies often have some type of warranty for their parts.

What Are OEM Parts?

Original equipment manufacturer parts are made directly by the original car manufacturer and not a third party. The manufacturers design these parts to fit the car’s particular make and model specifications. In many cases, these parts roll off the same assembly line as your vehicle. These parts will be a perfect match for your car. If you take your vehicle to a dealership, the repair department will use these products.


Benefits of OEM Parts

One of the most significant benefits of OEM products is quality. Quality can suffer from a larger selection of replacement parts. However, these original equipment manufacturer parts work precisely like the ones you are replacing. You will have some peace of mind with the replacement part’s performance. Aftermarket parts are often low quality, and there can be issues with their fit. In turn, those issues can cause additional problems in the future. You might have to spend more money on additional replacement parts over time.

These original parts make it easier to choose the right product for your car. You never have to worry about selecting the correct part for the vehicle. Finally, most automakers will back up their parts with a limited warranty. Original manufacturer parts also stand by any labor associated with their products.


Certain Issues To Avoid

Like aftermarket parts, there are some issues with these replacement parts. OEM products do have a higher price tag than their aftermarket counterparts. You also need to purchase these parts directly from the dealership. In turn, this can limit the places where you can buy these products. If you request these parts from a local auto body shop, it may take longer to get your vehicle repaired.

In some cases, these parts might not be superior to those aftermarket components. Aftermarket products have worked out any problems, and their quality is often better than these original equipment manufacturer parts. You might be paying extra for the name on the box.

Break Maintenance

What Should You Choose?

If you want a part that is guaranteed to fit your car, you need to choose an OEM product. Not all aftermarket parts are created equal, but you can count on the original equipment manufacturer’s precise fit. However, this does have some advantages and disadvantages. Aftermarket parts save you some money on your repairs, especially if you know what parts you need and trust their quality. If you are not familiar with these aftermarket brands, you may want to stick to those original products. Some people do not mind paying for that extra peace of mind.


Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me

When it comes to replacing parts in your vehicle, OEM components are usually the best option. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we try to use OEM products whenever possible to complete your vehicle’s repairs. If you are having problems with your car, schedule an appointment today by giving the office a call at (856) 218-0202.

Common Types of Auto Body Damage And How We Repair Them

No matter how safely you drive, you cannot avoid collisions or prevent damage to your vehicle. Even when your car is parked, someone could open their door into it and cause a ding to your fender. A driver might not pay attention to the road and hit your bumper. It isn’t even other drivers that can cause damage. Stones thrown from the roadway by a passing vehicle or hail can also cause issues. Luckily, auto body damage can be repaired. In some cases, with the latest technology, these repairs may only take minutes. Here are some causes of damage to your car and what can be done to fix these common body damage issues.


Weather Damage

Your car’s exterior is vulnerable to the outdoor elements throughout the year. Paint can become faded in the summer. During the winter, road salt is known to corrode your exterior paint, and those frequent temperature changes can cause a crack in the windshield. For those spring storms, hail and heavy winds might leave your car with chipped paint and extensive dents. If you want to avoid these damaging elements, you should try to park undercover to protect your vehicle.

However, even if you keep your car in a garage or carport, chances are the vehicle spends a little time exposed to the elements. You may have to park in an open parking lot when you are at work. While you are in the grocery store, your car is sitting in the hot sun or winter cold. Weather can damage your vehicle’s finish, and that minor damage can lead to rust spots on your car. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we can sand and repaint any damaged areas to return your vehicle to its original beauty. If your car has developed rust, we may be able to cut out the affected area and replace the metal for a beautifully restored appearance.


Lack of Maintenance

Lack of maintenance might be a secondary source of auto body damage, but it is important to your vehicle. When you own a car, you need to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle. Regular maintenance can often feel like a burden, but it is crucial to protect your vehicle. You need to check your brakes, steering systems, and other components. If you fail to perform maintenance, you might end up in an accident. Keeping your vehicle in poor condition can cause damage to your car and pose a threat to you, your passengers, and others on the road. You want to make sure to service your vehicle at least twice a year.


Major Collisions

Any accident can cause severe damage to your car, especially major collisions. These accidents can break windshields, destroy body panels, and damage steering systems. If your car is damaged in an accident, you will want to have your vehicle towed to a professional auto body shop.

Major Collision

Minor Fender Benders

After a car accident, the damage is often visible on the vehicle. However, those minor fender benders cause many problems that might not be visible to the naked eye. Those small bumps can damage your steering, frame, engine, windshield, and other hidden parts. Like any accident, you want your car inspected before hitting the road.


Miscellaneous Factors

However, there are times when a random accident can cause damage to your car. These unexpected situations can come from a runaway baseball, a pothole, or a faulty car component. You can take some steps to avoid these common issues, but some things might be out of your control. No matter what happens to your car, you need to take steps to prevent any more damage to your vehicle.

Now that you know about the common causes of damage to your car, you can find ways to repair them. With a professional auto body shop, your vehicle will be fixed with the latest technology as they get it back to its original condition.


Scratches In The Paint

Despite your diligence, there will be scratches in the paint of your car. It could be as simple as a shopping cart that rolls into the side of your car or a key ring striking the door as you unlock it. You could even scratch the car while loading items into the backseat or trunk. A professional auto body repair shop can easily buff out a small scratch. However, those large scratches need filler and paint to seal the surface’s large depression. With the help of a professional, the paint can be electronically matched to the surface of your vehicle. In turn, you will never know that the car suffered from scratched paint, and you will be left with a seamless finish.

Body Dents

Almost anything moving can dent your vehicle. A rock from the car’s tire in front of you, a child’s bicycle handle when they ride too close, or a dropped object you are trying to load could lead to dents. These dents can range from massive craters to tiny bumps. After assessing the dent, the technician can use conventional repair methods or paintless dent removal tools. If the paint is still intact, we can use paintless dent repair to fix the damage. Paintless dent removal does not disturb the current coat of paint.

On the other hand, conventional methods require the paint to be redone or touched up. There are three different techniques to remove a dent. They often include a dolly and hammer, stud welder, or dent puller. These methods use tools that push, hammer or pull the dent so that the panel can be smoothed back into its original shape.

In some cases, the panels have deep dents that are irreparable and need to be replaced. If the dent is significant, we will drill a hole near the dent, insert a special tool, and pull it from the surface. We also use body filler to smooth the surface and paint the area.


Suspension Damage

During the winter, those unnoticeable potholes can do a lot of damage to your car’s suspension. If the damage is quite severe, then the ball joint or shock absorber may need to be removed and replaced. However, in some less severe cases, the wheels might need to be realigned.


Cracked Windshields

Windshields are extremely important. They provide a clear view of the road as you travel in your car. When damage happens to a windshield, it can incur a small chip or break the glass. In those severe cases, the entire windshield will need to be taken out of the weld and replaced with new components. Any small cracks or chips can be easily fixed. Many of the issues just need a resin injection to prevent spread across the windshield and restore its strength.

Cracked Windshield

Bumper Damage

Rear-ended accidents are a common occurrence for many vehicles. You could be stopped in heavy traffic and get bumped by a distracted driver. In some cases, you need to have your bumper replaced, especially for those components that are damaged beyond repair. However, some damage can be reversed. A cracked bumper will need body filler to smooth out any damage. After that, the new paint must be applied to reseal and protect your vehicle.


Collision Damage

After a collision, minor damage can be repaired quickly using similar body repair processes. However, a severe accident can cause extensive damage to the car’s frame. In those cases, your vehicle might be too damaged to drive. A bent frame may indicate that the vehicle was in a severe accident. With today’s technology, we can use computer-aided equipment to pull the frame back into position. In turn, you can hit the road without any worries for your car.


Find The Right Auto Body Shop For Your Vehicle

After encountering any type of damage to your vehicle, you need to find the right professional auto body shop. There are a few simple steps to ensure that you find the best shop to complete your repairs. You should always do some research before selecting an auto body shop. These professionals can be vetted by reading reviews, checking certifications, and asking your family and friends. You will find a shop that provides top-notch service and backs up their work.

It is also important to ask questions. You want to make sure that your professional auto body shop has the experience to complete your required work. When these questions are answered, you can have some peace of mind that your car is left in reliable hands. Finally, any reputable shop will provide a free estimate for your repairs.

Auto Body Shop

Find The Best Auto Body Shop Near Me

After you have received a few quotes, you can find the right shop that has the combination of reliability, fair pricing, and experience. At the end of the day, you will find that Elmer’s Auto Body will meet all those requirements.

If your vehicle has suffered damage, contact Elmer’s Auto Body by calling (856) 218-0202. Our technicians will work to get your car back on the road as quickly as possible.

Does The Color Of Your Car Affect Your Insurance Rate?

Many car owners believe that specific colors have an impact on insurance costs. In fact, some insurance companies state that potential customers often ask if red cars have higher insurance rates than other vehicles. In a study conducted by, about 46 percent of those surveyed believe that insurance companies charge higher rates for red cars because they are pulled over more often by police. According to the National Motorist Association, white cars are pulled over more often than red vehicles. However, many drivers still believe this myth. The color of your vehicle has no bearing on car insurance rates, and it will not increase your risk of getting a ticket.


Undoing the Myth

Auto insurance will protect your car in the case of damage or injury. It can cover you from financial loss if your vehicle is stolen. The amount of coverage you will need always depends on your residing state and personal circumstances. When it is time to get a quote for your vehicle, the insurance company will factor in some details about your car. For example, some insurance companies will offer discounts for vehicles that are less than three years old. However, many people wonder about the color of their vehicles and insurance rates. Despite this car color myth, many people continue to believe that their car color will factor into policy rates. Here are a few things that you should take into consideration for your insurance rates.


Does Car Color Affect Insurance Rates?

Many variables go into calculating an auto insurance premium, but the color of your car is not one of them. However, certain situations, such as supply and demand for a specific color, can increase the vehicle’s cost. In turn, you may see an increase in its premiums. According to insurance experts, insurers never ask about the color of the car when a customer requests a quote. The car’s color is not even a question on a car insurance application. Insurance for a red car is no more expensive than a black, green, or white car. In fact, the insurance company has no idea what color vehicle you have purchased. Although your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is provided to the insurance company, the VIN does not reveal the car’s color. The VIN includes information on when and where a vehicle was built, the level of trim, and some warranty information, but it does not include the color of the car.

The price of a car can change based on several elements, but the most important factor is supply and demand. When you are looking for car insurance, your particular vehicle’s market demand can play a significant role. The car’s color popularity can determine how expensive it will be to insure the vehicle and whether it is a target for car thieves.

Car Color Affect Insurance Rates

The Insurance Myth of the Car Color

While car color does not increase your insurance cost, some cars are more expensive than others to insure. These factors can include the car’s age, make, and model. When it comes to this myth of car color, those popular colors can raise your policy rates. For example, many people believe red cars are more expensive to insure than neutral car colors. In most cases, this is not correct. If a neutral color car, like silver, is in high demand, you may see a higher insurance rate.


Tickets and the Insurance Company

When an insurer looks at your driving record to determine your rates, they want to know whether you are a high-risk driver. Just one speeding ticket can raise your rates as much as 15 percent. Two tickets can raise your rates by as much as 40 percent. That means tickets do have an impact on rates, but only for the driver who got the ticket. Claims are a bigger factor to insurance companies as they cost the company money. Cars with higher frequencies of claims or higher payouts than other vehicles will be rated higher. In those cases, higher rates are paid no matter your car’s color. In other words, if you are buying a Corvette, your rate will be the same no matter if the car is red or black.


When Color Does Matter?

If you have a custom paint job on your car, your insurance rates may be higher as it would be considered an additional part or equipment. However, the rate would only be slightly higher than a vehicle with a regular paint job. The color of your car may have an impact on other factors. In 2012, CCC Information Services reported that car thieves prefer green, gold, black, or white cars. Silver is the most commonly stolen car color. For those who think that red cars are popular with auto theft, these cars do not even make the list.

Neutral Car Color

Custom Paint Jobs and Insurance Rates

While your car’s color does not affect your insurance rates, some modifications can cause your policy to be more expensive. If you modify the paint or get a custom paint job on your car, you might want to include your custom paint job in your insurance coverage. When it comes to car insurance, your insurance company will consider your vehicle to be in the same condition as you bought in its original form. If you want a customized paint job added to your car and need it to be covered in case of damage, you should notify your insurer.

Many insurance companies will have special coverage for those aftermarket modifications. These upgrades can fall under the “custom parts and equipment coverage” categories. If your car is damaged in an accident, your insurance will cover the repair and replacement of those customizations. Your policy will ensure your custom paint job and other custom parts, such as lights, wheels, and sound systems, are covered by insurance.


How Are Car Insurance Rates Calculated?

Although car color does not affect car insurance price, many other factors can increase the policy rates. When you are insuring your car, the insurance companies will ask for a lot of information about your vehicle. In many cases, the insurance company will never ask about the car’s color. Car insurance premiums are calculated based on other information about you and your vehicle. Your insurer uses this information to estimate how likely you will get in an accident and file an insurance claim. These factors include:

  • The amount of coverage
  • Your driving record
  • Credit score
  • Driving habits (such as your yearly mileage)
  • Your age
  • Your residing state
  • Your deductible amounts
  • Make and model of your car


You will also want to select the right insurance coverage. There are several insurance coverage policies for your vehicle. You might want to include the following policies for your car:

  • Bodily injury liability covers your medical bills if you have injured someone in an accident.
  • Property damage liability covers the cost of property damage you have caused in an accident.
  • Personal injury protection covers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an accident.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist covers the costs if you are in an accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance.
  • Comprehensive insurance policy covers damage to your car that happens when you are not driving.
  • Collision insurance covers damage to your car after a car accident, no matter who was at fault.


With more coverage for your vehicle, you can expect to pay some premium rates. However, it will be protected from any potential threats from other drivers or accidental damage.


Factors Do Affect Your Insurance Rate

In conclusion, car color does not affect your auto insurance rates, but many factors can raise your policy premiums. Your age, years of driving experience, gender, driving record, make and model of the vehicle and vehicle options are all more important than the color. These variables can increase or decrease the rates of your auto insurance.

However, car color can indirectly affect those auto premiums, but the insurance company does not factor it. If the color changes the car’s value, you may see a rise in your rates. Those custom paint jobs and equipment will increase your premiums. The market value and likelihood of incidents also determine your insurance cost. The bottom line is, if you want that shiny convertible or sports car, your insurance company really doesn’t care if it is red, black, or green. Does car color affect insurance rates? The answer is always a definitive no. You can choose the right color that matches your personal style without worrying about an increase in your insurance rates.

Insurance Rate Factors

Find a Professional Auto Body Shop Near Me

Whether you have a black, green, white, or red car, we can help you bring your vehicle back to its original condition after an accident. Our team uses the latest technology to make your vehicle look as good as new. You will never know that it was involved in an accident. If your beautiful car has been damaged, contact Elmer’s Auto Body today for a no-obligation estimate for repairs. You can schedule an appointment by calling the office at (856) 218-0202.