If your car has been recently involved in some sort of an accident (or incident) which has messed up with its body, then you will have to take it for a form of repair known as panel beating.
That is the only way you will be able to restore the car’s lost structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. The panel beating we are talking about here is the same sort of operation known as ‘body auto repair’ in Australia.
Objectives of panel beating As mentioned earlier, there are two main things you will be looking to achieve, even as you embark on the panel beating:
1. Restoration of the car’s aesthetic appeal: any crash will leave your car quite badly mangled. This would have the effect of making it appear un-roadworthy (regardless of how ‘sound’ it may be in other respects). If you were to attempt selling such a car, chances are that you would have to sell it at a fraction of its rightful price – however sound its engine and other systems which really matter may be. 2. Restoration of the car’s structural integrity: you may not be a person who cares much about your car’s aesthetic appeal. But even then, there is another compelling reason you would need to take it for panel beating: to restore its structural integrity, which is likely to have been messed up in whatever accident or incident.
Selecting a panel beater As with most other things of this nature, your choice of a service provider when going for panel beating is likely to have major implications in terms of quality of service you ultimately get.
Briefly, the ideal panel beater would be one who:
- Has the capacity to get your panel beating done in a timely manner: some panel beaters take up work that is beyond their capacity, and end up delaying clients when they can’t cope with it. You may consider asking them for a firm commitment on delivery of the panel beating results (with a further promise that they won’t compromise on quality of workmanship to deliver fast results).
- Can actually deliver high quality panel beating results: this is where checking the panel beater’s reviews would be a prudent thing for you.
- Charges reasonable fees for the service: it is not about going for the cheapest panel beating service you can find, but rather the one that –as a function of things like working speed, quality of workmanship and so on – provides the best value for money.
- Is accredited: working with unaccredited panel beaters may lead to a situation where you face difficulties getting refunds from insurers for the money you spend on the panel beating.
Financing panel beating Panel beating falls within the range of repairs most insurers provide coverage for. But just the simple fact that you have taken up car insurance doesn’t automatically mean that you will be getting money from the insurance company to finance panel beating. The truth of the matter is that it takes a certain level of coverage, to access these types of repairs. If, for instance, all you have taken is the government’s mandatory level of coverage (which typically only covers others who may suffer harm due to an accident involving your car), then you won’t expect the insurance company to finance your panel beating. If the accident involved two cars, you may be surprised (if you opted for this minimum level of coverage) to learn from the insurance company that they would only be financing the other car owners’ panel beating bills, and not yours.
Even where you have the right level of insurance coverage, you still need to get your panel beating done at a proper garage. That should be a garage that is accredited by the insurers. Otherwise, your insurance company may get the idea that you are trying to defraud them and either fails to finance the panel beating bill, or does so after a very big hassle.
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