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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I get FREE car care estimates near me?
    We offer free estimates. Call us at 319-396-2200, anytime during our normal business hours, and we will be pleased to schedule an estimate for you. You can also use our free online estimating service by clicking here.
  • Do I need more than one estimate?
    No, it is up to you to decide how many estimates you would like and if you want to compare with more than one body shop. Once you decide on a shop, have your insurance company deal with them directly.
  • Will my estimate include all new OEM parts?
    Each insurance company has different parts guidelines. Many insurance companies only allow for aftermarket (copied and made by another company), remanufactured (previously damaged) or used (LKQ) parts to be used during the repair. You always have the choice to pay any difference in part price if you would like to use all genuine car parts in your repair.
  • Where do I get a claim number?
    Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Make sure to write it down and bring it with you when you come in to begin the repair process; we’ll do the rest.
  • What is a deductible and how do I know if I have to pay one?
    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.
  • The other insurance company says my car is a total loss, what does that mean?
    The cost of repairs plus the value of the vehicle in damaged condition (salvage value) – is greater than the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident.
  • What are OEM parts?
    Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) is a term for parts made by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
  • What are aftermarket parts?
    These are parts not made by your vehicle manufacturer. They are also known as Quality Replacement Parts (QRP). Aftermarket parts are much cheaper than OEM parts and might not have the same fit and function as OEM parts.
  • What are LKQ parts?
    LKQ – (Like Kind & Quality). These parts are more commonly referred to as used parts. These parts generally come from automotive salvage yards. Salvage yards purchase damaged or totaled vehicles, remove the good parts and sell them as LKQ parts. All LKQ parts are inspected for prior damage, rust and to make sure they are OEM and not Aftermarket.
  • How is the Actual Cash Value (ACV) determined?
    The insurance company will assign an appraiser to inspect the vehicle to determine its condition prior to the accident.
  • What is subrogation?
    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.
  • When do I pay my deductible and when is my deductible due?
    You will pay your deductible when the repairs are complete and you are satisfied with the repairs. The insurance check issued will be minus your deductible amount, if you have one. Your deductible is due when you pick up your vehicle. At the time you pick up your vehicle you will pay the deductible amount to Golden Hammer Collision Center. If you are expecting your deductible to be reduced or waived we suggest you contact your insurance carrier and confirm prior to picking up your vehicle.
  • When is my final payment due?
    Payment is due at the time the repair is complete. Please bring any insurance checks with you and your deductible – if you are going through insurance. If you want, you are able to simply sign the check over to us and do not need to deposit it into your account.
  • Can you help bury my deductible?
    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.
  • What types of payment do you accept?
    We accept all forms of payment, including all major credit cards. We do require full payment at time of completion.
  • When can I wash or wash the exterior of my car?
    You are able to wash your vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge as soon as you get it back. For the first 30 days we suggest that you: Do NOT use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes/sponges can mar the finish and damage the surface. Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. 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. For the first 90 days we suggest that you: Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.
  • How can I get a rental car?
    If you need a rental car, we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental car if you have that option on your policy or if you are the claimant. Check your policy and/or call your insurance company to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are
  • Can I have my vehicle repaired at a body shop near me of my choosing?
    Yes, it is your responsibility, and your right, to choose who will repair your vehicle. 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.
  • How long will the collision repair process take?
    There are many factors to consider when estimating length of time for the repairs; like part availability, paint and material dry times and availability of specific equipment within our facility. We understand that you depend on your transportation and we work very hard to complete the repair in a timely manner.
  • Will my vehicle drive the safe after the repair?
    Vehicles with frame or suspension damage will require a two or four-wheel alignment. We have specifications on every vehicle to ensure that the frame or unibody is returned to its pre-accident condition.
  • Will my car paint color match?
    With our highly skilled professionals and color matching technology, we are able to reproduce the finish on your vehicle. We only use the highest quality paint.
  • What if I want to keep my vehicle after it is totaled?
    You have the right to retain ownership of the vehicle, however the amount of the settlement may be reduced by the salvage value.
  • Do you guarantee the work at your body shop?
    Yes. We have a limited lifetime warranty on all of our work for as long as you own the vehicle. It is important to know that your body shop is only partly responsible for a warranty on your repair, NOT your insurance company.
  • I picked up my vehicle but noticed something wrong after I got home?
    We do everything in our power to ensure your vehicle is back to pre-accident condition as your vehicle leaves our collision repair center. If you notice anything that doesn’t seem right or experience any problems, please do not hesitate to give us a call or stop back in.
  • Who do I pay for being towed?
    If you are going through insurance, the tow bill will be billed directly to them. If you decide to pay out of pocket, the tow bill will be added to the final bill and due at the time the collision repair is complete.
  • My car isn't drivable, can I have it towed to your shop?
    YES! Call one of our preferred towing partners. ATS Towing: (319) 731-0199
  • I already have an estimate from my insurance company, what do I do next?
    If your insurance adjuster already came to look at your vehicle, you are able to call and schedule the repairs. You can fax or email us a copy, drop it off or give us your insurance information and we can secure our own copy of the estimate. We must start the repair process from the original estimate.
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