Frequently Asked Questions

What are your business hours?
We are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. We are not open weekends. We feel our employees work very hard during the week and they need time with their families so they are well rested for the work week. We do monitor our voice mail on weekends so if a message is left, we will respond with a return phone call. Sometimes, we are here as early as 7:15am. If you ask us to be here to help you at that time, we can accommodate you most mornings.

What do I do if I have an accident?
Make sure everyone is ok and call emergency services if necessary. Get as much information on the other driver or drivers as possible. Name, address, telephone numbers, insurance info etc. Check to see if there are any “independent” witnesses who saw the accident. An “independent” witness is someone who does not know any of the parties involved or was not in any of the vehicles involved in the accident. This is critical to help defend you in case the accident in not your fault. Drivers have a tendency to blame each other when there are no witnesses. This could adversely affect your insurance rates. Consult with your agent if you have any questions regarding rate changes.

Can I choose Eckhart Auto Body as my repair facility?
Yes you can! According to the Consumer Bill of Rights in the State of California, you as the owner, have the right to choose the repair shop of your choice. We are a Direct Repair Facility for both Mercury Insurance Company and Progressive Insurance Company. Regardless of what insurance company you have you can have us perform your repairs. Some insurance companies will try to tell you to go to their preferred shops and that they will not guarantee the repairs we perform. WE will guarantee our repairs the same as the insurance company will with their preferred shops.

How do I have my vehicle towed to your facility?
If your vehicle need to be towed, the police department may call a tow truck for you. It is important to remember, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice. If the driver asks where you want your car towed, tell them Eckhart Auto Body in Chatsworth if we are your shop of your choice. They may try to “steer” you to a shop that they recommend, but beware! They may not have the best interest of your vehicle repairs in mind. If the police do not call a tow truck or do not respond to your accident, you may call us from 8am – 5pm M-F and we will arrange for your vehicle to be towed to our shop. If your accident occurs before or after our business hours, you can call H.A.R. Towing @ (818)705-5625. They will pick up your vehicle, store it in a safe location until it can be brought to our shop.

What if I want to leave my car after hours?
We have a locked drop box in the front of our building for after hours drop off. Fill out the envelope, put the keys in it and drop it in the box. Call and leave us a voice mail that you have left a vehicle out in front. We will bring it in the shop when we open and call you to notify you we have your vehicle.

When should I report my accident?
You should report the accident as soon as possible as you have an obligation under your insurance policy to inform them in a reasonable amount of time. Rule of thumb, the sooner the better.

Can you help me handle my claim with my insurance company?
Yes. After the initial claim is made, we can assist you with almost all the aspects of your claim. We have insurance claims experience that proves to be invaluable helping our clients resolve issues and understanding the claims procedure.

Do I have to pay my deductible?
That depends on your type of claim..If you are repairing your vehicle through your own insurance company and they have not waived it, you will pay the deductible to us when you pick up your vehicle after the repairs are completed. If you are a claimant, repairing your vehicle through the responsible party's insurance company, then you would not have a deductible. They will be paying for the entire repair.

How will the damage be estimated?
We will usually inspect and write a preliminary estimate based on the damage we see before the vehicle is disassembled. Most insurance companies will send an appraiser out to inspect with us, come to an agreement on the estimate and begin the repairs. Being a Direct Repair Facility for Mercury Insurance Company, we will estimate and submit the information electronically, where it will be reviewed for approval. This makes the process much faster than waiting for an appraiser. Progressive sends out appraisers to inspect, estimate and approve repairs.

What if additional damage is found?
This original insurance estimate will be the “foundation” for the repairs. As we are repairing the vehicle, any additional damage found will be documented and the insurance company will be called to advise them. They may have us photo the additional damage, order the necessary parts and continue. They may want to come out to reinspect the additional damage. Either circumstance, we will repair your vehicle safely, and, as quickly as possible.

If my frame is damaged, is my car a Total Loss?
Damage to a frame or unibody structure DOES NOT automatically make a vehicle a Total Loss. With new technology, equipment & training, most frame/unibody repairs can be completed accurately and safely. Severely damaged vehicles will be carefully inspected to make sure that the vehicle can and will be repaired to proper safety standards.

What if the insurance company insists in repairing my vehicle when it should be a Total Loss?
We will not repair a vehicle that we feel cannot be repaired to safety, appearance and performance standards, regardless of the insurance company's opinion. We repair the vehicle and you have to live with those repairs, not the insurance company. We will not put you back in a vehicle we feel should not be repaired.

Can you help arrange a rental car?
Yes. We deal with 2 local rental agencies. Enterprise Rent A Car (818) 678-1690 or Hertz Local Edition (818) 700-0760. The numbers are here if you would like to reserve a rental. We can help you when you come in to drop your vehicle off for repairs.

Can I get ride to my home or office if I don't need a rental car?
Yes. We can provide you a ride in the local area.

How long will my repairs take?
Most vehicle repairs to vehicles driven into the shop, are usually completed in 3-5 working days. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Weather, additional parts needed are common causes of delays but we strive to complete all our repairs on time. Towed in vehicle generally take anywhere from 7-10 working days but some take longer due to the severity of the damage. Delays are usually beyond our control but we strive to avoid any delays.

What if an adjuster from my insurance company already wrote me an estimate?
Just bring it in and we'll do the rest. We will use the estimate as a foundation for the repairs and contact them to supplement any needed additional parts, labor or materials.

What if it's lower than your estimate?
Don't worry. Insurance companies write estimates on visible damage only. They may have a different idea on how the vehicle should be repaired. We will take care of any differences with them.

Can you match my paint?
Yes. We have one of the finest computerized mixing systems and years of experience in color matching.

Can I have other services completed on my vehicle while you are performing the body repairs?
Yes. We have a certified mechanic in our building that will perform maintenance or scheduled services and any other mechanical repairs needed. We can perform any additional body or paint services that you need. Ask your adviser to quote you a price for additional services.

How will I be informed that my repairs are completed?
We always try to give you a 24 hour notice, by telephone, prior to the repairs being completed.

Does your work come with a Warranty?
Yes, we have a Limited Lifetime Warranty on our workmanship and materials. Parts carry a warranty from the manufacturer. See our office manager for a copy of our Warranty.

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, cashier's check, money order MasterCard & VISA. We do not accept personal checks.

Do you have any other customer amenities?
We now have Free WiFi in our office along with free morning coffee.


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