"Your Buddy In The Body Shop Business"

24 Hour Phone: (661) 259-9988
22520 Lyons Avenue

Santa Clarita, CA 91321

About the Shop & Owner

  • Insurance Auto Collision Center Inc. was founded in 1983 by Tony Inderbitzin.
  • Tony is still the Owner & President.
  • Tony started the shop as a small 1 man show, performing all tasks needed to perform repairs, painting, detailing, etc…, by himself, but now has a large team.
  • Tony lives in only 1 mile away & is committed to running his business in a fashion that reflects favorably on him in his community & his family.

Tony is a:

  • 20 year member of California Auto Body Association
  • 16 year member of Santa Clarita Rotary Club (Past President)
  • 18 year member of SCV Business Group (Past President)
  • 18 year member of Faith Community Church

We offer a lifetime warranty
Our equipment includes:

  • SprayKing Eurodraft Paint booth with a drying/baking feature.
  • Chassis Liner frame equipment as well as Autorobot & Hook equipment.
  • Miller MIG welding equipment
  • Pathways & Mitchell estimating software systems.
  • We are licensed with the BAR, EPA, AQMD.
  • We’re fully insured.
  • We use environmentally “Green” waterborne paint by BASF, & properly dispose of all waste paints, fluids, etc… as required by law.
  • Employees are I-CAR trained.
  • We have a clean comfortable waiting area with toys for the kids.

 

FAQ's

GETTING STARTED QUESTIONS

What are your hours of operation?

  • We’re open M-F from 8:00AM – 5:00PM for pick ups & drop offs
  • Estimates are also M-F, but only from 8:30AM, to 4:00PM, by appointment. The last hour of the day is reserved for customers who are taking delivery of completed cars.
  • We’re closed weekends & major holidays.

Do you warranty your repairs?

  • Yes, for as long as you own your car on almost all repairs. (some exceptions)
  • All insurance claim repairs & nearly all other repairs are warranted unless we specify differently.

Do I need to get multiple estimates?

  • Yes & no.
  • Yes, if you’re not going through an insurance claim & you’re spending your own hard earned cash, you should compare prices, but more importantly compare the tasks listed on each estimate so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
  • No, if you’re filing an insurance claim. The insurance company will have their own appraisal written. We will negotiate with them on your behalf to help ensure you get a high quality, safe repair. You will not be charged for anything the insurance company doesn’t authorize.

My insurance co. wants me to go to their body shop, can I go to you instead?

  • Absolutely. California Dept of Insurance says your insurance company can’t force you to use their shop (where they no doubt get a hefty discount!) Next to your home, your car is probably your most valuable asset. Thankfully the law is on your side here, pick a shop you’re comfortable with. If it’s us, great. If it’s not, that’s OK too. If you’re repairing your car here only because the insurance company forced you to, chances are we’ll be getting off on the wrong foot anyways.

Can you arrange for a rental car?

  • Yes, we suggest Hertz. We have Hertz cars right on site. All insurance companies will work with Hertz, & Hertz will honor the rates on your policy. By using Hertz, you won't have to wait 30-60 minutes for a ride to the rental office, & when you return the car, you won't have to wait either, because all this is done right at our location. They offer special discounts for our customers who don’t have rental car coverage on their policy.
  • Or, we will call any other company you request us to.

Can you tow my car after hours?

  • Yes. If you’re an AAA member or similar you can use them. They’ll drop the car here on the next business day.
  • If you’re not an AAA member, call Wolf’s Towing at 661-259-7676. They’ll quickly dispatch one of their courteous drivers in a nice clean truck to pick up your car & get it to us on the next business day.

When I drop off my car, can I get a ride home?

  • Yes, we’ll drive you to home or work, any where within the City of Santa Clarita.

What should I do to prepare to drop off my car?

  • If the insurance company has already written an estimate, bring that in. That’s our “road map” of what we’re going to do to start your repair. Many customers are suspicious of the insurance company’s intentions on repairing their car. Their estimate gives us the start point & opens the door to negotiate a better repair if we see by their estimate that there are deficiencies.
  • Bring the claim # & adjuster contact information. If you have an estimate from the insurance company, it will be on the estimate.
  • Remove valuables & things that may be in the way of the repair. This could be Ipods, CDs, money, parking passes, sun glasses, garage door openers, toys, car seats, items in your trunk, and/or of value you don't want to lose..
  • Bring in the alarm remote control.

Can you pre-order the parts to minimize me being without my car?

  • Yes, however we would need a deposit to ensure you’ll return for the parts we’ll be paying for the repair. Unfortunately in the past we have pre-ordered parts for customers who have never returned for them, & very often we get stuck with the parts.
  • Deposits shouldn’t be an issue because normally you’ll be paying your deductible anyways. If you’re not filing a claim & paying out of pocket, again the deposit shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re a claimant & are paying nothing, you can simply sign over the insurance check at the time the parts are ordered. That will act as the deposit, or you can give us a credit card deposit that will be refunded to you when you bring your car back in & drop it off for the repairs.
  • It should be noted that even though you’re pre-ordering parts, there is a potential for parts delays after the car is dropped off for repairs. They could be that the wrong part was delivered. This can occur since your car was not here to compare the new part to the old one. Other potential delays can be that after the car is torn down, many times we find additional damage that requires more parts, so we end up waiting for those parts anyways.

REPAIR QUSTIONS

Can you match the paint color?

  • Yes, absolutely! This is the most important part of the repair. This is accomplished by not only carefully & accurately mixing the color, but by "blending" or fading the color into an adjacent undamaged area of the car. Details like replacing a part vs. repairing it can usually only be detected upon close examination, like within an arm’s length, however if the color doesn’t match, you can see that from 100 yards away. As a matter of fact it’s easier to see from far away as opposed close up. If you want your car to appear as if it wasn’t in an accident, don’t skimp on blending the paint.
  • Blending the paint is the gentle, careful application of the color, sprayed beyond the damaged area, fading it into your old pre-exiting paint, locking down the new colored paint in place by applying clear over the top of the damaged area and over the blended panels. Obviously, properly mixing the paint color in relation to your car’s paint code, then tinting and adjusting the mixed color to further fine tune it to your car, is important too, but blending is the key to undetectable color matches. All paint manufacturers state that their formulas are “blendable” matches. This is especially true on metallic & pearl coat finishes. If you think of each little metallic flake as a tiny mirror laying on the surface of your paint job, the way these tiny mirrors land on the surface of your car and reflect light dictates the color your eye sees. As each coat of color is applied, these metallic flakes lay on the surface slightly different. This difference becomes very apparent if you spray new color to the very end of the panel, then just stop, vs. blending or fading that same color a bit further into the pre-existing old color already on your car. Applying the color in this carefully blended way makes your car look like it wasn't ever wrecked, which is what you really want from a body shop.

How long do repairs usually take?

  • Guessing repair time is controlled by many different factors. We figure repair time by taking the total number of labor units (hours) from the completed estimate, dividing by four (4), rounding that number up to the next whole number, then adding usually a day or two parts. Most customers want to hear very small repair time estimates. Many of my competitors appease customers & tell them what they want to hear, just so you’ll leave your car with them. The truth is, once they tear your car apart, your car will be there until it’s done anyways, & you’ll feel like you were lied to if it takes longer. I prefer to be honest up front. Our method of guessing the repair time is pretty darn accurate. In 2010 by using this method we delivered 98% of our repairs on time, & 46% of those cars were actually delivered back to the customer early!

Can I demand only new factory OEM parts, even though the insurance company wants to save money?

  • Yes, but unfortunately with some insurance policies, somewhere in the fine print, you may have signed off on the use of aftermarket parts. If you’re a claimant you may have some leverage to avoid aftermarket parts. The insurance companies usually put a positive “spin” on these parts by calling them “Quality Replacement Parts”, which sounds great, but doesn’t really describe them for what they are, aftermarket. Aftermarket parts are copies of the real factory parts, but they’re made in a different plant, usually Taiwan, Korea, China, etc… Sometimes the “fit” of these parts is not quite as good as the original factory parts. My technicians have to expend extra effort to try to get them to fit nice. Sometimes it works, sometimes you can still tell. The insurance companies usually will tell you that they guarantee to "fit" of these parts, so if they don't fit, we just charge them to re-do the repair with a new OEM part(s), but this can cause a delay in the repair. However, we will gladly upgrade to factory parts if you elect to pay the difference, but usually most folks are OK with the aftermarket parts. To be honest, the same customers that complain about the aftermarket parts the insurance company instructs us to use, ironically are OK with these aftermarket parts if for some reason they’re claim gets denied by the insurance & suddenly they have to pay out of their pocket for the repairs.
  • Other alternatives to aftermarket parts are, repairing the damaged part that’s on the car (assuming it’s a factory part). This can be good for you as the owner too. Many parts in cars have the car’s VIN# label (serial #) on fenders, hoods, trunk lids, etc… So repairing these parts leaves the VIN# label intact, which adds value to the car & makes your car appear more “original” & undamaged if you go to resell or trade in your car
  • Another alternative is looking for used parts. Used parts are factory parts that are used. Used parts that have rust or dents in them get refused. Small dings in used parts would be repaired prior to paint, so your used part would look like new. Insurance companies usually call used parts “Like Kind & Quality” (LKQ) parts, meaning they’re the same as your car make & model, in similar quality & condition.
  • Reconditioning is another popular choice. Reconditioning is popular on bumpers & wheels. There are companies that we subcontract work to that repair bumpers & wheels. It’s your old factory bumper or wheel that we remove, they pick up & take to their facility, repair it, re-machine it, etc… They come back just like new, & they are still factory. The insurance companies like this choice because it’s a low cost alternative to new factory parts, but since it’s your old part repaired, there’s no sales tax, which saves almost another 10%!

Total losses. If my frame is bent, my car must be a “total loss”, right?

  • No. Frame damage does not by it’s self constitute a total. Total loss is determined by the cost of repairing the car vs. replacing the car. Most totaled cars are fixable, but the cost exceeds what the car is worth. Occasionally we do see what is called a “constructive total”, which means the car is damaged in such a way that makes a safe repair not possible.
  • Most insurance companies will determine total loss when the initial estimate to repair the car is less than 80% of the car’s value. For example, a car worth $5000 that has an initial repair estimate of $4000 would be considered a total loss because $4000 is 80% of $5000. You may say to yourself, “why would the insurance company rather spend $5000, instead of only $4000. There could be many reasons. The main reason is that based on insurance company past experience, they figure once the car is taken apart & repairs started, body shops usually will find additional damage. If that additional damage exceeds 20%, they would be better off totaling the car right away. They also consider car rental costs, the “salvage value” an auto wrecking yard would pay for your car in its wrecked condition.

What if the insurance company “low balls” my total loss settlement?

  • You need to understand the dynamic going on here from the insurance company’s end in settling the total loss. In essence, you’re selling your car to them. Since your car is totaled, you’ll no doubt be shopping for a new car. As a buyer, you’d be foolish to over pay for your replacement car, right. Normally you would negotiate with the sales person for a lower price. The insurance company is doing the same thing in settling the total loss. The first offer is no doubt going to be on the low side. If you accept it, as the buyer they figure you must be satisfied as the seller. But if you were selling your car to a private party, & that party low-balled an offer, you probably would not accept it. You don’t need to accept the insurance company’s first offer either. You should hold out for a second or even a third higher offer.
  • You should do your own research on your car’s value. The insurance companies have entire departments dedicated to this. I suggest going to Kelly Blue book @ www.kbb.com. Other sites to establish value are the Recycler @ www.recycler.com, the Auto Trader @ www.autotrader.com or www.craigslist.com. Keep in mind that most folks on these sites list the cars they’re selling for more than they’re willing to take.
  • If you have receipts for refurbishments or repairs you’ve done for your totaled car, these can be helpful in increasing your settlement.

Am I entitled to keep my totaled car?

  • Yes, but if you’re considering retaining your totaled car there are some things you should think twice about.
  • Insurance companies total cars for a good reason. They know that more damage is going to pop up. If you’re going to have us repair your car anyways, you need to be aware of that. My advice in general would be if your car was involved in a front end collision, there is a large opportunity for increased costs since the front of your car is where the engine, computers, air bag sensors, & many other expensive items are located & that could add the additional cost. If it was a rear end collision, there’s still some increased risk for additional cost, but not as much as the front end.
  • Totaled cars are label as “salvaged” from the DMV & have less resale value. The word “salvaged” on the pink slip is the kiss of death when you try to resell your car.
  • The DMV requires that all salvaged cars go to an official state approved mechanic for a “Brake & Light Certificate”. Unfortunately the DMV requires these two certifications, but they won’t tell you who provides these services, you’ll have to find them on your own, & it’s difficult.
  • If you do opt to keep your totaled car, you’ll have to buy it back from the insurance company for the value that the auto wrecking yard would be paying for it. As in the example listed above, if the insurance company & you settle on the cars value being $5000, & you have a $500 deductible, & the salvage value to the auto wrecking yard is $1000, your settlement would be $3500, ($5000, less $500 deductible, less $1000 buy back cost). If $4000 (80% of the car’s value) was not enough to properly repair the car, certainly $3500 will be a challenge to repair it.

PAYMENT QUESTIONS

Can you save my deductible so I don’t have to pay it?

  • In order to “save” your deductible, a body shop needs to do one of two things. #1. Over bill your insurance company for parts or services, then don’t provide those parts or services. This is insurance fraud & against the law. Or…#2. Do exactly what the insurance company pays for, and then just collect less money. This just doesn’t make good business sense.
  • As far as over-billing your insurance company goes, any shop that is dishonest enough to cheat your insurance company, will be dishonest enough to cheat you as well, so why would you let them fix your car & allow yourself to be cheated.
  • As far as doing exactly what the insurance company pays for, then just not collecting all the money, would imply that there’s so much profit built into their estimate, that we can afford to not collect all the money. On the contrary, the insurance industry has its own employees in place that come here & write their own estimates, never overpaying for parts or tasks. Their estimates are written “tight & accurate". Furthermore, the insurance industry holds our labor rates very low. If you’ve been to the dealer or to your mechanic lately, you’ll see that they typically charge at least $100 or more per hour. You’ll notice here, & at most body shops, the labor rates are easily ½ of mechanics & dealers. With that in mind, there’s not a lot of “fudge factor” that allows us to charge even less than what the insurance company pays.

When do I pay my deductible & to whom?

  • Your deductible is paid before the car leaves & paid to us, not to the insurance company.

What type of payments do you accept?

  • Insurance company checks or drafts.
  • Visa or Master Card, either credit card or debit card. No American Express or Discover.
  • Personal checks up to only $250. They must be pre-printed with your name, local address. We will photo copy your Driver License with your check too.
  • Cash

Can I pay you later or post date a check?

  • No, unfortunately everything is COD.
  • There are companies that will do short term “pay day” loans that we’d be happy to direct you to that may solve your problem.

When can I wash & wax my new paint?

  • You may hand wash it whenever you like.
  • Never use the high pressure water car washes.
  • You should wait about 2 months to apply wax.

INSURANCE QUESTIONS

What is a D.R.P?

  • DRP is an industry term for Direct Repair Program. These programs are designed by the insurance companies primarily to control & lower their costs. It’s done by contracting with a body shop to perform repairs at a lower hourly rate, in exchange for an increased volume of work from that insurance company.
  • The benefit for the insurance company is a decrease in repair costs & some leverage over the body shop. To the body shop it’s hopefully an increase in sales & stability in their work load. For the customer, the benefit is hopefully a faster repair since the insurance company, basically, trusts the body shop to repair the car without waiting for an insurance company employee to go to the shop & write an estimate.
  • The risks for all parties are in quality control. One of the reasons an insurance company establishes a DRP, is so that their claims are given “priority service” over other repairs in a body shop. A few SCV shops in their greed, try to lock up as many DRPs as possible. When ever volume is increased, quality control usually becomes a problem. If a shop is a DRP for more than 2 or 3 large insurance carriers, beware. Body shop greed is not the consumer’s friend. Ironically, the insurance companies seem to flock to a few large shops here in town, drastically raising their volume, which then usually sacrifices quality, & actually does just the opposite of providing “priority service”. Now you’re just one of many, a small fish in a big pond.
  • If your insurance company tells you that you need to go to their DRP shop, they usually try to sway you with these 3 "lies".
  1. “If the shop you pick has an estimate higher than we authorize, they may have you pay the difference”. This is untrue at Insurance Auto Collision Center. We work with nearly every insurance company to negotiate an agreed price to repair your car with quality & safety in mind.
  2. “If you go to our DRP shop, we’ll guarantee the work for “X” years”. We offer a Lifetime Warranty! The insurance company statement on the warranty is partially true, but, if there’s a need for a re-repair, they usually send you back to the shop that performed the original repairs. If that shop is no longer in business, then the insurance company would step in & handle the warranty, or if you’re from out of town, they would handle any re-repair when you return to your home town.
  3. “If you repair your car at the non-DRP shop, it may take longer & be more inconvenient”. I can tell you that here, in 2009, we completed 95% of our repairs on time, & that 42% of those repairs were actually done early, ahead of schedule! Besides, independent research has shown that in most cases, it actually takes longer if you go to the DRP shop. This can usually be explained by the higher volume of repairs if the DRP shop has multiple DRP relationships with larger insurance carriers.

What is Betterment?

  • Betterment is a charge related to making a part or portion on your collision repair “better” than it was before it was involved in the collision. Tires & batteries are a great example. Let’s say in the collision, your bumper punctured your tire & that your tire was worn out 25% before the accident. Let’s say that the tire costs $100 new. Since 25% of the tire’s tread was already gone (worn out) before the accident, the insurance company would pay 75% ($75 + tax), the insurance company would make you pay 25% ($25 + tax) for your worn out portion. The remaining tread is measured & compared to the tread depth of a new tire. Batteries are typically date stamped on the top, as well as labeled with the battery’s life expectancy. The difference between the date stamp & the accident date & the life expectancy would differentiate what portion the insurance company pays & what portion they charge you with. The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) says that betterment must be “measurable & discernable”. Betterment is most common on tires & batteries.Some insurance companies apply it to mechanical items that typically wear out, some go as far as to apply betterment to many things like paint, upholstery, convertible tops, etc…

If I file a claim to repair my car, will my rates go up?

  • My guess is yes, but hopefully you have an agent who should be able to advise you if the will go up & if so by how much.
  • Let’s say you have smaller an average size claim, $1500, & you have a $500 deductible, & the other party you hit has no damage & no interest in pursuing a claim against you. If you file a claim for your repairs, the insurance company pays $1000, you pay your $500 deductible. Your agent confirms your rates will increase only $30 per month, or $360 for the year. Sounds good compared to coming up with an additional $1000, right? You need to remember that this claim will be on your record for 3 years. So you it will mean an additional $1080 in premiums, or $80 more than you collected from the insurance company on the claim! Now, heaven forbid, you get involved in another accident & this time the other party does want to file a claim or that one or both of you have larger than normal claims for repairs or worse yet, injuries, now your premium rates are without a doubt going up exponentially compared to your other “smaller than average” claim you recently had when you collected that $1000.
  • Insurance companies make their living raising, not lowering rates!

Since I was at fault, I have to pay 2 deductibles. Can you help me with one?

  • This is a common misconception. The deductible only applies to fixing your car, not the other guy’s car. Your insurance will take car 100% of their repair.

What do these abbreviations on the insurance estimate mean?

  • LKQ or Quality Recycled = a used factory OE part
  • Quality Replacement Part or A/M = Aftermarket/non-factory OE part
  • Flex = Special additive put in clear coat to make it flexible.
  • Blend = Fading new paint into the old paint on an adjacent panel.
  • Car cover = A plastic disposable sheeting used to cover car during painting to prevent overspray.
  • Colorsand & buff or De-Nib = Sanding & polishing the new paint that was applied to remove minor imperfections.
  • Tint = The further adjustment of the paint color that was mixed to help it better match.

OUR MISSION ”To faithfully provide high quality, honest, ethical, & safe collision

repairs for our customers at cost that’s fair to all concerned parties”