An estimate is just an estimate. It’s not going to be accurate no matter where you take your vehicle.
Most people want to get a general idea of what it’s going to cost to get their vehicle repaired which will help them decide whether or not they’re going to file a claim with their insurance company.
This can be done through a process we like to call “triage”. If the repairs are going to be over $1,500, the customer is usually going to go the insurance route. Our triage is $500 for each panel we paint, plus parts. You can see how this can add up very quickly.
This process is just as accurate as an estimate because you can’t determine the total cost of the repairs until the vehicle is 100% disassembled. The customer needs to get that “guestimate” to decide whether or not they’re going through insurance and then just take the vehicle to the shop they want to have repair their vehicle. No matter what the insurance company tells you, it’s your choice where you’d like to have your vehicle repaired.
Many people’s perception is that they didn’t have a choice and were steered to the insurance-preferred shop. But just remember that the choice is yours.