Vehicle Damage Insurance Instant Photos Claims – Is it a Good Idea or Not?

According to the Auto Body Repair Industry relying just on your photos of your vehicle accident to make a claim with your insurance company could prove to drastically shortchange your final estimate. Especially if something is damaged under the vehicle and is not apparent in the photos.  

According to insurance data, 2 out of 3 claims can be “underpaid” if the claims are paid within 48 hrs.  In an “I want it now” world it may seem super convenient to have the freedom to simply submit photos via a cell phone to your insurance company to speed up the estimate so that you can gain your repair quickly.

Auto body experts across the Country are cautioning people to allow your Auto Body shop experienced technician to offer your insurance company a firm estimate to be certain that you are not owed more money than the insurance estimate given from submission of only photos.

According to a CNBC.com article instant insurance crash claim cell phone apps are becoming popular and allow you to take photos or video and simply instantaneously send to your insurance claims department:

car-accident-bump.jpg

“Insurers benefit, from, reduced costs of sending out adjusters to handle what turns out to be cosmetic damage, said Loretta Worters, a vice president at the Insurance Information Institute. "It helps to get the claims filed, and their resources are utilized where they're needed most," she said.  

The article goes on to explain that the apps are for minor fender benders and any claim that involves an injury or fault that is not certain will likely involve further investigation. Another thing to take note of is your cell phone camera/video quality. Most insurance companies require superior quality photos.

So, yes, taking photos of your accident scene is important but it is not the end all.  At Richards’ Collision Center, for example, we offer free estimates that we personally submit to your insurance company listing any other damages that the photos did not capture.  This can significantly increase your estimate value thereby gaining your vehicle a proper and efficient repair.

We want to be sure that our customers and customers around the Country are receiving all the money that is owed for their collision repairs.

Learn more about this important subject at Body Shop News

 

 

Rip Roaring Fast Cars in 2017!

Last year we brought you “Rip Roaring Fast Cars in 2016” which highlighted the Venom GT taking you up to 270 miles per hour, the McLaren 675LT at 205 mph and the Audi R8 also up to 205 mph.  So will 2017 cars move even faster? As unimaginable as it may seem, the answer is YES!

Photo Credit: venomgt.com/venom-f5/

The Texas manufacturer has beat its own record of 207 mph with the 2017 Hennessy Venom F5 at 290 miles per hour made in America!   This hypercar has 1500 horsepower and reaches speed in two seconds.  However, don’t expect to see too many of these in the grocery store parking lot.  According to Hennessy Venom website: "Production is very limited, making the Hennessey Venom F5 not only one of the quickest and fastest hypercar in the World, but also one of the most exclusive."

The Venom GT that we reported on last year sold 12 of its $1.2 million Venom GTs in its six-year production run. But now, the era of the Venom GT draws to a close.  According to Road and Track, as of January 19th, all these beauties are SOLD OUT

Coming in second place is the Bugatti Chiron with a speed up to 260 mph, 1500 horsepower, and a 16 cylinder engine. This super-car is manufactured by the Bugatti Automotive Group which is owned by Volkswagen.  Start saving your pennies for this one, it is currently running around $2.6 million plus (based on current exchange rate).

Also making the list this year:

  • The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo at 248 mph and $550,000

  • The McLaren F1 at 240 mph and $1.1 million

  • The Noble M600 at 225 mph and $300,000

For something a little more affordable, fast and fun you might want to check these winners out.

  •  The 2017 Lotus Evora 400 will get you 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds for just under $90,000.  The Lotus is returning to the United States after two years and capable of reaching 186 mph.
  • The 2017 Hyundai Genesis Coupe will take you up to 146 mph at a kinder price tag of around $30,000. 
  • The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro makes a fast highway pass reaching 60 mph in 4.3 seconds for around $27,000. 

Looking even further into the future, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon promises, even more fun rolling off the assembly line 200 pounds lighter than the Dodge Hellcat.

Looking for speed and fuel efficiency? According to Forbes, this is entirely possible through a few engineering marvels. The Audi TSS gets up to 27 miles per gallon while still capable of making 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

The Chevrolet Camaro previously mentioned can maintain up to 29 miles per gallon and the Ford Mustang up to 31 miles per gallon hitting 50 in 5.3 seconds. 

Out of all of the dynamic super sonic fast cars which one would you choose? For those willing to travel at hyper speed with all the bells and whistles car manufactures can instill there appears to be something for everyone.

Happy, fast and safe travels to all!  

Rise in Counterfeit Auto Parts Cause Safety Concerns

When consumers have their vehicles repaired at auto body shops they expect to receive OEM Parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) car parts or at the very least quality Aftermarket parts. According to Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center for Homeland Security Investigations report that counterfeit auto parts are on the rise with 85-95% of all counterfeit goods coming from China.  "We’ve seen counterfeit safety belts that weren’t secure and air bags that have exploded so dramatically they probably would have done harm had they gone off.  Some of them even failed to deploy."  

Counterfeiting auto parts is a global issue that proposes health and safety concerns for consumers.  Bruce Foucart urges auto body shops to protect consumers by being certain that their parts are legitimate and checking that it is a reputable distributor and confirmed with the manufacturer.  An unusually cheap part may be a warning sign to a body shop or consumers that may look for parts on their own.  

To combat the problem is a newly formed coalition:  The Automobile Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition—the A2C2. It’s made up of nearly every automobile manufacturer and they meet four times a year.   To discover more about this coalition from Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center for Homeland Security Investigations click here to read the entire article written by Stacey Phillips at autobodynews.com

Many car manufactures are passionate in the pursuit to thwart those that put lives in danger through their counterfeiting activities. February of this year Hyundai launched a campaign warning Americans about counterfeit parts and the hazards that they can cause to all of us on the roadways. This Youtube video showcases a roulette wheel showing that it is a gamble not to double check the authenticity of auto parts in this day and age of difficult to detect counterfeit parts.  

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that counterfeit automobile parts cost the global automotive parts industry $12 billion in lost sales a year, including $3 billion in the U.S. alone. The FTC also estimates that the U.S. auto parts industry lost sales to counterfeit parts correlates to approximately 200,000 - 250,000 fewer manufacturing jobs. (Prnewswire.com)

With coalitions being formed to combat counterfeiters and an informed public working together we can authenticate our parts, and essentially maintain greater vehicle safety moving forward. 

Hail Hail Go Away...Don't Come Again Another Day!

Have you ever experienced hail damage on your beloved vehicle? Not a pleasant experience to find that your car has been pounded by hurling ice pellets from the sky! Hail damage can be a costly problem.  At Richards' Collision Center we lead the industry in successfully repairing many hail damaged vehicles at this time of year in the Midwest saving our customers time and money.

Most hail damage repair takes about 1/2 the time of a conventional repair. We use a PDR (Paintless Dent Removal) technique that saves the factory paint of most vehicles with out the need to repaint.  Different types of tools of the trade assist us in gently massaging out minor dents and dings to restore the vehicle to its original factory condition and beauty.  

If the vehicle has severe hail damage a conventional repair still may be necessary.  A conventional repair requires the removing of panels that requires painting to match the factory finish. 

In addition, we offer the same helpful lifetime warranty on hail damage repair vehicles as we do on our conventional repairs.  We also work directly with your insurance company for your convenience. 

At Richards' Collision Center you will find a 12,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility with a secure parking lot and video surveillance.  Our combined technician's experience is well over 100 years with an efficient, friendly staff in-office with a combined experience of over 60 years!               

We offer FREE onsite vehicle estimates within the KC Metro area and encourage you to give us a call at 816.767.0707 if Hail Damage befalls your truck or car this year! Safe and happy travels! 

 

Autonomous Driving Steering the Future

Many automakers have recently released their concepts of autonomous cars.  We are astounded by the profound technology that make the autonomous cars a much safer form of driving and ultimately the most efficient driving that the world has ever known.  

We will present some fine details of a few of our favorite autonomous cars and touch on the trust factor.  How many drivers and passengers will truly be comfortable giving ultimate control to their cars?  The stats are in and there is much work to be done to prepare the population for a new way of driving.   

The Swedish auto maker, Volvo, recently reported that they plan to launch their version of self-driving splendor and convenience in 2017 with a goal of 100 vehicles due to drive Swedish byways. Until then we are allowed to take a peek inside one of the most amazing self-driving concepts that we have seen to date. 

Through a study Volvo estimates that people lose approximately 26 minutes of productivity during their daily commute.  The concept packs convenience and efficiency by sporting a driver side digital desktop, with a desktop table and a 25” mega monitor controlled to pop up on the passenger side from a central, front, console touch screen. 

“The system was the first autonomous concept interior placed on a workable platform.” Learn more about this amazing autonomous dream at Yahoo.com/autos.  To see many of the new self-driving concept cars in action around the world check out these awesome videos: https://goo.gl/PhhOJZ.

Now, regarding the trust factor: with new concepts of self-driving cars coming out every year we wondered how many people trust the technology? 

“A Pew report last year showed that less than 50 percent of people wanted to ride in a driverless car. While this is not an insignificant portion of the population, for car manufacturers to fully commit to producing autonomous cars, they clearly will need to work on winning the trust of over half the population. Both Google and Ford have publicly stated that 2020 is a realistic date for when fully autonomous cars will be seen on our roads.”

The leader in building trust in the minds of would be driverless drivers has been primarily Google through their ongoing testing of their cars in California in some of the most congested city driving in America.  They have a strong belief that autonomous vehicles are safer without human intervention.  

Their coaxing has obviously paid off well as a letter posted online in February 2016 stated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave its OK to the idea of a self-driving car without a steering wheel and so forth, that cannot be controlled by a human driver.  Discover more about the details of this very important decree by the NHTSA:  http://goo.gl/bTFNtt.

As we await 2020 we will be focusing on Google’s fleet of autonomous cars as they learn more about the many complicated driving scenarios that plague drivers every day.  Many people around the world have probably already heard about the Google Lexus-model autonomous vehicle ("Google AV") that hit a bus at slow speed last week.  The first to be partly the fault of a Google self-driving car.  No injuries reported, but, precisely why testing and constant tweaking of their autonomous software continues for several more years. Read more about this recent accident at endgadget.com.  

Lastly, as Google’s autonomous functional prototypes have cruised 1 million miles on the roads of California Google experts are continually discovering ways to perfect the genius software that make the future of self-driving cars most promising.  Until then we will keep dreaming of accident free driving that saves time and provides the best of technology without the wheel and worry. 

All about Google’s self-driving cars with monthly progress reports: https://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/ 

 

 

Cars Take Flight in 2015! Order Now!

You may look up in the sky this year and literally see flying cars.  We’ve been dreaming of the flying car since the early 1900’s and finally it is a reality!  If you begin your flying- driving adventure by purchasing a basic model with a luxury cost beginning around $300,000 you’re in for the flight and drive of your life! 

You might be thinking that the sky byways will be congested with these flying machines, but, it won’t be like the famous old cartoon the Jetsons.  At least not quite yet, as most of the cars are being purchased by ranchers, farmers, firefighters and humanitarians to reach remote villages and terrain that would be virtually impossible to reach without the versatility of the flying car.    

TerrafugiaAeroMobilMoller International and PAL-V are just a few of the companies that are planning to produce, sell and deliver their vehicles within the next few years. While only the Maverick is commercially available and eligible for road safety inspection, all these companies plan to launch between 2016-2017.  Click here to see the Maverick in flight on YouTube

The Maverick is created by Indigenous People Technology and Education Center (I-TEC), a non-profit organization in Florida.  Steve Saint, the main coordinator, saw this as a fantastic way to reach out to remote areas of Ecuador where he builds schools and churches as a part of his organization. 

Also, the new Skyrunner – a dune buggy which relies upon a high powered air turbine to paraglide the vehicle to heights of up to 15,000 ft.  Skyrunner plans to be road and sky ready in America by late 2015, or early 2016. For the Maverick and Skyrunner, these vehicles only require a normal driver’s license – except where altitudes exceed 10,000 feet.  That means that forest rangers, people looking to drop off supplies, and even forward observers have unprecedented access to places that would normally be very logistically expensive to reach.

Another interesting model, much different from the other models is produced by a Dutch company called PAL-V who has made a helicopter car which promises the perfect mix of speed and versatility.  PAL-V from the Netherlands has already begun taking orders for its vehicle, and expects deliveries to begin in the spring of 2017.  Learn more about these vehicles at:  webbrewed.com.  

A company out of MA, Terrafugia, is planning to be the pioneer of the first practical flying car in the next few years:  “Our first product, the Transition® is a two-place, fixed wing, street legal airplane which has been internationally heralded as the “first practical flying car”.  It is designed to fit in a single car garage, be safely driven on the highway, and be flown in and out of general aviation airports.  It brings a new level of freedom, flexibility and fun to personal aviation and you can reserve yours today. - See more of this sleek flying car on YouTube.

Terrafugia’s TFX model may be 10-15 years from being ready for the market, but, it is worth waiting for when you see how this sleek, classy, flying car glides through the air:   See the Video of the TFX from the garage to flight.

If you will be travelling to Europe you may want to make a stop to see the: Vaylon Pegase, reportedly available this year. The Vaylon company develops an innovative solution of mobility able to move quickly on earth and/or in the air, in an autonomous way and in any circumstances (overcome obstacles (rivers, cliffs, dunes...), lack of roads infrastructures, natural disaster). Check out the video and some of the specs on this amazing European model: Light all-roads vehicle, side by side, double type-approval, road/air capacity, STOL (Short Take Off and Landing)

Road speed: 65 mph
Air speed: 35- 50 mph
Altitude: low altitude flight, to more than 3000 m (10.000ft)
Payload: From 160 kg -- 350 Lbs (civil type-approval) to 250 kg -- 550 Lbs
Minimum autonomy depending on configuration and loads: 3h

Lastly, as we finally approach a new generation of flying cars we must thank the innovators/creators, and all those involved who make it possible for us to reach new heights of invention and freedom to fly like never before in our history.  Click here to see more awesome pictures of the most popular flying cars on the market today!    

 

 

Pickup Truck Fender Well Cancer

How do you prevent that ugly, rusty pickup truck fender well cancer?  We've all seen the dreaded damage cruising down the road following a shiny relatively new pickup that has trails of ugly rust spreading through the paint.  Who dreams of rust on their beloved pickup truck? Truth is:  most people just do not think about it being a problem until it's too late.   

The proactive, effective, preventive, remedy to the problem is to wash your pickup at least every 2 weeks and pullout your tail lights to clean out the debris to minimize the rust potential.  Follow up with a nice waxing at least once a quarter.  If you are in the middle of a nasty winter you should follow the procedures more often.  If you find that your truck already has the cancer and the damage has not significantly spread you can purchase from most auto parts store or online a Rust Resolver Gel that you can apply to eliminate or slow further rust damage.     

We also recommend checking your truck or car for dings or weak spots once a year.  Even minor hail damage and rock dings that are barely seen can develop rust.  These steps are not meant to be a complete cure all but it should extend the beauty and life of your paint job for many more years to come saving you unnecessary time, money, and hassle.  

Not sure how to pull out your pickup tail lights?  Stop by Richards' Collision Center at our convenient location in Grandview and a friendly member of our team will be happy to demonstrate how to pull out your tail lights quickly, safely and efficiently.  

Auto Body Shops & Insurance Company Recommendations...

At Richards' Collision Center we often hear the question:  Am I required to use the Auto Body Shop that my insurance company recommends?  The answer is no, and, often times the insurance company claim representatives pressure consumers into using the body shop that they recommend.  

Steering is defined as the act of directing a consumers to or away from any specific auto body repair shop or requiring that repairs be made by a specific repair shop or individual.  In most states there is a law against Steering.

While there are networks of preferred providers for collision repair, and direct repair options presented to policyholders when they make a claim, the insured's right to choose MUST always be upheld.

 Angie's List reported an excellent article about this very subject and one of many statements on the site give pause:  

"The choice is yours — by law, in the majority of cases. Yet a question remains: Will you get a quality repair?

Of course you can gain a quality repair as long as you do your homework.   If you want to cut to the chase and find out the true grit behind the advertising hype, simply:  "Google" the name of the shop with a "+reviews" after the name to find out what other people have experienced.

A thoughtful set of various reviews is worth a thousand words and more.  

Richards' Collision Center

Richards' Collision Center




Vehicle Accidents...Who is Responsible?

Have you ever been in a vehicle accident?  Many people can unfortunately say yes to that question with millions of accidents occurring in the US every year.  Insurance companies often offer a basic list of steps to take after an accident to reduce liability, such as, calling the police immediately to file a report, contacting your insurance company and not discussing the accident with the other party.  Although, are those steps enough to protect you in the event that there is question as to whether it is your fault?  

car accident

According to our research, no, it is not enough, and without taking the following additional steps you may find yourself in court.  According to Yahoo.com, there are 5 additional steps you should take immediately after an accident, assuming, that you are able.  

In summary, take pictures from your view point behind the wheel right after the accident.  Also take other pictures at various angles to show a clear picture of the damage.  Be patient for the police to arrive, as it can take up to an hour, specially in a rush hour situation. In the mean time practice what you will say even recording yourself beforehand. It is also lawful to record your conversation with the police officers at the scene.  Most of all be calm and collected as possible awaiting the police to come to you at the accident scene.  

In addition, the police report is not in stone once created and can be changed, so, if the police officer erroneously quotes a statement you can request a correction.   

Another helpful site with quality information regarding this serious issue is Findlaw.com.  Who better to know what to do than experienced attorneys. Of course, their first point is not to leave the scene until you have spoke with the police.  Check on the condition of all people involved in the accident, and, exchange information without going into conversation regarding the incident. Also, speak to any witnesses present and gain their personal contact information.  

Lastly,  check out the Findlaw.com site to learn other important details about what to do after a vehicle accident.  We at Richards' Collision Center want to do what we can to inform and protect the public in case of an accident to reduce liability and expense.  We hope that you will share this blog with those you love and care about so that they will know the right steps to take in an accident situation.