FAQs

Is this the first time you’ve needed body or paint work done to your vehicle?

If so, below are some frequently asked questions and definitions of terms (click your mouse over the words in red). If you have any questions not listed here, feel free to contact us.

Where do I start after I've been in a vehicle accident?

Call our Customer Care Unit! We assist with everything:

  • Giving your insurance company a first notice of loss
  • Towing your damaged vehicle (if needed)
  • Scheduling an estimate
  • Free loaner cars (if needed)
  • Deductible assistance

We can help you with any collision repair concerns you might have.

Is it possible to obtain a repair estimate online?

Yes! Try our Virtual Estimate.

Please note: This estimate will only cover visible damage shown in the uploaded photos. Anything not shown in the photos or hidden damage within the interior of the vehicle will need to be added to the estimate that is written when you bring your vehicle in.

Don’t worry, though! If there is any additional damage, we will go through everything with you before any repair work is done. We will also work with your insurance company on any additional approvals they may need to provide.

Do I need an appointment?

Vehicle estimates are written Monday – Friday between 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and no appointment is necessary. Drop in anytime during normal business hours and we’ll take the time to inspect your vehicle.

However, scheduling an appointment will diminish any possible waiting time. To schedule an appointment, please contact our Customer Care Unit.

How long will the estimate take?

Unless the vehicle is severely damaged, most estimates take about 15-25 minutes.

What if someone else gives me a lower estimate?

The difference is how thorough our visual estimate is compared to other facilities. Compare their estimate to ours, and you’re likely to see more items on a Gates Collision Centers estimate. That only means we’re being honest and up front about the extent of the damage.

Bring any estimates to us and we’ll be happy to explain the difference!

Is your estimate 100% accurate?

We have given you a visual estimate. This means we have assessed your vehicle’s damage to the best of our ability based on what we can see and based on what we suspect. Once we tear down your vehicle, there may be additional hidden damage.

If there is, we’ll quote it and, with your permission, repair it. We will always work directly with your insurance company on any supplements.

How will I get around while my vehicle is being repaired?

All of our Gates Collision Centers provide repair customers with a free loaner vehicle regardless of repair time or insurance coverage. However, if you have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy or if you are a claimant, we may charge the insurance company responsible.

Can Gates Collision Centers repair any kind of vehicle?

Absolutely! Our technicians are trained and tested on following appropriate standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all the vehicles they repair. That means you don’t need to take your import to a certified dealership or repair shop for your particular make.

Will Gates Collision Centers work with my insurance company?

Yes. We work with all insurance companies and directly handle all paperwork. We also have direct repair  relationships with over 40 insurance companies.

Does my insurance company have the right to inspect my vehicle?

Yes. They have the right to inspect your vehicle, but are not required to do so. If your insurance company chooses to perform an inspection, have them inspect it at one of our collision repair locations. Our Madison locations already have relationships with many insurance companies. In fact, some companies either have office located in our facilities or allow our qualified estimators to inspect the vehicle on their behalf.

Do I need to get more than one estimate?

No. If your insurance company asks you to get more than one estimate, let them know that Gates Collision Centers will be performing the repairs on your vehicle. Your insurance company is welcome to send an adjustor to examine the vehicle at one of our conveniently located locations.

Can I take my vehicle to the repair shop of my choice?

Absolutely. You have the legal right to choose the repair facility you want. When reporting your claim, immediately let your insurance company know which shop you’d like to repair your vehicle.

Your insurer should not attempt to influence your decision regarding where you have your vehicle repaired. Additionally, your insurer is obligated to cover the reasonable cost of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you choose to have repair done.

Can I have my vehicle repaired with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and will my insurance company pay for them?

Your insurance company is responsible for restoring your vehicle to it’s pre-accident condition. Regarding the type of parts used, each person’s policy is different so be sure to see what your policy will cover. With most policies, if your vehicle was not new at the time of the accident, the insurer does not have to pay for new OEM parts. If you do request new OEM parts on an older vehicle, you may have to pay the difference. In that case, Gates Collision Centers will work with you on your available options.

How long will it take to repair my vehicle?

Based on the estimate, we can accurately provide a completion date. Please keep in mind that once we disassemble your vehicle, it is not uncommon to discover hidden damage. Should that happen, we will notify you immediately and inform you of any scheduled completion changes.

Our primary goal is to return your vehicle to you as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of the repair.

Will I have to pay a deductible?

Yes, but only if your policy includes a deductible and you have filed a claim with your insurance company. Whether or not you’re responsible for a deductible depends on your policy and who was at fault. Your deductible may be different depending on the type of accident, for example, collision or comprehensive. Contact your insurance agent to find out your deductible amount.

When do I have to pay my deductible?

Your deductible is paid directly to Gates Collision Centers when the repair is complete and you pick up your vehicle.

What forms of payment does Gates Collision Centers accept

We accept cash, check and all major credit cards. We also have a Deductible Assistance Program to make your payments more manageable.

Is there a warranty on the repair to my vehicle?

Yes. We are so confident in our workmanship and the materials we use that we guarantee the repair for as long as you own your vehicle.

Will my car ever be the same?

There is absolutely no reason why your vehicle shouldn’t be as good as it was prior to the accident, if not better!

All of our technicians are trained in the latest collision repair techniques and we utilize state-of-the-art equipment to insure your vehicle is restored to it’s pre-accident condition. Gates Collision Centers take great pride in the work we do and our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.