What To Expect…

Every collision and accident repair is unique and every insurance has their own processes

What To Expect…

Every collision and accident repair is unique and every insurance has their own processes, which affects the speed of the process – nevertheless – the following is a typical repair and insurance claim process.

Repair Authorization

  • Tell the insurer you’ve chosen Derby Auto Body for repairs. Under State law, no insurer can require you take your vehicle to a specific shop for repairs or an estimate. The insurer may imply you need to get an estimate from, or take your vehicle to a particular shop; you do not have to do this. You can tell the insurer to either inspect your car here, at your home, or at your place of work. We can help coordinate this for you.
  • Provide us a copy of any insurer estimate you’ve received – it’s not necessary for us to prepare an estimate prior to your repair drop-off date if insurance is covering the repair cost. The reason is because it’s very likely there is damage that can’t be seen until the vehicle has been disassembled. Preparing the estimate after disassembly streamlines the repair process by doing each repair step only one time.
  • We schedule a repair drop-off date and rental car, if needed, for you.
  • You sign a repair authorization with us.
  • Tell us if you’ve received any payment for the repairs. All repairs must be paid before we release the car to you. We will do our best to assist you in acquiring the check from the insurer.

After The Accident

  • Call Derby Auto Body at (203)734-1395 and we’ll discuss the best way to proceed with the repairs to your vehicle, when an estimate should be prepared and if you’re making an insurance claim (not all insurance companies process claims the same way).
  • If your vehicle is not safe to drive, we will schedule to have it towed to us – this is typically covered by the insurer responsible for the damage.
  • Report your claim to the responsible party’s insurance company if you’ll be using insurance to cover the damages.
  • Confirm that the insurer is accepting responsibility to pay the claim.
  • Provide us with the insurer’s claim number, contact name, phone and fax numbers and email address.
  • State Law says no insurer can require you take your vehicle to a specific shop for repairs or an estimate, nor are you required to obtain three-estimates.  If by chance you speak with your insurance company before us; be sure to tell them Derby Auto Body will be repairing your vehicle.

Repair Planning

  • The damaged area is disassembled to have visual access to all accident related damages.
  • We request approval from the insurer for all related damages; this approval is needed before we can proceed (some insurers are faster than others to respond).
  • Parts are located.
  • After the insurer’s approval is received, parts are ordered.
  • Parts are received, checked for damages and accuracy, and inventoried.
  • Only at this point in the process we can provide you an accurate completion date.

Body Repairs

  • Any structural or frame damage repairs are made to factory specifications.
  • Sheet metal repairs are made; welded and bolt-on panels are replaced and adjusted for fit.
  • Corrosion protection is applied as necessary.
  • A quality check is completed.


  • Sealers, corrosion protection and primers are applied.
  • Block sanding is completed to ensure a smooth final finish.
  • Masking and surface cleaning is completed.
  • Paint is sprayed and baked on (most paints are a two-stage process, with a color basecoat [color] followed by a clearcoat).
  • Paint is polished as needed to a factory-type finish.
  • A quality check is completed.


  • Re-assembly of parts replaced or removed for repair is completed.
  • Final fit and finish adjustments are made.
  • Any airbag system parts are replaced and a system check is completed.
  • Wheel alignment, suspension adjustments and air conditioning recharging are completed as needed.
  • Any part price additions or other repair additions or changes needed during the repair are reviewed with insurer and final approvals are received.
  • Final paperwork – invoicing, billing, is completed.
  • A quality check is completed.


  • Vehicle is washed and vacuumed, after a final quality control inspection is completed.
  • Your estimator or repair planner personally checks your vehicle again prior to pickup.
  • We call you to let you know your vehicle is ready to pick up and confirm with you what payment(s) must be made.
  • When you arrive, your estimator provides an overview of the repairs.
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