Does it matter where I have my vehicle repaired?

Absolutely! Anyone who appraises cars for a living can tell you that the quality of collision repair varies dramatically and the quality of repair makes a big difference in the value of your car. The quality of repair depends on several things: (1) the skill and attention of the body tech and painter; (2) the quality of the equipment and tools; (3) the materials, paint and parts used; and (4) the overall management of the process and quality control. We have made a substantial investment in all areas of quality to ensure that the repair of your vehicle is the very best possible. Remember, if your car is damaged, you have the right to choose where it is repaired. If you’re like most people, your car is probably your second biggest investment, so make sure you choose a collision center with the very highest quality repairs.

What should I do after an auto accident?

Check to see if anyone is injured, & call police & emergency personnel if needed.

Get the name, driver’s license number, vehicle license plate number, and insurance information of each of the other parties involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses, you should obtain the name and phone number of each witness. Make a note of the time, date, and location where the accident occurred and, if you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene and the damaged areas of each vehicle. Once you have all of the information, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT: If the other party is unwilling to provide this information to you, or if they do not have a driver’s license or insurance, you should contact the police and your insurance company immediately.

Can my insurance determine where my vehicle is repaired or do I have a choice?

You have the choice. It’s your vehicle not the insurance company’s.

Your insurance company will, more than likely, have a list of preferred repair centers. However, you are not limited to just those repair centers. You may call any repair center and they will coordinate the repair process with your insurance company. The insurance company may also try to get you to go to one of their drive-in centers for an estimate; most of the time these are located several miles or towns away from you. You do not have to choose this option as it’s only inconveniencing you & making it easier for them; just say no & they will have the appraiser look at the vehicle at your home or at the repair shop.

What is a PRO Shop or a “Direct Repair Facility”?

Insurance companies will often establish a relationship with collision centers to streamline the repair process. We have such a relationship with several insurance companies. Essentially, it allows us to begin repairs on a vehicle without waiting for the insurance estimator to inspect the vehicle. In any event, you can decide where your vehicle is repaired whether or not the collision center is a direct repair facility.

Do I need to make an appointment to get a repair estimate?

In order to give you the highest service level possible we ask that you call Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. and schedule an appointment. We can accommodate you without an appointment, but you may have a longer waiting time. Our hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do I need more than one repair estimate?

You are not required by law to get more than one estimate, but you should get the estimate from the repair shop where you’re going to have your vehicle repaired.

Can I pick up my Enterprise rental car from your location?

We would be more than happy to have one of our staff members make the arrangement for you, or the insurance company may assist you also.

What forms of payment does Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. accept?

Cash, checks issued by an insurance company (you may endorse the back of the insurance check & give to the repair shop), or a certified bank check, personal checks with proper identification (i.e. a valid driver’s license), up to a maximum of $500.00, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or ATM/Debit cards up to $500.00.

Am I required to get 3 estimates?

No, you do not have to. Maine law allows you to pick a repair shop of your choice and the insurance company is required to negotiate with that shop in good faith.

If the insurance company has written an estimate, should I get another?

No, if an insurance company writes an estimate, just give it to the shop as the initial estimate of record. The shop will disassemble the vehicle and will add to that estimate if more damage is found. This is called a supplement.

Does Hilltop Collision Center Inc. provide a warranty?

Yes. Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. provides a Written Lifetime Warranty. If you would like to see the warranty before repairs, just ask a Customer Service Representative for a copy and/or explanation.

Why Waterborne Paint?

Many auto manufacturers have moved to waterborne paint at the factories. Waterborne paint has very good color characteristics and is more environmentally friendly by having 25% fewer harmful VOCs. Just one way we do our part for our community.

Who chooses what type of parts (OEM, Recycled, and Aftermarket) gets replaced on my car?

It depends on how your policy is written. With most policies, the insurance company has the option of using the most cost effective parts to repair your vehicle. If you’re the claimant, the policy of the insurance that has accepted liability will take effect. Whichever type of part is used, Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. will make sure that the parts are top quality & have proper fit & finish.

Can I make money off of an insurance repair?

Typically no. All legitimate repair shops will provide a detailed estimate and invoice to the insurance company showing every part and labor operation completed on your vehicle. Repair shops are required to supply a repair invoice with parts invoices and other invoices related to the job. If you have minor damage to a part & don’t replace it an appearance allowance may be offered to you.

Should I turn a claim into my insurance company or pay for it out of pocket?

It is entirely up to your personal financial circumstance, but we would normally recommend that you let your insurance company handle the claim. This is primarily because they are experts and are prepared to handle the unexpected. Sometimes, repairs that appear to be very simple and inexpensive on the surface can turn very complicated and very expensive. A combined effort using resources from the insurance company and shop can resolve about any circumstance.

How do I get updates during my repair?

Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. offers many options for monitoring the repair. Feel free to call, email or a text may be sent to you to monitor repair information online. Online allows greater convenience for a lot of customers. Check when it’s convenient for you!

Can frame damage be repaired?

Yes. Most anything can be repaired. If damage is significant in crucial frame areas, the area might be replaced. Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. has access to OEM specific repair guidelines by make and model. We will always err on the side of caution and safety. Remember, at Hilltop Collision Center, Inc. it’s not just your family, it’s ours too!

Who determines if my car is a total loss?

Your insurance company will use the actual cash value of the vehicle as compared to the estimated repair cost with some factor of salvage value taken into consideration. In cases where the vehicle is close to being determined a total loss, the insurance company may consult the vehicle owner and/or shop representative before a determination is made.