How does a car repair estimate work?

If you're in an accident and file a claim, you will need to get a car repair estimate to determine the extent of the damage and the cost to make those repairs if you choose to repair. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about car repair estimates.

What is a car repair estimate?

A car repair estimate is a breakdown of the all the visible repairs needed as well as the prices for each repair to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy after an accident. If you financed your vehicle, your lienholder may require you to make repairs to bring your vehicle back to its "like-new" condition.

How to get a car repair estimate

After filing a claim with your insurance company, you will need to get an estimate. Your insurance company will help set this up for you. The estimate will help you understand what is involved to repair your vehicle and general idea of how much those repairs will cost. Repair estimates may vary depending on several factors, including labor rates, parts, prices, and the amount of time necessary to perform certain repairs.

Where do you get a car repair estimate?

Depending on your policy, you may need to give your insurance company specific information on which body shop you're considering for the repairs. Some insurance companies may have a set list of repair shops they can recommend to you.

It is up to you where you get your car repaired. If you have a mechanic that you normally work with, you can choose them to do your repairs. Most insurance companies have repair shops that they work with on a regular basis. Progressive makes it easy to get repairs done with our approved network of shops. We even guarantee your repairs at network shops for as long as you own or lease your car.

By calling your claims rep, you can get the repair process rolling, and schedule repairs wherever you like. Your rep can also help you arrange a rental car if needed. Note: If you're a Progressive policyholder, rental coverage may not apply unless you purchased it before the accident.

When do you get a repair estimate?

You get a repair estimate after you have filed a claim with your insurance company.

What does my car repair estimate include?

Your estimate includes all visible damage related to your loss. If additional loss-related damage is detected during the repair process, we'll reinspect your vehicle. Finding further damage isn't unusual—we can't always see all damaged parts when writing up the initial estimate. If the estimate needs to be updated, we'll work with you and the body shop.

See details here on how to read your car repair estimate.

What is considered in the repair estimate?

Your estimate may include replacement parts from a source other than your vehicle's manufacturer. The replacement parts on the estimate are intended to return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition with proper installation. In fact, Progressive guarantees this. Once repairs are complete, if any sheet metal or plastic body part included in the estimate fails to return your vehicle to its pre-loss condition (assuming it was properly installed), in terms of form, fit, finish, durability, or functionality, Progressive arranges and covers replacement of the part—even to the extent not covered under warranty. This service is performed at no cost to you (including associated repair and rental car costs).

This guarantee applies as long as you own or lease the automobile. It is not transferable and ends if you sell or otherwise transfer the vehicle. To obtain service under this guarantee, call your claims rep or Progressive at 1-800-274-4641.

What happens after I get my estimate?

We'll review the car repair estimate with you. If you decided to repair, we’ll work with your shop of choice and help manage the repair process. If you decide you would rather receive payment, it will be sent to you minus any deductible. If you initially preferred to receive payment, but change your mind and decide to repair, let us know so we can help manage the repair process.

Repair options: Select an approved shop in the Progressive network and we'll manage the repairs from start to finish. We'll get the process going immediately or whenever it's convenient for you. You can also choose any shop you prefer — just let us know so we can review the estimate with the shop and issue payment to you or the shop directly.

If you're ready to start repairs or have questions, call us at 1-800-776-4737 — press 1 for claims and then enter your claim number when prompted.

Do I have to make repairs after an insurance claim?

Fixing the damage to your vehicle is your choice. However, before making this decision, be sure to check with your lienholder or leasing company. They may require you to complete the repairs to protect their own interests.

What portion of the car damage estimate am I responsible for?

If you're a Progressive policyholder and have coverage for the loss, we cover the cost of repairs beyond your deductible. If you choose to fix the vehicle, you'll be responsible for paying the deductible once repairs are complete. You'll find information on your deductible in your policy documents or online account.

If you're a Progressive policyholder and choose to have your vehicle repaired, you typically won't have any out-of-pocket expenses — although some scenarios may require you to pay a portion of the damages. In this instance, your representative will contact you.

What if I finance my vehicle or have a lease?

If you have a lienholder on your vehicle, any payment we issue to you may include you and the lienholder as payees. If you choose not to repair the automobile, contact your lienholder for how to receive payment. If you plan on making repairs through an approved shop in the Progressive network, we'll pay the shop directly, so there's no need to include a lienholder on the payment. If you plan to use a facility that's not in our network, please contact us so we'll know where to issue payment.

Please note: Some services described above are only available to customers who have purchased coverages such as comprehensive, collision, or rental reimbursement before their loss. Coverage is subject to the terms of your policy. Please refer to your policy to verify your coverage.