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Bumper Damage - Reconditioned?

Discussions relating to Personal Injury Law

Bumper Damage - Reconditioned?

Postby Lennox » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:25 am

I was rear-ended with damage to my rear bumper.  Guy who caused accident originally was going to pay out of pocket, so I got 3 estimates from shops around me - ranged from $825 - $910.  When I mentioned his insurance carrier to these shops, they all noted that if he chose to make a claim with it, they needed full payment up front, as he held a "sub par" insurance company that only pays $22/hr for labor(vs around $45).  He decided to go through insurance, and an estimator from his company surveyed the damage and sent me a check for  $580(what "their" shop would charge to fix).  Labor hours are fairly minimal, so I couldn't figure out why the estimates are so off.  Upon closer inspection I see that "their" shop plans to use a reconditioned bumper instead of an original part(which all the other shops had specified).  What exactly does "reconditioned" mean, and will it be just as safe as an original part?  And how do they know that what's behind the bumper cover is not ruined and unsafe?

I'm going to visit their recommended shop, but if I don't like the looks of it, or if I don't feel right about getting a reconditioned bumper, I may just decide to eat the difference and get it fixed at the $820 place(though  maybe they would come down a little).  Not worth turning in to my insurance as I have a $500 deductible.

I have an '03 Pilot that's garage kept with less than 30,000 miles on it.  I live in Illinois.

thanks in advance
Lennox
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:36 pm

Bumper Damage - Reconditioned?

Postby Helushka » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:46 am

First of all, a bumper cover is not a safety item.  It is a plastic cover that does just that.  It covers the ugly safety items under it.  Plastic covers can be repaired by qualified technicians or reconditioning companies all day long.  In fact, this is the most common practice industry wide. A reconditioned bumper cover is generally a factory cover that was either taken off of another vehicle with no damage(like a totaled vehicle where only one end was hit) and then sanded and primed so it is ready for installation on another vehicle.  Or, a reconditioned cover is a cover that was perfectly repairable, but a body shop took the route of replacing it with another reconditioned or new cover and sent the old in to a reconditioning company where the plastic repair is completed.  This is very old school thought but many body shops would still rather replace with new or use outside reconditioning vendors instead of simply investing in plastic repair technology and training.

Either way, the cover should be no different in strength and appearance than a new one.  

As far as why the body shops write new vs. reconditioned, they are trained to write all estimates as high as reasonably possible in the hope that an insurance company will simply write a check without question. Once they get the money, some will follow the estimate and others will either repair or use a reconditioned cover and pocket the difference.

If the insurer is offering to send you to one of their preferred shops they are also likely willing to warranty the entire repair as long as you own the vehicle.  
Helushka
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:04 pm

Bumper Damage - Reconditioned?

Postby gillian59 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:53 pm

I was rear-ended with damage to my rear bumper.  Guy who caused accident originally was going to pay out of pocket, so I got 3 estimates from shops around me - ranged from $825 - $910.  When I mentioned his insurance carrier to these shops, they all noted that if he chose to make a claim with it, they needed full payment up front, as he held a "sub par" insurance company that only pays $22/hr for labor(vs around $45).  He decided to go through insurance, and an estimator from his company surveyed the damage and sent me a check for  $580(what "their" shop would charge to fix).  Labor hours are fairly minimal, so I couldn't figure out why the estimates are so off.  Upon closer inspection I see that "their" shop plans to use a reconditioned bumper instead of an original part(which all the other shops had specified).  What exactly does "reconditioned" mean, and will it be just as safe as an original part?  And how do they know that what's behind the bumper cover is not ruined and unsafe?

I'm going to visit their recommended shop, but if I don't like the looks of it, or if I don't feel right about getting a reconditioned bumper, I may just decide to eat the difference and get it fixed at the $820 place(though  maybe they would come down a little).  Not worth turning in to my insurance as I have a $500 deductible.

I have an '03 Pilot that's garage kept with less than 30,000 miles on it.  I live in Illinois.

thanks in advance
gillian59
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:01 am


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