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Repair shops estimate lower, but raised when adjuster came out

by Damon

How is it possible that a repair shop that gave me an estimate of $4200.00 to fix my car all of a sudden increase to $5700.00 based on the insurance adjusters estimate.

I recently called and was informed that supplements would be added to the total bill, so when I got my estimate I thought it would be around $4200, but the repair shop informed me that they had to go off of the insurances estimate.

I'm sorry but as a repair shop, it's your job to be able to estimate correctly, the difference now is over $2300 from what the repair shops initial estimate.

As well the repair shop informed me that to pick up my car I would have to leave a personal check as collateral, and they would lock it in their safe, until they get the supplement check from the insurance company, for me to receive my car.

This seems really shady to me, is there a possibility of where I took my car, they are trying to rip off the insurance company.


Hi Damon,

Well, the scenario you describe above is "normal". It actually is better for you that this happened. If the estimate went up, it means there are things that the shop did not estimate correctly the first time around. Shops sometimes make mistakes and they miscalculate parts or the amount of labor hours. A $2300 difference however is a lot.

This indicates that they are fixing more things on your car, perhaps broken parts that they did not originally though they had to fix.

The worse case scenario would be if the estimate went down. This would mean that the insurance company is making the shop find cheaper parts, do the job for cheaper labor, or not fix a part that the shop things is broken and the adjuster does not.

If the adjuster reviewed the estimate and talk to the shop, they both will be dealing with the repair of your car. Payment and other things must be worked out among them. Do not worry about "they are trying to rip them off", insurance companies are very savvy in this type of thing and their adjusters are very well trained. If the adjuster is on top of the estimates and talking to the shop, then they are aware of the situation.

The thing about the personal check is somewhat unsettling. Contact your insurance company and tell them that you cannot take your car off the mechanic shop until the bill is paid in full. Since you do not have any money, then they are going to have to give you (or extend) a rental until the bill is paid in full. Talk to the adjuster and have them give a check to the body shop. The insurance company must help there.

Good Luck,

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