Questions Answered

Where do I get a claim number?

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company when you file a claim for your accident. Have the claim handler send a repair assignment to Sledge Body Shop or simply write down your claim number and give it to us when you bring your vehicle to the shop.

What is a Direct Repair Facility?

A Direct Repair Facility is a body shop that is on an insurance company's Direct Repair Program (DRP), meaning it is a preferred shop that works directly with that insurance company. Body shops become direct repair facilities by meeting certain criteria including employing certified repair technicians and painters, using proper repair tools and equipment and, most importantly, having a record of satisfying customers with correct and timely collision repair.

Do I have to use a Direct Repair Facility?

No. You have the right to choose your repair facility, even if it isn't a preferred shop of the insurance company handling your repairs. Although we are a Direct Repair Facility for several insurance companies, we work with our customers' interests in mind. We have chosen not to be a preferred shop for certain companies we feel do not accurately recognize our customers' needs.

The benefit of using a Direct Repair Facility is that it simplifies the repair process. Once a preferred shop has your claim information they can write your estimate, order parts and do repairs without waiting for an insurance adjuster to approve every step of the process. Insurance companies hold direct repair facilities accountable for quality repairs by continually reviewing recent repairs and monitoring customer satisfaction.

Are you open on Saturday?

No. We are open Monday through Friday, 7:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. Estimates are done from 8am to 5pm.

Will parts be ordered before I drop my vehicle off for repair?

Yes. We order parts after we write an estimate either immediately or once we've received an authorization from the vehicle owner or insurance company. We schedule a day to drop off the vehicle shortly after the parts are expected to come in, unless your vehicle is unsafe to drive and you leave it immediately.

What is a total loss?

A vehicle is determined to be a total loss when the cost to repair it meets or exceeds 75% of the vehicle's value, which is determined by the insurance company and considers the age, condition and mileage of the vehicle.

If my vehicle's frame is damaged is it a total loss?

Not necessarily. Most modern vehicles are built using a unibody, meaning the vehicle's frame and body are one. If the vehicle isn't determined to be a total loss by the repair cost, our technicians will straighten the damaged frame or unibody. If a section of frame is bent beyond repair, it is simply replaced.

Can you match my vehicle's paint color?

We have made a major investment in one of the finest paint systems available and continually upgrade our technology and equipment. Modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of specialized paints, and we take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes.

Can I get other service work done on my car while it is in your shop?

It depends on the service. We can do body repair, painting, striping and detailing but mechanical and electrical work that isn't accident-related will need to be done at another repair facility. Ask your estimator if we do a particular service and if we don't he'll happily refer you to a facility that does.

How long will the repairs take?

Generally, drivable cars dropped off Monday mornings are ready to be picked up by the following Friday afternoon, but the amount of time required depends on the extent of repairs being done. Your estimator can give you a time frame in which the repairs will be completed. The time your vehicle spends in our shop also depends on availability of parts, if we find additional damage and, if there is an insurance company involved, how quickly your adjuster communicates with us.

How can I get a rental car?

If you need a rental car while your vehicle is in our shop we can help you make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will usually cover car rental if you are a claimant or if your policy provides a rental car through "Loss of Use" coverage. Check with the insurance company handling the repairs to find out if a rental car is provided.

How will I know when my vehicle is ready?

You will be notified by phone shortly before your vehicle is ready to be picked up and will also receive repair status updates every few days while your vehicle is in our shop. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns during the repairs. We can be reached at 256-830-0464 or

Do I have to pay a deductible?

Your deductible amount is determined by your insurance policy. If you carry broad collision on your policy and were not at fault in the accident, your insurance company may waive your deductible. Contact your insurance agent and he or she can inform you of your deductible amount or if it is waived.

To whom do I pay my deductible?

If your deductible is not waived by your insurance company, it is your responsibility to pay your deductible to us when you pick up your vehicle.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, checks with a proper ID and cash.

What are Betterment Charges?

Betterment charges reduce the amount an insurance company pays to replace collision-damaged parts such as tires, batteries and suspension parts that are old and worn. These charges are determined by the insurance company and prorated based on your vehicle's mileage. The customer is responsible for any difference in the amount an insurance company pays and amount we charge to replace a part, but we work with our customers to ensure they pay as little as possible in betterment charges.

Can I wash my vehicle after it is painted?

wash your vehicle by hand with cool, clean water and a very mild car wash solution;
use a soft cloth or sponge;
wash your vehicle in the shade;
avoid driving on gravel roads as new paint chips easily in the first 30 days;
avoid parking under trees and power lines as bird droppings and tree sap will blemish new paint.

wax or polish the vehicle for at least 90 days to allow the new paint to dry and harden completely;
use a commercial car wash as stiff brushes and sponges will damage our vehicle's new paint;
dry wipe your vehicle as it can scratch the finish;
spill any automotive fluids on the newly-painted areas;
scrape ice or snow off newly-painted surfaces as it will scrape the paint.