FAQs

FAQS

How do I get an estimate? Some insurance companies want you to visit their drive-in claims center before bringing your car to the collision repair center. You can do this, or you may leave your car at our location and ask the insurance company to inspect the car here.

Do I need an appointment for an estimate? Walk-ins are welcome, although sometimes it is best to call ahead of time so we can advise you of the process.

What do I need for a collision repair estimate? All you need is your car, insurance card, and contact information.

What if my insurance company wants me to go to another shop? You have the right to go to the shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop. They may tell you they won’t cover the work, but we have stood behind our repairs since 1928!

Estimates may vary – why? Differences in collision repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. In the process of fixing the damage caused by the collision, additional auto body repair issues may be revealed. If you’re not sure why one estimate is different from the other please ask us.

Which shop should I choose? Choose a shop like Mathieu’s with state-of-the-art repair equipment and certified (ASE, I-Car) technicians.

Should I accept the insurance check, and if I do, will additional work be covered? Yes. We will work with the insurance company on any supplements (work that is accident related) and will bill them directly if need be.

What is a deductible? Like a co-pay, a deductible may be $50.00 to $1000.00 and determined by you when you buy the policy.

Do I need more than one estimate? No, there is a state law that allows a person to have one estimate.

Will my insurance cover everything? Not always. You need to check your policy and speak to your insurance agent. Old damage, rust or add-on accessories may not be covered. Rental cars may or may not be on your policy, but if the accident is covered by the other party, rental coverage is free. And, yes we have rental cars on site.

Do I have to notify my insurance company if I wasn’t at fault? Not necessarily. If the other party has accepted liability you do not have to call your insurance company.

Do I have to pay my deductible if I file a claim through insurance even though I may not be at fault? Usually, yes. You would get reimbursed if the other company pays through subrogation.

Do you accept credit cards? Yes, VISA, MasterCard, Discover

Will I have to deal with the insurance company on supplements? Let us negotiate your claim with the insurance company.

Where do I tell the wrecker driver or towing company to take my car? Mathieu’s Auto Body, they know where we are!

My car has been in accident, but I’m still able to drive it. Is my car safe to drive? If you see that your car could be unsafe because of damages, it should not be driven. Contact us so that our collision repair experts can assess the damage to your vehicle and help guide you through the insurance claim process.

Will the crash affect the performance of my vehicle? All repairs are guaranteed by us to bring the car back to pre-accident condition.

How long will it take to fix my vehicle? Depending on parts availability and the severity of the damage, usually a few days for small repairs, longer for complicated collisions.

Will the rental be arranged for me and can the rental car company meet me at the shop? Yes, a rental company will meet you here. However, we rent clean, dependable used cars at a discounted price.

Does your company rent vehicles to customers? Yes and for less than the rental companies.

Do you do state inspection stickers and other vehicle maintenance? Yes, we have a full-time mechanic that is ASE trained with the latest diagnostic software, and also have state-of-the-art equipment for 2 & 4 wheel alignments.

Do you warranty your auto body work? Yes, our work and the manufacturer parts we install are guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle.

Do I have to accept alternative, or aftermarket parts? All insurance companies have different guidelines and may require the usage of alternative parts. This can be discussed prior to repairing the vehicle.

If I have full coverage does that mean rental car costs will be covered? Not always, it may not be on your policy. Check with your agent. If not we have low cost rentals, and you can always add it to your policy at a low annual cost.

How old do I have to be to rent a car?  You must be at least 25 years of age in the state of Maine. But we rent to anyone 21 years of age or older, no credit card or deposit required.

What does it mean when a car is totaled by an insurance estimate? Total loss means the damage comes close to or exceeds the value of the car. However, many people keep a totaled car and repair what is needed.

The insurance company determined my vehicle was totaled, but I want to keep it and repair the damage. The insurance company is telling me I have to turn the title over to them and then receive a salvage title. Is this correct?

Yes. Motor vehicle law (29-A M.R.S.A. § 667) requires an insurer to apply for a salvage title after a vehicle has been declared a total loss. The insurer then transfers the salvage title back to you. Once the vehicle is repaired, application for a new title must be submitted to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The title will be branded ( as “repaired,” “rebuilt,” or “rebuilt salvage”) according to the nature and extent of the repairs.

What are Aftermarket Parts (AMP or A/M)? Parts not made by the company that built your car.

What does OEM stand for? Original Equipment Manufacturer-these parts were built by the company that manufactured the vehicle.

Rust Repair: Is rust work guaranteed?  Rusted panels can be repaired, and we are unable guarantee rust repairs.  

Do you have a preventative service/maintenance program? Yes, we do, specific to your vehicle.

How do I take care of new paint? After a 90-day full cure period you may treat it in a normal manner. Until then, handwash your car with a recommended auto-soap using a soft car wash brush, cloth or chamois.

Do you work with the ASPIRE program? Yes

Can you do 2 and 4 wheel alignments? Yes, on cars and trucks with state-of-the-art equipment.

Can you tell me how much air to put in my tires? We can either check them for you or there are labels on the door-post, fuel door and detailed information in the manual.

When is a vehicle determined to be a total loss? How is the total loss value determined? What if I owe more than the vehicle is worth? 

It is the insurance company’s option to declare a vehicle a total loss when the repair cost approaches or exceeds the actual cash value (ACV) of the car. Most companies consider a total loss when the initial estimate reaches approximately 75% of the ACV, as hidden damages are generally discovered after the repair process has begun. Maine law does not require any specific method for establishing the value, and companies may use (singly or any combination of) published valuation guides, market surveys, or independent valuation services. Conditions such as prior unrepaired damage, rust and high mileage will reduce the value of the vehicle.

If you disagree with the insurer’s value, you can conduct your own search of local dealers, advertisements, and reference guides to use as a negotiation point. If you are making the claim under your own policy, you may request an appraisal as explained in your policy.   If you owe more for the loan on the vehicle than the actual cash value, you are responsible for the difference unless you have purchased a special coverage – generally called GAP coverage – for this exposure.