Total Care Accident Repair Blog

Brian Bernard

Recent Posts

Deer Collisions – An Unavoidable Accident

Posted by Brian Bernard on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 08:15 AM

Deer Collisions – An Unavoidable Accident

Fall is the most active time of year for deer while they are in their breeding season.  They are actively seeking out mates and travelling more than they otherwise would.  Their paths cross roadways and highways and they are somewhat distracted with the need to find a mate.  This is not a good combination when you factor in the heavy traffic on our roads.

Auto Body Taunton

Nearly 2/3 of deer accidents occur between October and December in our area.  Many of them occur in the early morning and at dusk which coincides with rush hour and darkness.  There are so many wooded areas inTaunton and Raynham that make this a well populated home for deer.

Accident prevention with a deer is not easy, but reduced speeds, especially at these active times will put you in a safer position.  Slower speeds will increase reaction times and if there is a collision, damage will likely be far less than at high speeds.  Use of high beam lights is also helpful.  Deer are almost impossible to spot on the road when low beams are used on dark roadways. 

When confronted by a deer, Reduce Speed Safely and maintain control of the vehicle.  Avoid swerving the vehicle.  People are more likely to be injured if their car leaves the roadway or crosses into oncoming traffic.  Avoid rollovers or hitting poles or objects on the side of the road.  Nobody wants to hit the deer, but you have to protect yourself and the lives of others first.  Remember that deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.

Did you hit the deer or did the deer hit you?  It happens both ways but, under yourMassachusettsinsurance policy, any deer collision is generally covered under your comprehensive coverage.  This means a deductible applies when you get the car repaired but, there is no surcharge or points charged to your Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP).  When a deer runs into you, the damage is fairly minor but a full-on collision with a deer will cause significant damage to a car.  These are often some of the larger repairs that we see in our auto body shop. 

Because of the way insurance policies treat deer collisions, most repairs of this type are run through insurance policies rather than paid for out of pocket.  A body shop repair estimate usually originates with the insurer and is finalized at the shop.

Topics: auto body, insurance, prevention

Dent Repair: Getting Better is What We Do

Posted by Brian Bernard on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 08:21 AM

Total Care Accident Repair is a pretty unique auto body repair shop in Raynham.  For six years our team has been studying the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing Principles to aid us in documenting and improving the process of repairing cars in our collision center.  We continuously build and measure our processes with a focus on identifying and eliminating waste so our efforts add more value to customers. 


As we go through our journey, we meet people inside and outside of our industry who are working on the same things for their own businesses.  Recently we hosted a shop tour to members of the executive team from South Shore Hospital.  They too are driven to eliminate waste from their system so their customers can have a better experience.  Its funny but you wouldn’t necessarily expect hospital executives to tour a collision center in search of ways to improve hospital operations.

South Shore Hospital Tour(Richard Aubut & Joseph Cahill from South Shore Hospital tour Total Care in Raynham)

But alas, we really are in the same business.  Sure, my dented patient is made of steel and plastic versus the human kind, but there are many parallels including; 3rd party insurance pay, deductibles (copayments), Blueprinting (diagnosis of the underlying condition), creating a repair plan (care plan) to get the car (patient) well again, and having specialists from multiple departments work as a team with the goal of returning the car (patient) back to its normal functions as quickly as possible. 


Collaboration of this type is exciting.  We recognize that we learn when we teach.  We also gain from hearing the experiences of others.  We must always be looking for ways to get better at what we do, even by looking in unlikely places for answers.  Lastly it is important for businesses to work together in the community, especially when our success brings greater value to the community itself.  Keep getting better, it feels good.

Topics: auto body shop, dent repair

Auto Body Express Repairs

Posted by Brian Bernard on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 01:50 PM

Customers frequently ask us about "Auto Body Express Repairs" and if their vehicle is eligible.  While most of our repairs follow the traditional collision repair process, it is nice to have an alternative for faster moving small repairs. There are three main criteria that fit our Express Service model.

  1. Smaller Repairs
  • Bumper Covers
  • Door Dings and Dents
  • Scuffs & Scratches
  • Mirrors
  • Non-Insurance
    • Eliminate wait-time for authorizations makes it FAST!
  • Customer Choice
    • Select from several repair options (Good/Better/Best)
    • Repair the way you want it
    • Priced to fit your budget
    The result is a FAST Repair
      • Many repairs done same day
      • Maximum 3 day repair
    Here are some pictures of a recent repair that was completed in 1-day.  This can be a VERY ECONOMICAL alternative to traditional collision repair.

    Auto Body Express Repair 1  Auto Body Express Repair 2                                                             

    If Auto Body Express Repair sounds good to you, the first step is to make an appointment so we can review the damage together.  We will listen to what you want, and together we will develop a repair plan that fits your needs.  If your repair doesn't fit the Express Model, we can proceed with the traditional collision repair with (or without) your insurance company.  But a 10-minute appointment will answer all of your questions.

    Click me

    Topics: auto body, express repair, dent repair

    Customer Service: A Top Priority for Auto Body Shops

    Posted by Brian Bernard on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 @ 08:57 AM

    I'm really proud of the feedback that our customers give us after their repair experience.  We give each of our customers a brief survey with an opportunity to give comments back to us.  The feedback helps us to get better at what we do and its very important to us.  But mostly we get words of kindness like this one:


    "Total Care Accident Repair is a really great body shop!  Everyone was extremely pleasant.  They called me back right away to give me an update on my car.  I was expecting 2 weeks for it to be at the shop but took a couple of days!  I highly recommend this shop to anyone." Marisa D.

    Customer Satisfaction

    Thank you Marisa, and all of our customer who provide words of encouragement!


    One of the ways we drive our satisfaction rate high is by keeping our customers informed.  We start by giving a Projected Completion Date to our customer on the first day.  I can't think of any shops that are able to do this.  Then we follow-up with a sequence of calls intended to update the customer so they know we are still on track.

    Topics: auto body shop, customer service

    What Should I Do After An Accident?

    Posted by Brian Bernard on Sat, Mar 17, 2012 @ 10:23 PM

    Having an accident can be scary. Often times, drivers are overwhelmed with so many thoughts that they don’t know what needs to be done. Do you know what to do after a car accident? Here is a helpful list to assist you immediately... and even days after the accident.


    1. Take a deep breath and make sure everyone is safe at the scene of the accident. Get appropriate medical care as needed. Nothing is more important than the well-being of the people involved.

    2. If possible, move the cars off the road to a safe area and turn on your hazard lights.

    3. Notify the authorities (call 911), especially if there is damage to another persons property.

    4. Identify any witnesses that may provide a helpful account of the accident for the police.

    5. Be polite with the other party, but don't tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was. Collect the following information:
    • Other driver's name & license number
    • Registered owner's name from the registration
    • Other vehicle information - Color, Make, Model, License plate #, and the damage sustained.
    • If Driver and Owner are different, ask how they are related

    6. Discuss the details of the accident with the police. You don't have to discuss all the details with the other party.

    7. If your car is not safe to be driven then have your car towed. Make sure the lights are working, nothing is rubbing on the tires, and no fluids have leaked from the vehicle. Only drive your vehicle if you know it is safe.

    8. If you have a good full-service insurance agency like FBInsure, contact them promptly. Let them know the details of the accident and they will help you to file the claim properly with your insurance company. A good insurance agent will aid in determining if you should avoid filing a claim.

    9. Collect some important information from your insurance company including:
    • What is the claim number?
    • Do I have rental coverage?
    • Will my deductible apply and if so, how much is it?
    • What does the insurer require prior to getting my car repaired? Will they send one of their appraiser out to see mey car, or do I have to bring it to their Drive In Claim Center, or can I bring it directly to Total Care Accident Repair?

    10. Select your Auto Body Repair Shop...Total Care Accident Repair is a great choice! A great repair shop will...
    • Coordinate the towing of your car to the shop
    • Assist you to get into a car rental right from their shop
    • Listen to you and address your specific questions and concerns
    • Keep you informed during the repair process
    • Provide you with a Projected Completion Date on Day-1
    • Provide you with a Lifetime Written Warranty
    • Measure their Customer Satisfaction Index and share the results
    • Turn a bad situation into a surprisingly pleasant customer experience


    Share these tips with friends and family today. It is better to be prepared in case of an accident than to be taken by surprise.

    Topics: after an accident, auto body shop

    Auto Body Parts are Parts, Right?

    Posted by Brian Bernard on Wed, Mar 07, 2012 @ 04:54 PM

    Almost all collision repairs require the replacement of at least some car parts.  Often the "parts list" can be quite lengthy.  But what kind of parts go onto your car and why?  Do you know the difference?

    Parts fall into four primary categories; Original (OEM), Aftermarket, Used (LKQ) and Reconditioned.

    Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) - These are parts supplied directly from the manufacturer for your car.  Basicly they come from Nissan, Subaru, Ford, Honda etc. or their licensed supplier.  These are exact replacement parts for your car.

    Aftermarket Parts - These are parts made by a company other than your car manufacturer.  They are made to replace the parts that come off your car, but they are a replica of the part, not the original.  The benefit here is lower cost.

    Used or LKQ - LKQ is an acronym that stands for "like kind and quality".  These are parts that come from donar cars at a slavage yard.  The auto body industry is a "very green" industry and we like to recycle nearly everything!  Note these parts are not damaged, just used. 

    Reconditioned - These parts had some minor prior damage or blemish that was repaired by a reconditioning factory and resold.  This is another way our industry recycles.  Bumper covers, wheels and some mechanical parts are often reconditioned in this fashion.

    Many times a repair will utilize a blend of different part types to get your car back to pre-accident condition.  Massachusetts regulation requires us to use these alternative parts because it helps to lower the total cost of repair.  When repair prices are lower, insurance premiums are lower too and this is good for all consumers.  But if a car has less than 20,000 mile on it, then the Massachusetts regulation states that it is OK to use all OEM parts because the car is basically new. E  DCIM 100OLYMP P3070007 resized 600

    Our preference is to use OEM parts all of the time because it reduces the amount time to complete the repair.  The alternative parts generally are of good quality and there is no discernable difference in the overall quality of repair.  Regardless of the mixture of parts used, Total Care Accident Repair provides a Lifetime Written Warranty and will ensure a high quality repair for new cars as well as old.

    If the utilization of OEM parts is important to you, ask your insurance agent about getting a rider to your policy that ensures only OEM parts are used for insurance repairs.

    If you have any topic you would like to read about, please post it below!

    Topics: Auto Body Parts

    Total Loss: Now What Do I Do?

    Posted by Brian Bernard on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 09:18 AM

    At Total Care Accident Repair, our job is to repair cars to pre-accident safety, condition and value.  But from time to time we have customers who incur a Total Loss and have to help guide them thru that process. 


    A Total Loss is declared when the auto body repair cost exceeds the value of the vehicle minus the salvage value of the vehicle as determined by the insurance company.  The insurance company will run some numbers to determine the fair market value of your vehicle and present that information to you.  We recommend to our customers that they do their own research to find out the true replacement cost of their vehicle by visiting a reputable dealer like Mastria Auto Group.  Customers should also take into consideration any recent service that was performed to their car like adding new tires and brakes.  You can present the receipts to the insurance company and have them take that information into consideration when determining the fair market value. 


    When the value of the Total Loss finalized, customers are paid the pre-accident fair market value of their vehicle and then they get to go car shopping.


    Often times it can be a struggle for consumers to decide what to buy, a new car or a used car.  Because of the accident, people are forced into a buying decision at a time when they didn't expect it.  Their totalled car was a technically a used car, but should they replace it with a new vehicle?  There are lots of things to consider and I ran across this column from Farrell Backlund Insurance Agency which addresses some of the Pros and Cons.  Please check it out.


    New Vs. Used: The Car Buying Conundrum


     Total Loss

    Topics: auto body, total loss, buying a new car, fair market value