How Much Does Body Work Cost, and Will Insurance Cover It?

Vehicle body repair costs anywhere from $100 to $2,000, depending on the type and extent of the damage. Insurance usually covers these repairs, but it depends on your policy.

A.M. Steinbach
Written byA.M. Steinbach
A.M. Steinbach
A.M. SteinbachInsurance Writer
  • Full-time writer for 5+ years

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A Harvard graduate, Mark has worked as a freelance personal finance and tech writer. He’s also written for Saturday Night Live.

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Danny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Konstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
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Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated January 31, 2024

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Several factors affect auto body repair costs after an accident, including the make and model of your vehicle, the severity of the damage, and local replacement part prices. Prices for auto parts increased roughly 17% nationally last year, so shopping around and finding an auto body shop that fits your budget is important.[1]

Here’s what you should know about average price ranges for different repairs, which can help you determine if your body shop offers a reasonable quote. You’ll also learn when your insurance company will cover auto body work and how to file a claim.

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Factors that affect body repair costs

The cost of auto body repairs depends on various factors. Below are some key factors that will affect your quote:

  • Car make and model: Many new-car models feature advanced technology that requires complex, expensive repair processes. For example, some newer models feature safety sensors on their bumpers, which makes what was once a simple bumper repair more complicated and pricey.[2]

  • Extent and type of damage: Car damage can vary widely in severity. The repair process for a minor dent or paint scratch is much cheaper than the extensive repairs needed after a major accident.

  • Material costs: Recent supply chain disruptions seriously affected new car parts.[3] Though supply has normalized somewhat, global commerce trends can affect car part prices.[1]

  • Labor costs: The car repair industry has experienced tight labor conditions, which has forced employers to offer raises to retain mechanics and technicians.[3] This can lead to higher average repair costs for consumers.

  • Location: Access to new car parts and labor costs vary by state or city. Areas where wages are generally higher and car parts are less plentiful will likely have higher prices.

  • Body shop: A repair shop with more experience and a stellar reputation may offer high prices, particularly if it offers extra services or faster repairs. Shopping around is a good idea if you’re trying to find a body repair quote that fits your budget.

  • Insurance: How extensive your insurance coverage is and the size of your deductible will affect how much you pay for car repairs out of pocket.

Read More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Read More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Estimated costs of common body repairs

The cost of auto body repairs varies widely, so finding an exact average cost is difficult. Data from useful tools like Kelley Blue Book (KBB) can give you a better idea of the price range to expect for certain common body repairs:

RepairLower Cost RangeHigher Cost Range
Dent repairLess than $100$300
Frame straightening$164$193
Glass replacement$250$450
Scratch removal$300$1,000
Repainting job$500$1,000
Bumper repair$200$2,000

How to get a body repair estimate

It’s a good idea to get body repair estimates from multiple body shops to find a reasonable price. Here’s how to request a cost estimate:

  1. Speak to your insurance agent. Find out if your insurance company has a network of approved body shops. Your repairs may only be covered if you use an approved shop.

  2. Talk to friends and family. Word of mouth is a great way to find a trusted, affordable shop. Between insurer-approved body shops and personal recommendations, you should have a list of at least five options.

  3. Call your list of body shops. Describe your vehicle’s damage in detail. Ask them about the parts they use and their labor costs to better understand how expensive the job will be. You may need to wait a day or two to get a quote.

  4. Compare prices and choose. Once you have a list of estimates, choose a shop. Compare these prices to standard repair costs by doing online research. And look up online reviews and expert advice to determine which option provides the best service.

When car insurance pays for body repairs

Whether your car insurance company will cover body repairs depends on the type of insurance policy you have. Your insurer will generally cover your body repairs if you have a full-coverage policy.

For instance, say you damage your bumper in an at-fault accident. You’d need collision coverage for your insurer to cover this bumper repair because you were at fault.

Say your car sustains windshield damage during a hailstorm. Car insurance would cover the repairs to your windshield only if you have comprehensive coverage, which is included in full-coverage policies.

If you’re not at fault during an accident, the other driver’s liability insurance will typically cover your body repairs. Even in a no-fault state — where both parties must file claims with their insurance company after an accident (regardless of fault) — the other driver’s property damage liability will cover your repairs.

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When auto insurance won’t pay for body repairs

Drivers with liability-only insurance aren’t covered for vehicle damage if they cause an accident. Similarly, if your vehicle is damaged in a non-collision event like a natural disaster, having liability-only insurance means your repairs aren’t covered.

How to file an auto insurance claim for body repair

Filing an insurance claim for body repairs helps you avoid major out-of-pocket costs. Here’s how to file:

  1. Call your insurer as soon as possible. You can even call from the scene of the accident. Describe the accident, and let the agent know you’re ready to begin the claims process.

  2. Send your insurer photos and necessary documents. Most insurers make it easy to send pictures of the accident through their mobile app. You might also need to send them important paperwork, such as a police report.

  3. Track your claim. Over the next few days, your claims adjuster will determine the size of the claim. Figure out how much your insurer will cover. If you were at fault, you’ll need collision insurance to cover your claim. If you only have liability-only insurance, you must cover repairs out of pocket. If the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance will cover your claim.

  4. Decide on your next steps. Say it turns out that you were at fault, but you have collision coverage. Your insurance company says the claim is $1,200. Your deductible is $1,000. Decide if you want insurance to cover the $200 repair after out-of-pocket costs or if you want to pay it yourself.

If your claim estimate is only slightly higher than your deductible, it might make sense to cover the repairs yourself. Your insurance premiums rise after a claim, so higher premiums down the line could offset any money you save in the interim by having insurance cover the claim.

Learn More: How Much Will Your Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car?

Learn More: How Much Will Your Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car?

Body work cost FAQs

If your car needs body shop repairs, this additional information may help as you research your options and compare estimates.

  • How long does it take to get a body work estimate?

    The estimate process should take about 15 to 30 minutes after bringing your car to the shop. Still, many body shops are busy and may be unable to get you an appointment in the shop for a few days up to a week.

  • How accurate are body work estimates?

    Most reputable body shops will offer an accurate estimate. Still, it’s important to cross-reference any estimate with standard repair cost information found online and compare that estimate to estimates from other body shops in the area.

  • Why is auto body repair so expensive?

    Tight labor conditions and supply chain disruptions have led to higher labor and equipment costs for auto body shops.

  • Why do insurance companies deny body work claims?

    Car insurance companies can provide many reasons for denying a claim. Your policy may not cover the damage, you may not have filed your claim correctly, or the claim may exceed your coverage limits, for example.

Sources

  1. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Despite easing inflation, vehicle repair costs soar."
  2. The New York Times. "Why Car Repairs Have Become So Expensive."
  3. Cnbc.com. "Car repair costs are up almost 20% over the past year. Here's why."
A.M. Steinbach
A.M. SteinbachInsurance Writer

A.M. is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and content marketing strategist who's worked with major brands in insurance, tech, finance, and healthcare. He also contributes to The Average Joe, a personal finance newsletter that reaches over 250,000 daily readers. Since 2019, he's written for Insurify, breaking down a diverse range of insurance topics into crisp, readable prose.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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