If you are in need of collision repair now or the near future, chances are you are worried about how the coronavirus might hinder getting your car back. In uncertain times it can be scary to not have access to your personal transportation. It’s never a convenient time to get into an accident, but this is definitely the worst time. As of this moment, we are still open for business.
With the coronavirus shutting down business both locally and overseas, who knows for how long that will last. But people still need to drive to essential jobs, get their families food, which means cars are being wrecked. Currently, cars are still coming into our shop, and we are prepared to fix them and are still meeting our deadlines.
With that said, these shutdowns may mean the supply chain is disrupted for a while. Especially if you drive a foreign car where most of the parts are manufactured overseas. While ports aren’t shut down currently, there is a 25% reduction in the number of containers sailing out of China, and they are struggling with their own internal trucking infrastructure. In addition to the ports, the factories in China have also faced a reduction in staff to prevent more spreading of the virus, and that means slower production.
Domestic vehicles aren’t safe either. If you vehicle is a domestic brand built in the US, in all cases, some portion of the parts are still made overseas. This also includes replacement crash parts that are often damaged in accidents- parts such as headlights, taillights, and wiring harnesses. These parts are still in current supply, but there is a risk that could change.
Shipping routes will re-open, and when they do, it will take forty days to ship a container from Shanghai to New York City. After that shipment arrives, it has to pass through customs, and then it moves through a series of warehouses and truck routes before parts finally make it to our local jobbers.
Another disruption could be in the form of any of our vendors following the quarantine protocol of shelter in place. While this seems to vary by state and by individual business, we know of several suppliers such as our paint vendors that have been told that they have a work from home plan in place.
The same is true for the insurance company field adjusters who have also been given work from home orders.
As for right now, our employees are all healthy and showing up to work every day, business as usual. From a labor standpoint, we are still all hands on deck, and cars are still getting cars towed-in every day. Estimates are being given, repair plans are being written, and we are scheduling jobs as usual, but all of these factors outlined above are required for us to repair your vehicle.
Concerns for you, the customer.
As of right now, the insurance companies haven’t given us any indication of extended rental coverage in the case of a forced shutdown. Most policies have a cap on the length of rental, but we’ve never had to deal with a situation where shops across the country are forced to shut down. So, we have no idea whether you will be asked to turn the rental in or if the insurance companies will continue to cover your rental. We have no control over that since we only fix the vehicle.
As for right now, it is still business as usual, and it is difficult to predict what the future holds, just know that it might take longer to fix your car in the near future.
We value your safety and our quality of work in the meantime. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here for you.