Ask the expert

John and Theresa Kightlinger of My Body Shop

by John and Theresa Kightlinger of My Body Shop

Vehicles these days are as advanced as computers. They are loaded with modules, sensors, cameras, and microprocessors. Because state-of-the-art technology is involved, it has become necessary to know that, when an accident happens, your vehicle is repaired to pre-loss condition. Safety, function, performance and value are all at stake. That’s why we are writing this column. 

Basic rights – your vehicle, your choice

As a vehicle owner, be aware you do not have to take your vehicle to one of your insurance company’s preferred shops. You have the right to choose to take your car to the shop of your choice. Choose wisely. Seek out a shop that will look out for you and your family’s personal safety and economic well being. 

We recommend consumers seek recommendations from those they trust and respect and then visit the suggested repairer and interview them just as one would make any other important financial decision. Once you have made your selection, request a written estimate of required repairs which promises to restore your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. This estimate should then be presented to the paying party as your claim and demand for damages.

Note: Understand that an estimate is just that, an estimate. It’s not uncommon for additional and hidden damages to be discovered once repairs are started. For this reason be aware and make sure your insurer is aware that there may be additional damages, and costs may be forthcoming until all repairs are properly completed.

Have a question or experience you’d like answered or shared? Email And maybe we’ll select yours to answer in the next edition of ‘Ask the Expert.’

John and Theresa Kightlinger own My Body Shop at 401 N. Clinton St., Stockbridge. The couple has lived in the area and raised their children here over the past 20 years. John has been in the auto body business since 1985, and Theresa began work at General Motors after high school. Between the two, they have been working on cars for more than 75 years.

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