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Metro Atlanta automotive body shops hopping from storm damage

8:15 PM, Feb 3, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The ice may be gone but the headaches linger for motorists. The dents, bumps and fender benders, mean lots of claims and lots of work for body shops. 

We went to Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb Counties, visiting collision shops and business is way up, in some cases more than double. 

The guys at Classic Collision in Buckhead worked through the weekend. Chris Windish gave us a little tour.

 "Side impact, side swipe, a little quarter damage," he said, pointing to the Honda Civic that now sits in his shop.

The back lot filled up over the weekend with 60 more damages cars added Monday. 

"It's over there," Linda James said, walking to her damaged Subaru.  

She hit ice in a parking deck. 

"I was going forward but the back of the car didn't quite go forward and I just caught the pole coming out."

Fortunately the damage to her fender was minor.

Last week Georgia Public Safety had reported more than 1500 collisions on state roads but the numbers of claims are expected to be much higher. 

"We normally see about 110 cars a week, probably looking at over 200 cars, intake, this week alone," Windish said. 

It was the same story at a Gwinnett body shop, where business is up 50%. And over in Cobb County, State Farm is booked solid. 

David Thornton of State Farm says they have set up three processing locations around Metro Atlanta - Douglasville, Lithonia, and Marietta.

"Just over a thousand claims that have been reported to the agents offices, but it's just getting started," Thornton said.

State Farm says it has about 25 percent of the local insurance market and expects the total claims in Metro Atlanta to be more than 4000.

Geico had an representative at Classic Collision and by the end of the morning on Monday had already processed 40 claims.

Most repairs are minor and are expected to be fixed within days. 

"For the most part they should be pretty quick turn around jobs, they shouldn't be two or three weeks to get your car done," responded Windish. 

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