How a Skilled Panel Beater Can Save an Insurance Write-Off

Posted on: 3 November 2020

If you ever have to buy new parts for your car or truck at a dealer, you'd quickly calculate that the sum of every individual fitted part would cost substantially more than the value of the vehicle. It's unsurprising, therefore, that so many vehicles are written off by an insurance company when they have sustained a certain amount of damage in an accident. Is a relatively minor crash a death sentence for your vehicle, or could it be saved by an expert panel beater?


While an insurance company may get the final say when it comes to a repair decision, you can sometimes sway their choice one way or another by talking to a panel beater first. They may take a look at the specific damage and confirm that they could indeed repair a large panel by shrinking or straightening the metal instead. That might bring the overall bill down and save your vehicle from the salvage lot.


Much will depend, of course, on the actual panel itself. Many of the larger parts (including the quarter panel), are made from mild steel or aluminium and can certainly be repaired. Some may have high-strength steel and be a part of the load-bearing design, however, and a repair, in those circumstances, would not be recommended.

Skilled Approach

A skilled panel beater will use a gas torch burning a mixture of oxygen and acetylene, as this produces a very high temperature flame and can be used sparingly. They'll use a purpose-made body hammer in the one hand and a dolly in the other so that they can manipulate the surface of the metal from the front and the back.

Restoring Strength

In this case, the panel beater will want to restore the temper of the metal to bring it back to its original specification. It will require a very specific approach, and once they have heated up the metal next to the affected area, they will hit the area with a hammer and dolly to thicken around the dent. It's a very skilled process and does take some time, but generally, they will be able to restore the panel to its former strength once again.

Saving the Day

See if a skilled panel beater can come to your assistance and can repair certain panel damage. As always, talk with the expert to get their guidance. Contact local panel beaters to learn more.