Winter weather drives body shop business

By WEEK Producer

January 9, 2014 Updated Jan 9, 2014 at 9:21 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Its one of the busiest times of the year at Collision Revision body shop in Peoria

"We're seeing about a 10 to 15 percent increase (in business) in the winter time," said shop manager Eric Lanser. "With the snow and ice we've picked up tremendously in the last month."

This weather might be bad for driving but its good for business. The technicians here have 40 damaged cars waiting to be repaired.

Just like everything else collision repair is getting more expensive. Part of the reason is technology. There are more bells and whistles on new cars.

"Almost all of the cars now have tire pressure monitoring systems. (On) a lot of these with suspension damage we're having to replace sensors and trace them to find out if one is bad or they're all bad from the impact," Lanser explained.

And as repairs get more expensive so can insurance.

Laurie Martin of the Dempster Insurance Agency says if it's a small fender bender and the only damage is to your car you might come out ahead by not filing a claim and paying to fix it yourself.

"If you've been accident-free for a few years you're probably getting a discount from your insurance company," said Martin. "If you have an at-fault accident you're probably going to lose that discount. It could be 10 or 15 percent of your policy premium."

Which could cost more than the repairs over time.