and a $700 tax for being so pretentious
Something to do with the harmonic convergence.
...labor intensive. My wife's old 1990 Camry has rust over each wheel well. A guy I know who owns a body shop (and does stunning work) told me it would cost $4,000 to $6,000 to make it look new again--which is why he hasn't repaired even his own '88 Camry.
A $900 repair estimate is worth a call to her carrier. (she needs to do that ASAP). Her deductible is probably $500. The claims person can tell her if her rates will rise by making a claim. Not sure if Illinois is a no-fault state, but if it is, she may even recoup the deductible.
Many scratches can be buffed to the point where you can no longer see them without careful examination.
My last car got keyed the entire length of the car, from fender to quarter panel, but they didn't use enough pressure to get through the clear. A day with a random orbital buffer, a bottle of rubbing compound and a bottle of polishing compound, and the scratch was all but invisible.
"a day", at shop rates, may well be 900 bucks...
Hell, I've got a guy with a truck that from 20 feet away looks like it has a few scratches, but he got hit by the unluckiest motorist ever to the tune of about 8 grand to her insurance company (bent the frame, ripped off the trailing arm attachment point, bent the rear differential housing to the point the truck will likely never drive straight again, and looks like it has a few tiny scratches in the paint. Part of the problem is it's a truck that was never actually imported to the US, and so all the replacement parts are coming from England. Another part of the problem is that the truck was built in England.)
...with a random orbital buffer, and it sounds like my scratch was much longer.
A professional with a high speed rotary buffer should be much faster.
More to the point is that scratch may be repairable at home with a little time and effort.
It sounds like it runs from the rear quarter panel to the door so they have to repaint both the rear quarter panel and the door. Shop rate is probably around $90 bucks per hour and they are planning on 10 hours of time. As you know in this town there are guys that know guys that can get it done for less but it will probably be the first Prius they have ever seen
to repair a scratch that long? That's a lot of labor.
that repairing even small dents can be very labor intensive. For example, to repair a small ding about the size of a dime can require that you sand an area the size of a salad plate. Moreover, if you need to repaint, you need to repaint the entire affected area to a break line (a hard bend in the sheet metal or to the end of a panel) in order to make sure you cannot tell any difference in the paint.
If this scratch is deep enough to require any filling and it affects a couple of panels on the body (like the rear quarter panel and then the door), and those need to be repainted, suddenly $900 seems not so high.
I just got a scratch om my door repaired. It was about an inch long and not all the way through the paint. That was $600 (my mechanic paid for it because it happened at their shop). If her scratch is on two surfaces (panel and door), the price will go up.
I got an estimate of about $1200 to repair a rectangle of missing paint on the rear quarter panel that's about 1 x 2". That is not getting fixed.
It is worth her while to get a couple of estimates from reputable shops.