A collision is a stressful situation for anybody. Even a minor automobile mishap can dramatically change your life. To make things even worse, the method of arranging an accurate estimate for your auto restoration can be a major hassle. You ought to appease your insurer while at the same time make certain you’re getting your vehicle repaired correctly and completely. The car insurance policy is important to understand before you approach your insurer about the total cost of repairing your vehicle.
The Claims Adjuster
No matter if the accident is your fault or the fault of the other party, you’ll likely be questioned by a claims adjuster. Claims adjusters take photos of the car and ask for a description of what happened. Make sure they get complete photos of any damage to the car. This meeting determines how much you’ll get for your repair.
Estimating Compensation When It’s Not Your Fault
If you’re not to blame for the collision, it’s better to go with the opposite party’s car coverage before contacting your insurer. By doing this, you can dodge satisfying a deductible to your insurer. Take the damaged vehicle to a technician to receive an estimate of the amount it will cost to fix. Then, provide the assessment to your claims adjuster for approval.
It’s important to pick a reliable repairman who owns a reputable auto shop. Going to a friend or attempting to fix the vehicle by yourself will likely result in claim denial. Provided you aren’t liable, going through the other person’s insurer helps you avoid spending money on a deductible.
Insurers may desire for you to go to a preferred shop. If this happens, you can do what the insurer wants. It makes it an easier process, and the workshop will likely bill the insurer directly. This makes any negotiations between the mechanic and the insurer simple and streamlined.
However, after meeting with the mechanic recommended by the insurer, you don’t have to go to their auto shop. Ask for the preferred mechanic to prepare the estimated cost to fix your car, and find another shop that will perform the work for that rate. You are not required to use the insurance company’s preferred mechanic.
What to Do When the Fault Isn’t Clear
If you’re partially at fault or it isn’t clear who is, you should submit the claim to your own insurer. You’ll pay a deductible for getting your vehicle fixed, but there is also the chance that you’ll get a portion of the deductible returned. This may happen if the company agrees that you should get a reimbursement after reviewing the situation.
When it’s partially your fault, you won’t receive the total amount of the damages. You’ll have to provide whatever the insurer requires. You also may need to file in court if the case can’t be settled amicably.
Hire an injury lawyer if you don’t agree with your insurer. Many lawyers will examine your situation without charge. After a disaster, you’re not always capable of telling the degree of any injuries. You might be elated to be alive, and the insurer will try to resolve the case quickly before you wise up and get representation.
Negotiating a Total Loss
If you have a total loss declared, make sure to use sites like Kelly Blue Book to determine the car’s value at the time of the accident. You’ll want to include any of the options that came with your car, including navigation systems, leather seating and even the relatively age of all your tires.
Check the statutes for your state to determine if your insurer has an obligation to give you original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components. These components are guaranteed by the manufacturer to go with your vehicle, and the effectiveness of aftermarket parts is a hotly debated issue.
No Fault Insurance Claims
Some states have no-fault insurance laws, so it won’t matter who caused the accident. Both insurers have to pitch in to cover the losses on both sides. It’s crucial you know the laws that apply in your state. Find out what the insurer is legally obligated to pay you before submitting your repair claim. It can make a difference when dealing with insurance companies.