Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle collision learns the ins and outs of working with your insurance provider to get your car repaired and back on the road. As a full service auto repair shop, we handle hundreds of repairs over the years on all shapes and sizes of vehicles including RVs.
We’ve learned some helpful tips over the years that we’d like to share. If these tips are news to you, then hopefully it can help reduce some of the stress associated with filing an accident claim with your insurance provider. Otherwise, they may serve as good reminders for anyone who’s been through this before.
1). You may be able to choose which insurance company to use. If you carry full insurance coverage and you are not “at fault”, then you can choose whether to use your own insurance or the insurance carried by the other party involved. Consider both options, then choose the insurance provider with the best benefits.
2). You can keep the money. You can reject the auto body work or repairs and keep the money from the insurance company instead. As long as you own your car outright, and your car is not totaled, then you can choose whether or not to repair your vehicle. Upon finding out what the repair is worth on their car, some people choose to accept the cash and live with the cosmetic flaw of the vehicle since it doesn’t affect any actual functions of the car. Damage that affects safety features, how your vehicle operates, handles, or drives would need to be fixed by a reputable mechanic.
3). You can use whatever auto shop you want. While most auto insurance providers have preferred businesses that they like to work with, and will recommend to you when filing a claim, you are by no means required to use those businesses. There may be some small hoops to jump through, such as getting the bid approved by the insurance provider, but you are in control of this aspect.
4). You can keep your totaled car. If the cost of repairs on your vehicle exceed the value of your car, then your car is deemed totaled. However, if the car still runs and you are able to limp it around or salvage it for parts, it’s probably worth keeping even though its value has gone way down. Either way, your insurance provider will still pay you fair market price for your vehicle.
5). Insurance providers may try to undervalue your vehicle. If your car is totaled, then your insurance provider will tell you what they think your car is worth, and offer to pay you that amount. Do your homework, and find out what your car as actually worth. Chances are good that their valuation is slightly below fair market price. You are not required to accept their initial offer. You have the ability and legal right to negotiate with them until both of you agree what the value of the car is.
If your vehicle has sustained damage due to a collision with another vehicle, or whatever the case may be, we invite you to give us a call at (281) 812-3085 to find out how we can help. We will be able to explain what your options are and, if possible, we’ll get your car back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
CC image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil at Flickr