Tips for Obtaining A Car Damage Estimate
Most people feel very lucky to escape any automobile accident without sustaining injuries. But they feel much less lucky when they see the damage done to their automobile and realize that they need to obtain a car damage estimate in order to file a claim to get money to cover those needed repairs from their insurance carrier. Because each insurance carrier has its own procedure for getting damage estimates, it’s very important to contact your local insurance company representative for advice on how best to proceed. If you don’t follow the instructions given by your insurance company, you may find that your claim to repair your automobile’s damages are invalidated.
Who Pays for Damages
If the other driver’s insurance company accepts the blame that their client was at fault for the accident, they will pay for repairing your vehicle but this may take several weeks of time, slowing down the repair process on your vehicle. Usually most drivers use the collision coverage on their own insurance policy regardless of who was at fault, paying their deductible up front and eventually being reimbursed that amount by the other driver’s insurance company. If you do not have rental reimbursement as a feature on your policy, you will also be responsible for any costs associated with renting another vehicle while your car is being repaired. If the other party was uninsured or the accident was hit and run, the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy will cover your repairs.
Only get estimates from professional and reliable mechanics or you risk having your insurance claim adjuster reject them. If your car has been totalled or is not safe to drive, inform your insurance company of where it has been towed or stored in order to schedule an inspection by one of their insurance adjustors. Some insurance companies may recommended what is called a preferred shop for you to request an estimate because they trust the opinions offered by these specialists. It’s a good idea to get a quote from this preferred shop as well as one from your regular body shop and submit both quotes with your insurance claim. If your insurance company does not have on-site evaluators, they may require you to do the legwork of getting cost estimates from as many as three different repair shops and then submit a check for the lowest quote in order to your to get repair work started on your vehicle.
Getting on the Road Again
Once your insurance company has approved a specific repair quote, it’s important to determine when the repair shop will be ready to begin the necessary work and the timeframe for getting your car returned. Before turning over any payments to the repair shop from the insurance company, be sure you are satisfied that all agreed-upon work has been completed to your satisfaction. If you have questions about any portion of the bill that you are responsible for, check with your insurance agent. Keep good records of any charges you incurred after the accident such as towing expenses or car rental so you can check to see if these qualify for reiumbursement under the terms of your automobile policy.