The process of getting your car repaired after an accident can vary depending on the nature of the accident, the insurance companies involved, and their policies. In this article, we are going to learn about some of the most common elements that you might experience during the process of getting your car repaired, and learn as well as options for how to handle any disputes that may come along the way.
Determine Who Is At Fault
This is the first step because it is important to determine who is at fault in the car accident. This will also help you determine how the fault can affect the ways insurance companies handle the car insurance claims.
If it is the other driver’s fault, his or her auto insurance would be responsible for covering the costs of car repair. The insurance policy of the driver at fault can pay only up to the limits of the driver’s policy. If the car repair cost exceeds the insurance policy’s limit, that leaves for uncovered costs. To protect yourself from the other driver’s low-limit car insurance or even a total lack of car insurance, you can purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you have comprehensive and collision insurance, your collision coverage can help cover the exceeding costs of the at-fault driver’s car insurance limit.
If the accident is your fault, you can tap onto your collision and comprehensive coverage. Its either you caused the car accident whether or not another car was involved, such as skidding on an icy road and crashing into a telephone pole, or the accident happened while your car was parked, such as a tree fell on your car. You can opt to pay for your own car repairs especially when the repairs are too expensive, to avoid filing a claim because filing a claim against your own policy can lead to increased car premiums.
Making a Claim
After you determine who is at fault and deciding you’re going to file a claim, the next steps can vary depending on the situation and your car insurance company’s policy. You would need to get a vehicle inspection. Some companies send trained inspectors while other companies may allow you to get the vehicle inspected at Fresno Auto Body Repair. Some companies may require you use a specific repair shop.
Next, the repair cost for the damages must be estimated. It is similar to the vehicle inspection process. The damage estimation will either be handled by a trained inspector or an auto repair shop. Sometimes insurance company inspectors and auto repair shop may disagree on the estimate. Usually, they would meet and come to a fair estimate.
After inspection, repair estimates, and the car has been restored, the insurance company then covers the car repair costs. Again it would depend on the car company’s policies. Some would allow that you cover the repair costs yourself and then seek reimbursement or you can let them send a check to the auto repair shop.
Car Insurance Disputes
Sometimes, things don’t turn out exactly as planned. There are three options when filing a dispute – mediation, arbitration, and small claims court. Arbitration is more binding and may require an attorney. Small claim court is similar to arbitration but doesn’t require an attorney. Mediation offers a solution but neither party is required by law to accept the offered solution.