Determining the cost of damage to your vehicle after an accident.
No one likes to be involved in a car accident. Alongside the stress and injury, there is a financial concern about how you’re going to get your vehicle back on the road and repaired. One of the most important steps in your insurance claim will be obtaining an estimated cost of damages to your vehicle. Your car insurance company will require you to have an approved damage estimate as part of your claim. Here’s what you should know about the process.
In order to pay for your damage, the insurance company must do an estimate on your vehicle. Most insurance companies have their own adjusters to visit your vehicle and assess the damage before approving a claim. If you can safely drive your car, you may be asked to take it to an inspection location to meet with the adjuster. If you are unable to drive it, they may be able to come to your home or body shop to complete the inspection.
An adjuster will examine your vehicle, taking numerous photos of the damaged areas. He or she will also want to ensure that the insurance company only pays for damages that occurred in the accident. Your policy is not liable to repair bumps and scratches that occurred before the accident. They will then write an estimated based on the actual cost of parts as well as an average labor rate for your area. Labor rates do vary from one area to the next, so the estimate may not be identical to other estimates you may receive.
If the body shop is unable to do the work for the amount on the estimate, the shop can file a supplemental request with the insurance company. The insurer will then review the amount of the estimate and negotiate a new price with the company.
Whatever the cost of repairs, you will be expected to pay your deductible before the insurance policy kicks in to effect.