So your car’s been beaten, battered, and trounced. Oh joy. Before you have a panic attack, take a deep breath and assess the situation. Fingers crossed, your car will be repaired in no time. But what about making your collision repair insurance claims? Do you know how to go about contacting your insurance agency, making a claim, and properly paying the mechanics? It’s not as complicated as you might think.
How to Make Collision Repair Insurance Claims
Let’s get right to it!
If you’ve been in a car accident and no one is injured (because of course, medical attention comes before car troubles), you should call the non-emergency phone number for the police and then talk to any other parties involved. Exchange license plate numbers, contact information, and auto insurance information (use your insurance identification card to get all the important info). It is also a good idea to get the contact information of witnesses willing to help out.
Once the police arrive, insist on a traffic accident or incident report. Some police officers will shrug it off if the damage appears to be less than $500, but it is always a good idea to get the incident down in writing. You don’t want the other driver to change their story, especially if they are the negligent party. The record forces insurance companies to trust the written story (not whatever story their policyholder tells), and if you are not at fault, a record of the incident keeps your insurance agency from raising your rates unfairly.
After that, either drive your car to a repair shop (if possible) or have it towed. Contact your insurance agency and let them walk you through the process of filing your collision repair insurance claims. Even if you weren’t at fault, you should still make this call. You’re more likely to get prompt, satisfying service from your own insurance carrier. Afterward, you can contact the other driver’s carrier to get reimbursed for any other needed expenses (such as your deductible, time off work, amount of your diminished resale value, etc.).
Be sure to write down your version of events so that if the other driver’s insurance company calls with collision repair insurance claims, you’ll have a consistent statement. Don’t change your story once you’ve recited it to either insurance company.
Then, either an adjuster will be sent to look at the car by the insurance agency or you will be referred to a specific, approved body shop. You can go to that approved body shop if you want, but you are not required to by law. You are allowed to take your car to any body shop you like. Either the adjuster or the mechanic will tell the insurance agency the estimated cost for repairs and the insurance company will send a check to cover the cost, omitting the deductible amount (which you will pay upon picking up your car).
If you think the damage settlement is too low, you can initiate a dispute that will take 2-6 weeks to resolve.
Of course, if you work with a repair shop that’s experienced in collision repair, like Dings ‘n Things, making collision repair insurance claims is superbly simple. Once you bring in your car, the body shop will negotiate insurance claims on your behalf. Because the shop is not affiliated with any particular insurance agencies, we work for you. No matter what your insurance agency, we can work with you and give you the best repair possible. Just give us a call at 417-886-0151.