Whether you’re involved in a minor collision or your car is totaled, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to insurance. Assuming you have adequate coverage from a reputable insurance company, getting your car repaired quickly and properly doesn’t have to be a lengthy ordeal.
the types of coverage that pay for your car repairs
Collision and comprehensive coverage are often optional coverages that pay for repairs to your vehicle after an accident. These protections come with a deductible, usually around $250, $500 or $1,000. The lower your deductible, the higher your premiums, but the less you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you file a claim.
Reading: How much will insurance pay to fix my car
In the event of a total loss, your insurer will pay your claim up to the actual cash value of your car, which is your car’s original purchase price less depreciation. these are not required by law, but may be required by your finance or leasing company.
Having comprehensive and collision coverage is considered “full coverage”. whether they are worth it to you depends on the value of your car. If you have a newer model, it pays to get comprehensive coverage because the value you stand to lose is greater if your car is destroyed.
These coverages are all different from liability insurance, which covers damage to another person’s car or property, as well as bodily injury, resulting from an accident you caused. drivers in all states are required by law to have this coverage, although the minimum required limits may vary.
what to do after an accident
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After a car damaging event, you should immediately contact the following authorities:
“Insurance needs to get involved immediately,” said Nicholas Cronauer, attorney for Charles E. Cronauer & associates “insurance companies generally assess who is at fault among themselves, based on the statement of their policyholders and the police report.”
A claims adjuster will soon be assigned to your case, and will likely be your primary point of contact throughout the claim resolution/remediation process. this person:
who pays to fix their car
If the other driver is at fault, you can choose to have your insurer handle your claim; But if they’re uncooperative or unresponsive, he can opt to have his insurer pay for his repairs (minus his deductible).
In this case, your insurer will seek compensation (including reimbursement of your deductible) from the other company through intercompany arbitration or a process called subrogation. If there is a dispute over who is at fault, insurers can sue each other in court to recover the claim money paid to the insured.
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If the damage is minimal (usually less than $1,000), no injuries occurred, and no other personal property/vehicles were involved, you can always choose to pay for the repairs yourself without filing a claim. Filing a claim may increase your auto insurance quotes in the future because insurers see you as a riskier policyholder to insure.
choosing an auto repair shop
The advantage of going with an insurer-recommended repair center is that the insurer “has an established relationship with that company, is familiar with their work and can trust them,” said bob passmore, assistant vice president of personal lines for the property casualty insurers association of america. “but you should always feel comfortable with who you choose for repairs.”
Some insurers also offer a repair guarantee if you choose a repair shop in their preferred network.
Consequently, it may be wise to provide your insurer with repair quotes from a few different repair shops.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing a repair center:
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