Who decides what will be fixed on my car? After an accident of other unfortunate incident (such as a hailstorm) the decision of what will be fixed on a damaged car is made after considering a number of factors. To get an answer, let’s first go through the steps immediately following an accident.
If you are involved in an accident, the initial step is to call the police. Take photographs of any damages with your cell phone. File an accident report with the police. Take no blame for the accident. Sign no statements except for authorities.
Next contact your insurance company. Get names, license numbers and insurance information. Also get the names of the injured and of witnesses.
What if the Accident is Your Fault?
Your insurance company will pay if you have collision or full coverage on your car. However, if you have purchased only liability coverage, you will be responsible for the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
What if the Accident is the Other Person’s Fault?
Since you have contacted your insurance company, they can help you get the other driver’s insurance company to accept responsibility and pay you for the damages done to your car.
If the other driver’s company does not pay for repairs within a reasonable period of time (after allowing the company sufficient opportunity to investigate the accident), if you have collision coverage, you have the option to have your insurance company pay to have your car fixed. You will be responsible for the deductible (an amount you chose when you set up your policy, usually between $500 and $1,000). The deductible will be reimbursed after the other insurance company accepts fault . . . if they ever do accept fault.
What if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses to Pay?
Your recourse is to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you if their insurance company refuses to pay.
How Much Will the Insurance Company Pay?
The value of your car will be determined by the Blue Book, which is available from the Kelley Blue Book or from the National Association of Automobile Dealers.
As you can imagine, insurance companies will not pay to repair a vehicle if those costs would exceed the vehicle’s book value, even if it is still possible for you to drive the vehicle without the repairs. This is especially true of an older car. For example, if the projected costs to repair your car are $2,000, but your car only has a book value of $1,500, you will instead receive the book value of your car from the insurance company.
If your insurance company determines that your car is a total loss, you may elect to keep the car (perhaps deciding to repair the car on your own dime), but you will need to deduct the salvage value of the car from the proceeds you receive from your insurance company.
A good tip: realize that insurance policies, practices, and laws surrounding what will be fixed on a car are complex. Insurance coverage varies wildly from company to company. Laws are vastly different from state to state. Your independent agent is educated as to the law and has a wide range of companies to provide coverage options.
Don’t try to handle your insurance without an agent you trust.
Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Auto Claims:
Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.
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