There are many frustrating aspects of being in an automobile accident. One of the most difficult to navigate is getting your car repaired or settling your property damage claim if your car is considered totaled. You will have to wait for the insurance company to appraise your car and assess the damage done to it. You may be unable to drive your car or you could be embarrassed to drive a damaged car. These are only some of the issues that you will encounter.
Car repair options
There are a couple of options when it comes to getting your car repaired if you have collision insurance on your car. The quickest way to get your car repaired, or to get reimbursed for the fair market value of the car if it has been totaled, is to go through your own insurance company. This will begin the process immediately. All you need to do is call your insurance company and get a claim set up as soon as you can. Some companies may tell you to take your car to the body shop of your choice and send them the repair estimate. The body shop you take your car to will take care of everything after you drop it off. They deal with the insurance company about any changes in the original estimate.
Another option involves the other party's insurance company. The other party's insurance company will send out an appraiser to take a look at your car and give you an estimate. You will then take that repair estimate to your body shop, and they work off of that estimate. If the body shop finds additional damage while repairing the car, they will contact the insurance company directly to get approval for the additional repairs.
By going through your insurance company, you will save time, but you will have to pay your deductible. Your insurance company will attempt to collect the deductible, as well as what they paid for the car repairs, back from the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you do it this way, you save time. You don’t have to wait on the at-fault insurance company.
If you choose to go through the at-fault party's insurance, it will take longer. It takes longer because you may not know who the at-fault insurance company is if you weren’t able to exchange information at the scene. If that's the case, it could take seven to 10 days to get the accident report and find out who the insurance company is if you didn’t get this information at the accident scene. Then, the other insurance company will want to take the statement of their insured prior to making payment for your car, or anything for that matter. This can take from days to weeks to even months. All this time you are without a car. The procedure with the at-fault insurance company is the same but these extra hoops that you are forced to jump through can be aggravating. Then, if liability is contested, they will not pay for your car and you are back to dealing with your insurance company.