2 Critical Reasons to Avoid Default Auto Insurance Claims
You’ve seen the ads on TV by that name brand auto insurance company that promises that if you have an accident, they’ll “take care of” you at one of their collision centers. When things sound too good to be true, guess what?
Insurance companies are businesses and businesses are all about the bottom line, so that means cutting costs to increase profits.
This also means that you likely won’t get the best results from using one of their shops.
And you definitely can’t trust the other driver’s insurance company (in most cases) to offer you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Were you in a life altering car accident? Contact attorney Rob Kornfeld for a free consultation to make sure you get proper compensation.
It’s bad enough that another driver injured you, don’t get wrecked again by a bad insurance company repair job.
Avoid Default Auto Insurance Claims
#1 Shops associated with insurance companies are not on your side
Even if the insurance company doesn’t have their own proprietary body shop, they will likely have a roster of “preferred” shops they’ll try to make you use. This is not the shop you want because they’ve aligned themselves with an insurance company and get a volume of business from them as a result. That means that rather than preparing an estimate that will get your car back to pre-crash condition, they may offer an estimate that fits the insurance company’s expectations of what they want to pay.
#2 Insurance company estimates may rely on low-quality parts
If your car is new or just a year or so old, you want OEM parts (parts made by the auto manufacturer). Otherwise, your warranty may be voided or your resale value may be compromised. But to effect a cheaper repair, insurance estimates may rely on aftermarket parts (those that will fit your car but are not made by the manufacturer) or used parts (also called LKQ that are taken off of wrecked cars in junkyards). If your car is older, aftermarket parts may be okay, but LKQ are not recommended.
#3 You have the right to choose your own shop – here’s how
Just because the insurer pushes you to accept their estimate as the end-all, be-all does not mean you should. You have the right by law to have your vehicle repaired wherever you want. The insurance company will likely send an adjuster out and they will make a preliminary estimate. From there, find a reputable shop that’s independent of the insurance company to get a fair and accurate estimate. Look for a shop that’s been around for at least a decade, has excellent reviews and is local, not a chain.
When you’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault, you do not want to turn to your own insurance to fix the damage to your car. First, the other driver should pay for what they did to your car. Second, if you use your insurance, you’ll have to pay the deductible. Third, claims raise your premiums. It can be bad enough to deal with your own insurance company for a claim, but you can definitely expect the other driver’s insurance company to try and get off cheap.
You must be very careful after a car accident where you were seriously injured. You do not want to speak to the other driver’s insurance company other than to tell them where the car is. You do have to let them see your car, but don’t have to be present when they do so. Just tell them where it is and when they can access it. They may try and get you to sign documents releasing them from liability for your injuries or that say that the payment to repair your car is all you’ll get.