How Do I Determine My Car’s Value And Cost Of Repair?
To optimize your insurance claim, understand the valuation and repair process
After an automobile accident, you want to make sure that you are adequately paid for the repair or for the value of your totaled car. Here’s how.
When you file your claim, your insurance company will refer you to a claims adjuster, who will verify the loss and make an initial determination on what it will cost to repair the car.
- The adjuster’s estimate is a benchmark, not a total claim payment. The insurance company will not expect you to accept their adjuster’s estimate until you’ve established to your own satisfaction that it will cover the cost of repair, so don’t feel pressured.
- The insurer will expect you to get at least one estimate from your mechanic, garage or car dealer, to compare to theirs.
- Your insurance company may opt to pay for the lowest bid, so don’t be surprised. Just as you want to be sure your car is adequately repaired, they want to make sure they don’t pay a grossly inflated repair bill. Note that one factor that could reduce the amount of your claim for a repair job is what insurance companies call betterment. If your old car is repaired with brand-new parts, your insurer may argue that the repairs have actually enhanced the car’s value and therefore they can legitimately reduce your claim by the difference between a used part and a new one.
- Your insurer can’t require you to have repairs done at a particular shop, but they can insist that you get more than one estimate for the work to be done on your car if they feel the estimate you received is too high.
- You can negotiate, if necessary. You don’t have to accept it if you believe the amount won’t adequately repair your car. Don’t hesitate to make your points with with the adjuster if the repair estimate is too low based on what your mechanic has told you.
Contact us for all of your insurance needs!
Illinois and Wisconsin residents, at R Hobbs Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (847) 680-0888 or send us a note at [email protected]. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!
Content source: iii.org