How to Go Through Your Auto Insurer to Get Repairs Done
Last Updated on December 26, 2020
After a car accident, it’s important to get your car repaired so you can drive safely. Luckily, your car insurance company will cover the cost of the repairs as long as they fall within your coverage limits. However, you’ll need to make sure that follow the car insurance company’s procedures so that you can be properly reimbursed. Here’s how to go through your car insurance company to get the repairs you need.
Make a Claim
The first thing you need to do is file a claim with your car insurance company. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible after the accident, while you have all the details fresh in your mind. The sooner you file the claim, the sooner you will be reimbursed. Some insurance companies allow you to file a claim online, but many will require that you do so over the phone.
Right after the accident, there are a few key things you’ll need to do in order to increase the chances of your claim being accepted. First, you should make sure to never admit fault. If you are able to, take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the accident, and ask witnesses for their contact information if there are any nearby that are willing to help. You’ll also need to obtain a copy of the police report. After you get home, write down what happened during the accident in as much detail as possible. All of this information will be very valuable later on as the insurer is processing your claim.
Filing a claim is typically fairly self-explanatory. You’ll need to provide information about what happened during the accident, as well as your driver’s license number, car registration information, policy number, and contact information. While filing a claim, check with your insurance company to see what repair information you will need for reimbursement.
Select the Right Auto Repair Shop
Next, you’ll need to find an auto repair shop you trust. In general, your car insurance company cannot require you to use a specific auto repair shop. However, if you are leasing a car, your lender may have requirements about where you can get repairs, so be sure to check with them. Your car insurance company will likely have a list of recommended auto repair companies, which you can use for reference.
There are a few key things to consider before selecting an auto mechanic to fix your car. The first is their expertise and trustworthiness. This is why it’s helpful to check in with your car insurance company to see who they’ve used for repairs in the past. You can also check with organizations like AAA or the Better Business Bureau to see who has good ratings.
It’s also important to consider the price of the repairs. While you shouldn’t necessarily go with the cheapest repairman you can find, you also will want to ensure that you aren’t being overcharged for your repairs. Get quotes from a few different repair shops to get an idea of what a fair price is for the services that you need. You’ll also want to get a detailed explanation directly from the service provider of the repairs you need and how they will fix your car’s damage. This will give you an idea of their level of expertise and trustworthiness.
Once you’ve found a mechanic you like, schedule an appointment. You’ll need to do this within the time frame set out by your car insurance company. If you wait too long, they could have reason to deny your claim. You may need to find a towing service to get your car to the shop – check with your insurance company to see if they will cover towing and if they have any recommended service providers.
Get the Required Documentation for Your Repairs
You’ll need to make sure your repairs are appropriately documented, otherwise, the insurance company could deny your claims. Check-in with them to see what they need – at the very least, you will need a receipt from the auto shop. However, in some cases, you may also need an itemized receipt with prior approval from your insurance company. In this case, you may need to give them a copy of the estimate as well as the final receipt.
Once you have the documentation ready, you can typically submit it via fax or email, or even upload it directly to your insurance company’s claim tracker. Be sure to double-check how to submit this information, and include the appropriate claim number so that your documentation doesn’t get lost. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a deductible before the insurance company can release your funds.
If the claims process seems to be taking a long time, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the insurance company. Many large insurers have a claims tracking section on their website, so you can see exactly where your claim is in the process. Talking to an agent directly is the most effective way to address any problems and ensure that your claim gets solved in a timely fashion.
Do I Have to Repair My Car?
If the damage to your vehicle is only minor, you may wonder if you have to repair your car. In general, you should repair your car if you are going to file a claim with your insurance company. If you don’t get your car repaired and pocket the insurance claim money, you may not be eligible to continue your collision or comprehensive coverage. You also will need to get your car repaired if you have a lease or loan out on it, as most lenders require this. If you don’t want to get your car repaired, your best option is not to file a claim. This will also prevent your car insurance premiums from going up.
Getting the repairs you need will help you stay safe on the road after an accident. Luckily, your insurance company should be able to reimburse the cost of your repairs.