One of the most stressful and frustrating aspects of being in an automobile accident is getting your car repaired or settling your property damage claim if your car is considered a total loss (totaled). You must wait for the insurance company to come and appraise your car and asses the damage done to it. You may not be able to drive your car or be embarrassed by driving a damaged car. These are only some of the issues that can aggravate you.
You have two options when it comes to getting your car repaired if you had collision insurance on your car. Usually 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. By doing this you can begin the process immediately. You call your insurance company and get a claim set up as soon as you are able. Some companies will tell you to take your car to the body shop of your choice and send them the repair estimate.
This is easy because the body shop will take care of everything after you drop it off. They deal with the insurance company about any changes in the original estimate. Other insurance companies will send out an appraiser to take a look at your car and give you an estimate. You 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.
Why does it take so long? First you may not know who the at-fault insurance company is if you weren’t able to exchange information at the scene. It can take 7-10 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. Second, 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 the 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 are aggravating and headaches you don’t need. Then if liability is contested they will not pay for your car and you are back to dealing with your insurance company.
Source by Michael Schafer