If you’ve been in an auto accident, the car might not be at the top of your list of priorities. You might have to deal with a court case, medical issues, and expenses, plus the mental trauma of the event. Car accidents can be devastating, yet eventually, we need to get the car itself repaired or replaced. With the involvement of insurance firms and lawyers, this part can seem more complicated than it actually is. Likewise, there are plenty of dishonest companies out there who will try to pressure you into a specific repair or shop. Is this something you actually have to accept though? Probably not. Let me give you 4 quick pointers on how to best handle car repairs after an accident.
1. You Can Choose Which Insurance to Go Through
As long as you aren’t at fault for the accident, you have the option of choosing which insurer to go through. If you feel like the other person insurance isn’t adequate for your needs, you can choose to go through your own insurer. Note that this might mean you need to pay the excess fee though. This is an option to think about deeply before committing either way because obviously the cost and hassle of claiming through your own insurance (not to mention any loss of no claims bonus) can sting. On the other hand, your insurance may offer you much better and deeper coverage, and you’re the one dealing directly with the insurer so you know exactly how things are progressing.
2. You May be Allowed to Choose Your Own Repairer
When your car needs repairing, the insurer will usually offer you a garage or suggest a few alternatives. By all means, you can consider these places, but if you want somewhere specific, you’re within your rights to say so. Some people trust their regular mechanic more than anybody else, while others have specialist cars and will only allow specific personnel to work on them. Then there are people who want to use a specialist garage, or who demand a highly skilled mechanic or body shop. Whatever your reasons, the point is this: you can choose your own auto body repair shop.
3. The Option to Take Cash Exists
Maybe you want to do the repairs yourself, or even just leave them be? Perhaps the cash would be preferred? Well, the good news is that insurers give you the option of a cash payout which would be equivalent to what they would’ve spent on the repairs. You can use this cash however you want to, just remember that it settles and closes your claim immediately.
4. Negotiation is Possible
You don’t have to blindly accept what your insurer says. There is scope for negotiation, especially if you can produce evidence to back your point up. This could be proof of modifications which have raised the value of the car or proof that the amount the insurer is offering wouldn’t cover the required repairs at standard market rates. Discuss the situation with your insurer and be upfront with them.