Imagine you’re driving along on a rainy summer day or snowy winter night when a deer runs out in front of you. You manage to stop in time, but the car behind you doesn’t. You think the other driver should have to pay for your damage, and you’re probably right, but how exactly does it work? Continue reading to learn more about the insurance claims process and what you’re able to get reimbursed for.
New Car Value
If you were hoping for a brand new car after your accident, you’re probably out of luck. The most you can receive for accident damage is the current value of your car. This applies whether you’ve had the car for ten days or ten years.
The one exception is if you purchased new car replacement coverage. When you buy a new car, this optional coverage covers you for a set number of days or miles. During that time, if your car is totaled in an accident, you’ll be able to get a new car as a replacement rather than the current value of your car.
Your Car’s Current Value
You can receive a check for the current value of your car when it’s totaled. Totaled means your insurance company has decided the repairs are too expensive to be worth it. You’ll sign over your car’s title for salvage, and they’ll write a check for what it was worth before the accident.
The cutoff for totaling a car varies by insurance company. It’s usually when the repair costs are somewhere around 70 percent or more of the car’s value.
For less serious accidents, your insurance company will cover your repair costs. Depending on which company you use, you may need to take your car to a preapproved body shop who will take care of everything, or you may need to get estimates and submit them for approval.
Remember that you don’t need to accept your insurance company’s first estimate or offer. Sometimes, the body shop may find damage that the adjuster couldn’t see on their first examination. In that case, your insurance company should approve the additional work as long as you provide documentation. However, if you get work done before your insurance company approves it, they may not reimburse you.
Don’t Forget Your Deductible
Don’t forget that you’ll need to pay your deductible if you’re making a collision or comprehensive claim. If the insurance company is writing you a check, they may automatically reduce it by your deductible. If they’re paying for repairs or to pay off your loan, you may need to write a check to your insurance company for the deductible amount.
If another driver was at fault for your accident, you might be able to get reimbursement for your deductible from them. This would usually involve making a claim against their liability coverage or taking them to court. If your insurance company had to pay for your accident and decides to go after the at-fault driver to get their costs reimbursed, they’d usually seek recovery of your deductible for you.
Get the Right Agent
As you can see, your insurance agent plays a big role in getting your auto accident damage claim covered. You don’t want to work with an insurance company that will deny your claim just to increase their profits. Frydach Insurance in Germantown, WI, believes in putting our customers first and honoring the policies that we sell. To learn more about our claims process or what coverage you need, talk to one of our agents today.