Vehicle Insurance Repair Estimates – Adjusters Work For Insurance Company
Most standard auto and truck insurance policies include first-party property coverage. Depending on the size of your deductible, the coverage for repair or replacement of your vehicle will depend on estimates prepared by the body/repair shop.
Under most vehicle policies of insurance the company will be obligated to bring your vehicle back to the condition it was just prior to the accident. Insurance companies are not required to bring the vehicle back to its original new condition or value. Insurance companies and auto adjusters maintain a list of preferred auto body repair shops that can provide you and your insurance adjuster with a vehicle repair estimate.
Typically, these repair and auto body shops have earned their "preferred" status through providing insurance-friendly repair estimates for mostly the benefit of the insurance company. Keep in mind however that the burden of proof of the extent of damage to your vehicle and the necessary repairs that will be required rests with the insured. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company and normally seek to obtain the lowest-possible repair estimate while still being within the law. Because of the inherent and implicit conflict of interest between company and their preferred auto repair shops it always recommended that you receive a second estimate from your own mechanic or body shop if possible. Insurance Companies Use Of Aftermarket Parts
The insurance company is not legally required to use the same auto parts the car manufacturer used in making the vehicle. Even if that part was superior in quality to the more generic parts available in the secondary auto parts market. Remember the insurance company is under no legal duty to make your car new again – rather it is obligated to only bring back the vehicle to the condition it was just prior to the accident.
Since aftermarket parts are less expensive than replacing the damaged area with original equipment parts, the insurance company gets to saves money. However, the company should not gain this benefit at the expense of your safety. So, if you believe the aftermarket part is inferior with respect to safety, you have the right to refuse accepting the part and negotiate the difference in price with the insurance adjuster.
If the adjuster is not willing to accommodate your concerns, you can fight back by contacting the department of insurance or similar consumer protection agency and report the incident in full. If it is determined that the insurance company was engaged in fraud or unfair claims practices, they may be held liable for fines and in some cases, even punitive damages should the matter be brought to court. In most cases however, you will find the adjuster willing to work with you and come to a fair and reasonable adjustment of your claim. Car Accident Lawyers Negotiate Property Damage Claims
If you retained a personal injury lawyer to represent you in the car accident, the chances are your lawyer will handle your vehicles property damage claim and he or she will negotiate your property damage with the insurance company on your behalf and in your best interest. Most if not all accident lawyers will do this for no charge since they are also representing you on the personal injury portion of the case, which is where they will earn their fee.Dealing With Your Insurance Company – Property Damage Waivers
Not all vehicles are covered for property damage losses. The law requires drivers to carry liability coverage but first-party collision coverage is usually optional. In late 2010, mostly due to job loss and the worsening of economic conditions, most insurance companies are seeing more and more customers choose to waive their property damage coverage or raise their property deductible to the highest extent possible. Depending on your vehicles value, this can mean savings of hundreds of dollars in annual premium charges.
For more information on what to do if you have been involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, including knowing your legal rights and the consumer protections available to you, visit GotTrouble.com