Answers to Your Most Important Car Insurance Questions
1. What is a collision deductible?
When it comes to auto insurance, a deductible is a specific amount you must pay before coverage kicks in. When it comes to collision, this covers instances where you collide with a fixed object, whether another vehicle or a fence, tree, or traffic sign.
For example, if you’re at fault in a fender bender, the damage totals $3,000, and you have a $500 deductible, the insurance company will only pay $2,500. This means you’ll have to come up with the remaining $500 before your car can be restored to its previous condition.
2. How do I file a claim after a car accident?
You’ll need to file a formal claim after a car accident by contacting your insurance carrier’s claims department. If you don’t have their direct number, you can typically call customer support and ask the representative to transfer you to the correct department.
During your initial call, you’ll need to provide details about the accident (e.g., where it occurred, what happened leading up to the incident, potential injuries, etc.), indicate if you filed a police report, and provide any other parties’ contact information and insurance details.
3. Is it worth filing an auto insurance claim for body repair?
The first step when determining whether or not you should file an insurance claim to repair your vehicle’s damage is to obtain estimates from several (three, ideally) body shops. Doing so can help you determine the total cost and whether or not it will exceed your deductibles.
For example, if you find that it will cost $1,300 to repair your car, but you have a $500 deductible, you can decide if you should pay the remaining $800 out of pocket and avoid a potential insurance rate increase. Or, if money’s tight, you might choose to go ahead and file a claim to have your vehicle repaired for as little out-of-pocket costs as possible.
4. Should I choose the insurance company’s body shop or one on my own?
Most major insurance companies have a list of “preferred” auto body shops that guarantee their work and often provide discounted rates compared to “non-preferred” shops. But while it might be a wise idea to deal with a shop that has an established relationship with the insurance company, you’re under no obligation and can choose any shop you like.
Before deciding on a non-preferred shop, though, make sure you read online customer reviews from a variety of sites. If you consistently encounter the same complaints or concerns, this could indicate what you’ll experience as a customer yourself.
5. Will insurance still pay for my car if an accident is my fault?
As long as you and your vehicle have active coverage in place at the time of an accident, carriers design their auto policies so that they pay out to repair damages, regardless of who’s at fault.
However, suppose the company’s claims adjuster determines that you are at fault for an accident. In that case, your carrier will also pay the costs associated with repairing or replacing the other party’s vehicle, depending on the extent of their damages. If you damage other property (such as a mailbox or fence), your insurance company will also pay for related repairs.
6. Can you cash an auto insurance check?
If you own a vehicle outright with no underlying loan, the auto insurance company will cut a check in your name, which you can sign and cash as you please. If you have repairs handled at a local body shop, the carrier can also pay the shop directly to save you the hassle.
However, if you have a loan on your vehicle, the company will issue a check in both your name and the lienholder’s name, both of whom will need to sign the check before it can be cashed.
7. Do all insurance companies provide car rental coverage after an accident?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, on average, a vehicle remains in the repair shop for two weeks following an accident. And unfortunately, not all insurance companies provide automatic coverage for a temporary replacement in these instances.
Instead, almost all insurance carriers offer rental reimbursement as optional coverage that you’ll need to add to your policy before an accident occurs. Fortunately, rental reimbursement is typically an inexpensive option that will only increase your rate by a few dollars per month.
Do You Have Additional Questions About Car Insurance?
If you’ve been in an accident and are looking for a reputable shop that works with all insurance carriers, big and small, to offer collision repair services in a timely and ethical manner, look no further than Easy-Out Collision Center in Tomball, Texas.
You can also contact the friendly professionals at IHS Insurance Group, who are standing by to answer your questions promptly and thoroughly.
Need a FREE Quote or have questions regarding Auto Insurance Coverage? We have three convenient ways to reach us:
- If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063.
- If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back to you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE.
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