Things To Know
So many people are confused as to what to do when they are involved in an automobile accident. There are certain rights that you need to be aware of before choosing a shop. The most important thing to be aware of is that it is your vehicle and you have the right to choose the repair facility. An insurance company cannot "steer" you to any particular shop because they are a direct repair program. If it is a reputable shop then they will guarantee their repairs. Here are a few facts that you should know to make it easier on you during the repair process.
Repair estimates will vary. It is important to review the estimates and make sure that they are as complete as possible for the repairs to begin. A lower estimate may not have all of the necessary items that are needed to properly repair your vehicle. Upon tear down of your vehicle, additional damage that could not be seen may be found. It is the responsibility of the repair shop to contact the adjuster handling the claim and make the necessary arrangements for the supplemental damage. Don't fret, if there is additional damage that has been caused by the accident it will be covered under a supplement and you should not be billed the additional charges.
There are specific rights you should be aware of if there is a discrepancy in an adjuster's estimate. Review your policy and understand these rights. If an agreement cannot be made between your insurance company and the repair shop, your policy has an Appraisal Clause where in an independent appraisal company can be called in to help resolve the matter.
No law requires you to get more than one estimate. Most insurance companies tell you to get two or three estimates. If an adjuster is assigned to it then they will write their own estimate and that is what payment is based on.
The OWNER is the only one that can authorize a shop to begin repairs. Some shops may require this be done in writing.
Payment is due upon completion of the repairs. Any initial check that you have received from the insurance company must have a signed release if it is may co-payable to you and your lien holder. Any additional charges that have incurred separate from the insurance claim are also due at this time.