When you have been in a car accident or have a major vehicle repair, the first question you will ask is, who is going to pay for this? Getting an approved automotive repair can feel like a miracle to many. In many cases, the answer is, that is what insurance is for. But that may not be the case for you. At the same time, you may not want your car insurance to cover it. You may want to file a claim with another insurance product you own, or you may want to pay for it out of pocket to avoid insurance hikes the following premium year. When you are looking for approved automotive repairs, do your research. Learn a little bit more about that here with our handy list of approved automotive repair tips.
Find a Specialist
The first thing you need to consider when you are working on a car repair solution is your needs. You don’t need to have a unique car for this. In a day and age where hybrid and energy-efficient vehicles are the trends and the law, your car is likely going to have unique needs. That does not mean that an approved automotive repair is going to be difficult to come by.
It may mean that it will take you a little longer or cost more money to get Dodge Viper parts if your car is that unique. Still, that may be what your auto insurance is for. When your unique vehicle needs a specialist, get some quotes and estimates from the specialists. Talk to different car dealerships or automotive centers with reputations, and see if they work with insurance companies.
Your local dealership or mechanic may not be able to help you. But they may be able to refer you to a specialist. The world of car mechanics is an interesting one because many of them all purchase parts from the same local circle. Ask a reputable mechanic where you can find the specialist that you need. You may be surprised at how easy it is to get your car fixed after all.
Understand Your Needs
Understanding your needs is critical when you are seeking an approved automotive repair. You have to understand those needs and your car insurance. Some things will be covered by car insurance, some won’t be. A car brake repair might be covered if you have mechanical breakdown insurance.
Review your policy to see what you do and do not have covered. Collision damage will cover your vehicle in the event of an accident unless it is covered by another party’s liability insurance. Comprehensive covers things like acts of nature and other accidents that happen to your car. You may have coverage for things like a mechanical breakdown.
You won’t have coverage for things like damage caused by failure to maintain the vehicle. Normal wear and tear will not be covered. Parts that are recalled are covered sometimes. If you still have a warranty on the car, repairs are often not covered by your insurance, but you will still need approved automotive repairs to get those covered.
Work With Insurance
Whether you have been in an accident or are just getting a major repair done, you need to be comfortable working with your auto insurance company. It is easier to get a claim approved when you work with them. If you’ve been in an accident there are certain legal steps you must take. You must file your claim within a few days of the accident, and will likely need to file a police report within the first 24 or 48 hours.
If the damage is severe, you will get an insurance adjuster to call you after you have reported the accident or breakdown. There may be an investigation to determine who was at fault. You may also be referred to auto body shops or mechanics to fix the car. In most states, you are not obligated to go with the auto body shop or mechanic that the insurance company selects.
If the mechanic the insurance company recommends you to feels like a good fit, it’s not a bad idea to work with them. They will have a history with the insurance company and be able to help you to process your claim faster. They will also be a reputable mechanic who will not swindle you because they will be answering to the insurance company as well. It can take several days to get an approved automotive claim, but working with your insurance company will be worth the wait.
Understand Your Coverage
It can not be said enough that understanding your car insurance is critical to getting an approved automotive claim. If you are confused about anything in your policy, talk to your car insurance agent to get your questions answered. There are many different levels of car insurance available for every kind of car, young or old. Your insurance agent or broker can help you to know what you do and do not have covered.
Your agent or broker will also know how to help you to get the coverage that you want. If you want more coverage, they can help you with that too. Coverage for car insurance ranges from minimum coverage to full coverage. Riders and add-ons range from one insurance coverage to the next. Liability insurance is the minimum requirement in every state and is not an option.
Confirm the Damage
Before you start to worry about car insurance claims, make sure that you confirm the damage to your car. The damage may be minimal, or it may be extensive. Your car may need an auto salvage service if the car is a total write-off. On the other hand, you may be able to pay for the damage out of pocket if it is minimal, or not noticeable, without having to worry about an insurance claim.
A write-off for a car insurance company is a car that has sustained enough damage that the damage is a value higher than the cost of the car. Here, the car insurance company will determine if paying for the repair is more expensive than paying for the car. Your insurance company will compare the cost of the repair with the cost of the value of your car, and give you the lowest amount. When the damage is confirmed, you will get an approved automotive claim and get the money to repair or replace your car.
You still can pay to have your car repaired even if the insurance company didn’t approve car repairs. If you haven’t started the repair process yet, you want to get as many quotes as you can to ensure the result is an approved automotive claim. This is where choosing good mechanics comes in handy if your insurance company isn’t referring you to one. Or, even if they are, getting quotes will show them you are seriously managing this repair issue.
Make sure that you know what the online reviews of your mechanic look like. You want them to have good ones so that you get a good repair. Your insurance company may also check them out. A written estimate or quote breaking down the entire repair is also ideal when you are working with insurance companies. If you are not, you can manage the quote process however you are comfortable doing so.
Your needs during a car repair are always going to feel astronomical. Get into the mindset of prioritizing your needs when you are seeking estimates and claim approvals. You also want to get into the mindset of finding the best solutions for those needs. If you need new tires, ask around for a good mechanic who knows how to get discount local car tires.
If you don’t need new tires, don’t think about it for this specific repair. When you are seeking automotive claims, you want to put the basic needs of the repair first. Find out what is going to be the most expensive problem. Then find the solutions with an array of quotes for your insurance company.
Begin to Budget
When it comes to automotive repair with insurance companies, it is never a bad idea to start budgeting a little or putting some money aside. It is not exactly a misconception that they want to save money too. That’s a good thing for you. When insurance companies save money, they keep your premiums lower.
You may want to put a little bit of money aside for your car repairs when you are considering an insurance claim. Your insurance may only cover some of your repairs. If you have medical expenses as well, it could be some time before you see money for that. Budget early and often when it comes to car repair.
Prevent Further Damage
Standard vehicle maintenance and preventing vehicle damage is critical when you are a car owner. Even something as simple as driveway caulking can help you prevent a major car repair that requires an approved automotive claim. Car insurance companies of course love it when you are good at maintaining your vehicle. Keep your car records and your vehicle maintenance records in good shape, and you are going to be a happy car insurance consumer for a long time.
Perform routine maintenance on your vehicle every year, or even every season. Make sure that your car has winter tires on it if you live in a seasonal climate. Keep the oil changed and maintained as often as you can. Start a savings account that can be used for car repairs only.
You will also want to find a reputable mechanic that you can count on. If you have one in the family or with a close friend, try them out for something standard like an oil change. You will find the good fit that you need after an oil change or two. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual that stipulate what you need to have serviced and when, and you will be preventing further damage to your car as a good habit that you won’t want to break.
Seek Medical Assistance if Injured
When you have been in a car accident, the most important question is, are you okay? You will want to seek medical assistance if you are injured in a car accident. The sooner that you seek assistance, the easier your claim process will be with both health care and your car insurance. Some states and some car insurance companies will have requirements on a timeline.
You don’t for example, want to go to your local emergency clinic one week after an accident with a claim of a serious injury. Many people do, and there are some cases where this is warranted. You may walk away from an accident just fine and think that nothing is wrong. Then, you may experience headaches, dizziness, or other issues a little bit later that send you to the doctor.
That can happen with known medical issues such as concussions, sprains, whiplash, and other things. It can also happen to someone with a pre-existing illness. Every insurance company knows what they are looking for when they are adjusting claims from a car accident. That is the case when you are filing medical claims and automotive claims.
The sooner you can seek medical assistance the better. If you can go immediately after the accident, that is the best-case scenario. If you can not, follow up with your family doctor or general practitioner the next day or as soon as possible so that you can have an expert weigh in on your claims.
When you are seeking automotive claims, you want to have your research performed well in advance. Get several quotes, work with your insurance company, and know what your policy says. If you don’t have that research, get it. The more information you have for your insurance company, and the more cooperative you are, the greater your chances of getting approved. Be sure to remember these tips for the future.