There are many questions and actions to take before your car is back on the road after an accident. One question you may have is who gets paid for the car repair? If your vehicle is only slightly damaged, you may choose not to make a claim. Damage requiring a tow truck will prove you made an excellent decision in buying the most comprehensive insurance policy. But what about minor damage that you could fix yourself?
There are some gray areas about opportunities for making your own repairs. The best place to start for answers is in the fine print of your car insurance policy.
ACTUAL SELF-REPAIR OR HAVING FREEDOM OF CHOICE?
You may be reading this and wondering who in this day and age can repair their own car. Some folks are lucky enough to be handy, and some people may have friends or relatives in the repair business. The main question about fixing your car after an accident is who receives the check from your insurance company. Maybe you don’t have the skillset, but you may have the right to choose your preferred repair resource and be in charge of the actual payout for services. Insurance companies have a vested interest in the result when disbursing money for repairs.
IS YOUR CAR PAID OFF OR DO YOU HAVE A LOAN?
Insurance companies may be more lenient about allowing you to make a self-repair if you own the car outright. In this scenario, you may have some leeway with requesting the option of fixing your own vehicle. Your car insurance coverage will include fine print about the rules and requirements for repair.
In cases where you have a lien on your vehicle, the lending institution may be the deciding factor in who is allowed to make repairs. Owing money on a vehicle means the bank has an interest in the overall condition of your car. The more common process will be to get estimates on the damage from a specific collision repair business. Check your car insurance policy coverage for any restrictions and recommendations. Of course, your best bet is to contact your agent immediately and follow the advice and instructions.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS TO MY COVERAGE WHEN FIXING MY OWN CAR?
The short answer is yes. By design, the process for making an insurance claim maintains the integrity of your vehicle. A claims adjuster will be more comfortable with an approved repair shop and service guarantees. By choosing to fix your own car, you may put yourself in a position to be denied some types of crucial car insurance accident coverage. How much is full coverage car insurance worth compared to what you may lose when trying to fix your own car?
When it comes to solving accident damage, you may be capable of fixing your car yourself. However, there are several risks, especially if you are still making payments on your vehicle. Independent Insurance Associates is here to help when you have an accident and insurance claim. We are happy to answer questions, guide you in the repair process, and help you get back to normal as quickly as possible. Give us a call to discuss and review your current auto insurance coverage today!