So you want your insurance company to pay for vehicle repairs. How do you get your insurance company to pay for vehicle repairs? How do you go through your insurance company to get repairs done to your vehicle? What’s the next step? Today, we’re explaining the process of filing an insurance claim for vehicle repairs.
When to File a Claim
Your first step is to make sure car repairs are covered under your insurance plan. If your insurance policy has collision coverage, then you should be covered for vehicle repairs from an accident. If your insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, then you should be covered for additional vehicle repairs – like vandalism, theft, and storm damage.
Not all insurance plans cover vehicle repair costs. If you have a basic, barebones insurance policy, then you might just have liability coverage. That means your insurance policy will cover damages you inflict on other vehicles or people while driving – but it won’t cover any damages or repairs to your own vehicle.
Once you’ve made sure you have comprehensive coverage or collision coverage, you can move forward with the claims process.
What You Need Before Filing a Claim
So you’ve confirmed you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Now, you want your car insurance company to pay for any damages. The next step is to collect information needed to file a claim, including:
- Full name and policy number
- Start and end date of your policy
- Date and time of the incident
- The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- The driver’s license number and license plate number of all drivers
Obviously, if this was a single-vehicle accident, vandalism, or weather-related damage, then you won’t need to collect information about other drivers. You should, however, make sure you have information about the weather conditions, the time of day or night that the incident occurred, and other pertinent details.
Once you have this information, you can contact your insurance company and begin the claims process. The insurance company will typically assign an agent to your case, and that agent will walk you through the entire claims process.
Are Vehicle Repairs Covered Under My Insurance Policy?
As mentioned above, you’ll need collision coverage or comprehensive coverage when paying for vehicle repairs. Simple liability coverage does not cover your own vehicle. However, you may also be covered under uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage, gap insurance coverage, and windshield or glass coverage. If the other driver was at-fault, then you should be covered under the other driver’s liability coverage.
How to File a Claim and Get Your Insurance Company to Pay for Vehicle Repairs
So you’re ready to file a property damage claim on your vehicle. Start by contacting your insurance company and explaining the situation.
The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your vehicle. That adjuster will estimate how much it will cost to repair the damages. Then, you’ll receive a check from the insurance company for that amount (minus your deductible).
Here’s the process broken down in step by step form:
- Report vehicle damage to your insurance company immediately. Some insurance companies recommend calling by phone. Others allow you to make a claim online. Some insurance companies even have an app.
- If another driver was involved in the collision, exchange insurance information with that driver or drivers.
- Allow your insurance company to inspect the vehicle before you take your vehicle to the repair shop.
- Protect the vehicle to prevent any further damage. Insurance companies will never cover damage that occurs as a result of the initial damage. If your front windshield is shattered in a collision, for example, and you leave your car parked in the rain all night, causing damage to the interior, then this is unlikely to be covered under your insurance policy.
- Save all receipts, including invoices from the repair shop and any parts or components you purchased yourself.
- Provide all requested information to your insurance company.
Ultimately, if you follow through all of these steps, then your insurance company should pay for any vehicle repairs according to the terms of your insurance policy. Answer any questions from the insurance company honestly and follow their instructions. The insurance company might require you to repair your vehicle at a certain repair shop. Your policy might also include rental reimbursement coverage, which means you can rent a car while your primary vehicle is being repaired.
You have a car insurance policy specifically for situations like this. Don’t be afraid to make a claim on your insurance policy for vehicle repairs. Follow the steps above to get your insurance company to pay for vehicle repairs.