Screech… Skiddd… Craaash is the last thing anyone wants or needs during their busy day to day life. When it does happen it can be very stressful and a bit intimidating having to deal with the insurance company claim process and a five star popcorn removal facility. Not knowing the facts makes it even more difficult to make the right decisions when processing an insurance claim. You may think that your insurance company is there to help you but the last thing they want to do is spend time and money fixing your car.
When they have to process your claim there is only one thing on their mind and that’s get it done as cheap as possible. Your best interest is not their main concern their own interest is. The insurance industry has two main focuses and one is taking as much of your money as possible and two is to keep as much as possible in any way they can. After over a hundred years in the business they have concocted some very ingenious ways to do so.
I own a licensed auto body/collision repair facility and for educational purposes for the best interest of my customers. I went to school and got educated in insurance and got licensed as an adjuster and producer. I decided to do this in 2000 when lightning struck my body shop and burned it to the ground. During my claims process I got no help from my agent and the assigned adjuster only knew one word and that was “NO”, everything I asked for he denied even when he knew I was entitled to the reimbursement of the loss. It took a year and a half to finally conclude the claim and all those “no’s” turned into “yes’s” by the time I was done. This just further showed me the mindset of the insurance industry in the midst of a claim.
One way insurers save money is the use of aftermarket “AM” parts and when you get into an accident most insurers will use these parts in the repair without telling you because in most states all they need to do is write it in the repair estimate and you as a customer need to find it in the stack of paper, read it and ask questions. There is an organization called CAPA.org that is financed by the insurance industry to certify Taiwan parts to install on your vehicle even though your vehicle never came with Taiwan parts. at the end of this article is a link to the parts manufacturers that insurers use as replacement parts on your vehicle, as you can see their mostly all Taiwan manufacturers. Some insurers have a policy option to only use OEM parts but never tell anyone about the option and use it as an excuse to use AM parts in the repair telling the consumer that they could have purchased the option even though they were never even offered it. In my opinion the consumer should be verbally offered by law an option to use OEM parts at the time of policy inception, it should be the consumers choice 100% of the time what goes on their car.
Here is a list of things that will happen during a repair process.
1. Have your car towed if it is not drivable, your insurance company will pay for the tow to a storage yard and then to the collision shop of your choice. You shouldn’t have to pay anything out of your pocket for these tows as the collision repair shop pays for the tows when the car arrives at the shop and gets reimbursed from the insurance company. Although a small group of insurers may require you to pay for the tow and they will reimburse you for the costs.
2. Pick a shop to do the repairs. Remember it is your legal right to choose who will work on your vehicle. An Insurance company cannot force you or badger you into going to one of their direct repair shops for repairs. Insurers save millions of dollars processing claims at these claims clearing houses so they will do or say everything they can to get you to go there. (See Direct repair below).