WHO’S INSURANCE PAYS FOR THE DAMAGE TO MY VEHICLE?
There are potentially two options:
The insurance company for the party at fault should pay for the repairs. However, sometimes they will want to “investigate” the accident before agreeing to pay for the damage to your car. If it appears that they may take too long to investigate and you need your car repaired sooner then consider Option 2.
If you have “Collision” coverage you can opt to have your own insurance repair your car, typically less a deductible. If you choose this option you will ultimately get your deductible back from the at fault party’s insurance.
WHERE SHOULD I TAKE MY CAR TO BE REPAIRED?
You are welcome to take your car to the body shop of your choice.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE MY VEHICLE REPAIRED?
You don’t have to have your vehicle repaired. You can opt to get an estimate of the damage and just have the insurance company pay directly to you the amount of the damage.
WHAT IF THE AT FAULT DRIVER HAS NO INSURANCE
If you were hit by a vehicle that doesn’t have insurance then the other driver’s insurance company will not pay for your vehicle damage. Contact your insurance company to see if you have “Uninsured Motorist Property Damage” coverage. The coverage usually has low limits and there is a deductible to pay. If you do not have this coverage then your vehicle will not be fixed unless you pay for it out of your own pocket.
MY VEHICLE IS CONSIDERED A TOTAL LOSS – WHAT DO I DO?
If your vehicle is considered totaled you will ultimately get an offer from the at-fault party’s insurance. If you have “Collision” coverage through your own insurance you should also have them provide you an offer. It may be a better offer. Keep in mind that the offer should be the fair market value for your car, not what may be the payoff on a loan on your car. You should do your own research to determine the private party fair market value through places like www.nadaguides.com, www.kbb.com, or www.edmunds.com. You can also check local listings (i.e. KSL.com) to see if your vehicle year and model has listings.