How To Make A Collision Repair Claims
Work With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Most insurance companies view collision claims as an opportunity to save
money. Most consumers know little to nothing about collision damage repairs,
are in a substantially inferior bargaining position after a
car accident, and can be easily mislead by their insurer which does not generally keep
the insured’s best interest paramount in how the repairs are accomplished,
or whether the vehicle should be repaired at all.
Complications With Accident Repairs
Many insurers have contracts with collision repair outfits to repair your
vehicle at a discount, in exchange for the referral of business from the
insurance company to the collision repair outfit. If any repair facility
refuses to cooperate with the directives of the insurance company on repair
decisions, the insurer may stop referring collision repair business to
that particular repair facility. Or worse, the insurer may begin to steer
repair business away from that repair facility.
The business contracts between the insurer and collision repair facility
often require the repair facility to notify the insurer if a vehicle appears
to be a total loss, before the vehicle owner is notified. This provides
the insurer an opportunity to inspect the vehicle, and decide whether
to repair or total the vehicle. If the decision is made to repair the
vehicle, the repair facility is often required to give the insurer a discount
on the repair facility’s hourly rate, and a discount on parts. The
business contracts also often require the repair facility to keep these
discounts and concessions confidential.
The business contracts are often identified to the consumer as an opportunity
to secure superior collision repairs. For instance, Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Company identifies its confidential business contract with its
repair facilities as The Blue Ribbon Repair Program. Nationwide promises
its policy holders that if it participates in its Blue Ribbon Repair Program,
they will be referred to an approved Blue Ribbon Repair Facility, where
their collision damage will receive a Blue Ribbon Appraisal, and be backed
by a Blue Ribbon Guarantee. The Guarantee is supposed to last for as long
as you own the vehicle.
If your vehicle is appraised as a total loss, you must negotiate with
the insurance carrier. There is tremendous pressure on the insurance adjuster
to save the insurance company as much money as possible on all total loss
claims. This usually begins with the rental coverage. Carriers may claim
that your policy only provides three days of rental coverage once your
vehicle has been declared a total loss. In these situations, your insurance
company will refuse to pay for more than three days of rental coverage
even though it has not yet even provided you with a check for your total
loss vehicle so that you can purchase a replacement vehicle. In total
loss claims the insured has often sustained very serious injuries and
doesn’t have the time or energy to locate a replacement vehicle
in three days.
Meanwhile, as you attempt to locate a replacement vehicle, you realize
the amount your insurer is offering for your total loss claim is hundreds
of dollars less than fair value. Your insurer refuses to pay even the
undisputed amount unless or until you agree to accept the amount it dictates.
Thus, while you figure out how bad your injuries are from the collision,
you find yourself with a 3 day window to negotiate with your insurance
company on the value of your total loss claim, while you are also required
to locate and negotiate a fair price on a replacement vehicle.
The attorneys at Mayerson Injury Law, P.C. know how to best deal with these
insurance company claim handling tactics. We have litigated, and continue
to litigate these abuses. Sometimes, this conduct may give rise to an
action for insurance bad faith.
Contact us today to obtain a free consultation!