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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!