After an accident, you will probably have to deal with insurance companies to get your vehicle repaired. This process is not always easy or straightforward, so understanding your rights is important.
The Insurance Information Institute explains that you need to be sure you get everything due to you through whatever policy you are making a claim against.
The insurer will base all its decisions on how much your car is worth, so it is essential to be sure you know what that value is. You can use readily available resources to determine the basic value. Make sure that the insurer explains to you what it values your vehicle at and how it came to that number.
If you have anything special that you added to the car to increase the value, make sure to gather the paperwork and have the evidence you need to prove you made these improvements.
You should always get your own estimates for repairs, but keep in mind you want to get a few from different shops. You can choose where to get repairs, so make sure you choose shops where you would feel comfortable with the work they do.
Prepare to negotiate
An insurer knows that you will probably not accept the first offer it makes to settle your claim. Be ready to negotiate a better deal. Have documentation and estimates ready to show them what you feel is a fair settlement.
Just keep in mind your car’s value. Remember that the insurer will not pay more than the vehicle is worth. If the damage is that bad, the insurer will consider it a total loss and simply pay you the estimated value of the car.