When an accident occurs, it can mean a significant amount of damage to any vehicle. Even a small fender-bender may result in vehicle panels needing replacement. Auto insurance may help cover these costs, if you have collision insurance in place. It's important to understand the process to know what you can expect, though. Here's what is likely to happen.
At The Accident Site
Whenever possible, contact your Insurance Place of Orange Park agent at the accident site. If this is not possible, be sure to document the incident with the local police. Then, take photos of the incident. This information serves as proof of what occurred and how it happened.
When you speak to your agent, they will verify you have proper coverage for the losses. Collision insurance applies when you collide with a stationary or moving object.
Getting An Estimate
Once your Insurance Place of Orange Park agent gathers the details of your auto insurance policy, they can help you to get an estimate for the repairs.
Most states have laws that allow you to choose who does the repairs to your car. However, your agent is likely to recommend a shop they know and trust. This can help to streamline the process for you, allowing you to get the vehicle in for repairs sooner.
The repair service will then usually survey the damage to estimate the cost of repairs. They'll often work with the insurer to review the damage to the insurer's satisfaction. In some cases, the insurer will send a claims adjuster to estimate the damage costs instead.
The insurance agent will process the claim only after he or she receives the estimate. The insurer must agree with the estimate. If it does not believe the estimate is accurate or complete, the agent may request another provider offer insight. Then, one of two things happens next.
- The insurance company approves the estimate, pays the shop for the damage, and the repairs get underway. You must pay for any deductible you owe on the project. You can find deductible information on your policy.
- The insurance company deems the expenses are too high or are worth more than the vehicle. At this point, the company may elect to total the car. This means the agent pays you the value of the car at the time of the accident. This is not necessarily what you paid for the car, however.
If you disagree with the estimate or the amount the agent wishes to pay, you can dispute it. The key here is to remain in touch with your Insurance Place of Orange Park agent. Find out what your options are for repairs to your vehicle.