Know Your Repair Rights
What are you entitled to?
After a hail claim it is important to know what you are entitled to. Often insurance company adjusters will not tell you everything you are entitled to in order to save the insurance company money. They will also generally try to convince you to have the damage repairs completed at a “direct repair shop” that is on their "preferred list", citing that the insurance company has "approved" the shop and "guarantee" the repairs. These insurance company / body shop agreements only exist for the benefit of the insurance company to save them money. This often results in lower quality repairs and inferior aftermarket or junkyard parts that can lead to problems ranging from cosmetic imperfections to serious structural integrity issues that can lead to problems with the vehicle's ride, stability control and safety.
Furthermore, these shops have signed agreements with the insurance companies that prevent them from waiving your deductible.
Selection of Body Shop
You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice. It is illegal for an insurance company to steer, force, require or pressure you into using a particular shop. You should never take your vehicle to a body shop based solely on the recommendation of an insurance company. Not even if it is your own insurance company. Remember, that if an insurance company recommends a shop to you…it’s in THEIR best interest, not yours. We recommend that you choose the shop you feel most comfortable with and that has impeccable customer reviews like Dent Headquarters.
Total Loss Help
Most insurance companies will declare a vehicle to be a total loss when the preliminary cost of repairs reaches some pre-determined percentage of the vehicle's value. Generally, the percentage used is anywhere from 70% to 80%. A total loss is declared when it is determined that it is in the insurance company's best financial interest to declare the vehicle a total loss. This percentage is an insurance industry practice and in most cases is not related to a state law. There are only a few states that require a vehicle be declared a total loss when a certain threshold is met. Most states allow an insurer to repair a vehicle all the way up to 100% of the vehicles value. Another way insurance companies calculate if a vehicle should be totaled is to determine what they could sell the salvage for and then subtract that figure from the value of the vehicle. If the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds that figure then the vehicle is a total loss.
However, insurance companies tend to only look at the preliminary estimate and generally do not take into account the likelihood of hidden damage and other expenses. These items include the cost of a rental car and the diminished value of the vehicle after the repairs are completed. By adding the cost of repairs, rental expense and diminished value, most vehicles should be totaled when the repairs are at about 50% of the vehicle's value.
Vehicle Valuation Services
If your car’s been deemed a total loss by the insurance company, it’s best to understand how much your car’s worth before accepting a check that may or may not reflect its true value. These 2 websites will help you accurately calculate the value of your car.
For over 90 years, Kelley Blue Book has been The Trusted Resource for used car values, helping car owners understand what their used car is worth and to give consumers the most up-to-date used car pricing information.
NADA Blue Book values for used cars, certified pre-owned cars and more, brought to you by the National Automobile Dealers Association.