Car accidents are unsettling at a minimum. Even if there are no injuries, the damage to your car can be very upsetting. Your mind is reeling with trying to remember all the things you’ve been taught to do in an accident like exchange insurance information, get names and contact information for witnesses, take pictures, give statements to the police and call your insurance company.
Once you’ve gotten past the initial shock of the accident, the stress keeps building. Getting an insurance estimate, finding the right body shop to repair your vehicle and doing it all as quickly as possible can be overwhelming. Now the insurance company has told you that you must choose only an insurance preferred body shop. What does that even mean?
Filing a Claim
First, let’s discuss how insurance companies work. You have paid for coverage for your vehicle and they are required to provide the services outlined in your policy. However, like many businesses, their primary objective is not altruistic. They are in business to maximize profits. While it is not a crime for a company to keep a keen eye on their bottom line, you should keep that in mind when you are working with them throughout the claims process, as it does motivate their recommendations.
When you talk to your insurance company about your accident, there are some vital facts and documents you should have ready to get the ball rolling:
- Address or location of the accident, time of day and weather conditions
- A brief description of the events leading up to the accident
- Names, contact, insurance and vehicle information for involved drivers and passengers
- Names and contact information of witnesses, if any
- Photos of vehicle damage
- Names and badge numbers of any officers that responded to the incident
- A copy of the accident report
Understanding Your Coverage
Even if you think you understand all about your vehicle coverage, you should verify everything with your claims adjuster to prevent misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises. The main questions you’ll want to ask are:
- What does my insurance cover?
- What is my deductible?
- Are there any copays, limits or exclusions?
- Do they pay the provider directly?
These questions can help you plan for how much you’ll need to pay to complete the repairs. If you purchased the minimum coverage required by laws in your state, your insurance may not cover repairs to or replacement of your vehicle. For instance, in Texas, unless you have a lender who requires comprehensive coverage, the state only requires liability insurance coverage to ensure that you pay for damage you cause in an accident. Collision insurance is what covers damages to your vehicle.
Your deductible is the amount that must be paid by you before the insurance pays. If your repair estimate is $1,000 and your deductible is $500, you will be responsible to pay $500 before the insurance pays the remainder. In some cases of minor damage, your claim may not exceed your deductible. In that case, you may want to think about whether it is worth filing a claim. It is important to understand if there is any part of the repair estimate that will not be covered or will be limited, as that will be an additional amount you’ll be responsible for paying.
There are a few ways insurance companies may choose to pay out your claim. Some may send you a check directly made payable to you and the body shop. If you owe money on the vehicle, the lender may be listed as a payee. Then there is the matter of an insurance approved body shop, where the payment goes directly to the shop. Keep in mind that there are laws in 50 states to protect consumers from being “steered” to preferred shops, and the ones on the insurance companies’ lists are not the only body shops that will work directly with your insurer.
Insurance Preferred Body Shops
Now, remember when we started this discussion, we mentioned that insurance companies are like most other companies that want to minimize expenses and maximize profits. That is where insurance preferred body shops, sometimes also called insurance approved body shops, come in. In short, these are shops that have a relationship with the insurance company. While this may seem attractive to you because the insurance company works directly with the provider to make sure they get parts ordered, you get a rental car, etc., without you laying out cash in advance, it may mean suboptimal parts or repairs.
Many times the reasons these shops are preferred for the insurer is that they already know to use less expensive parts. In some cases, a less reputable body shop may even take shortcuts on repairs. Any reputable body shop, whether or not they are on an insurer’s approved or preferred list, will provide honest work that ensures the safety and functionality of the vehicle, and many may also accept insurance payments so you aren’t laying out cash in advance. It is up to you to research the body shop before entrusting them with your repairs.
Choose an ASE and I-CAR Gold Class Certified Body Shop
Certifications tell you that a business cares enough to meet a more stringent standard of quality and service. Tachoir Auto is one of those businesses. We are among only an estimated 20% of repair shops that meet the rigorous I-CAR Gold Class standard. We are also proud of our National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Blue Seal certification that means that we meet a high standard of competency and quality in our auto body repairs.
Our team at Tachoir Auto also understands how confusing it can be when working with insurance companies on claims. That’s why we not only offer convenient and comprehensive auto body services, but we also provide claims assistance to our customers by negotiating with their insurance providers. We will work to get you the best prices for high-quality services so that you don’t have to sacrifice your vehicle or your standards. For more information or for an estimate, schedule an appointment with us today.
Choose Tachoir Collision Center for Car Insurance Claims Repair Service
At Tachoir Auto Body, our experienced and certified technicians will restore your car and get it back on the road efficiently, affordably, and with world-class quality and service. We serve Jefferson Hills and Allegheny County, and we offer convenient and comprehensive auto body services, with the goal of making your life as easy as possible.
Call Today for a Free, No-Obligation Estimate: (412) 233-3196
You Get to Choose Who Will Repair Your Car
It is normal for your insurance company to provide a list of Jefferson Hills, PA auto repair shops that “can” service your vehicle. That just means, they are shops that have agreed to the insurance company’s prices and it benefits them if you use them, not you.
Under Pennsylvania law, you are free to choose any licensed service provider that you want. That means Tachoir Collision Center can be your preferred auto body repair shop even if we’re not on your insurance company’s list.
We will negotiate repairs and costs on your behalf, offering your insurance company a competitive price for top quality repairs to your vehicle.
TACHOIR AUTO BODY OFFERS EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE!
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US & FIND OUT HOW WE CAN YOU SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR AUTO BODYWORK!
We Make the Car Insurance Claims Process Easy
When you’re involved in an accident and are dealing with unexpected damage to your vehicle, you’re already under enough stress. Trying to manage your insurance claim is an additional frustration that you don’t need.
We’ll work directly with your insurance carrier to schedule and plan the best repair solution for your vehicle.
You can leave it in our capable hands, knowing that your vehicle will receive the highest quality repair service and that your insurance claim will be properly processed.
How Do Car Insurance Claims Work?
Insurers often try to dictate the details of where and how to get your vehicle fixed in order to save themselves money. If you haven’t dealt with insurance companies much before, you might not realize you can make your own choices.
At Tachoir, our experienced team is happy to file your claim for you and handle all the details so that you don’t get roped into what they dictate. In the meantime, here’s some information about how the auto insurance claims process works:
How Do Car Insurance Claims Estimates Work?
Many people don’t realize that you only need to give your insurer one estimate. If they ask for more, it’s not something you have to do. If the estimate we provide to you differs from your insurance company’s estimate, we will honor their estimate and use it as a guideline for the repairs.
If hidden damage is discovered while we are working on your vehicle that requires additional parts and labor, we will notify your insurance company and give them the opportunity to send an adjuster out for a re-inspection. At that point, a supplement is typically created.
Choose an Auto Body Shop Near Jefferson Hills, PA to Repair Your Car
It is your right to choose the auto body repair shop that you want to repair your vehicle. If your insurance company is sending a tow truck to tow your car, just tell them what auto body shop you would like them to tow it to.
According to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicles Physical Damages Appraisers Act (Act of 1972, PL 1713, No. 367), you cannot be persuaded or indirectly coerced by any appraisers or their employees as to where your vehicle should be repaired.
If your insurance company tells you, We don’t work with that shop, they are illegally steering you. In reality, what they are saying is that the auto body shop does not work at rates that are negotiated by the insurer.
It is also common for insurance companies to say something like, “It would take a few days for our appraiser to get out to you, so you can take it to XYZ shop for quicker service.” That’s just their way of getting you to use their lower cost auto body shops.
It does not benefit you in any way to try to get a low-cost estimate or to try to get your car done as quickly as possible.
Insurance Claims Processing
We’re on Your Side
Tachoir Auto Body is committed to providing you with the highest quality repair service in the Pittsburgh area. When we work with your insurance company, we act as your advocate, working to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
We don’t just help you navigate the car insurance claims process; we do it for you! And our ultimate goal is to see you drive away with a safe, good-looking vehicle.
What is the Auto Insurance Claim Process?
The car insurance claims process is very easy when you deal with a quality collision shop like Tachoir Auto Body. Follow this simple process for car insurance claims:
- Bring your car or have it towed to Tachoir Collision Center.
- Provide us with your insurance information.
- We will call your insurance company on your behalf to properly file the claim.
- Your insurance company may send an appraiser to our location or they may ask us to submit a damage report. Either way, we will negotiate the repair with them.
- If another party was responsible for the accident and has accepted liability, they will pay the full bill. Otherwise, you or your insurance company are responsible for the charges depending on how your policy is written.
We also have on-site rental car service available, and we’ll negotiate your rental car with your insurer on your behalf as well. If you have fully paid your premiums, you are entitled to have your vehicle repaired at an auto body shop that features quality equipment and I CAR or ASE certified technicians.