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Dealing With Your Car Insurance Claim
Claiming Your Auto Collision
Auto insurance companies do not want to pay top dollar for your claim. They will try to low ball if at all possible. Many people think that they do not have any options and will accept whatever the insurance company proposes. This is not true. The insurance company makes money by paying as little as possible for each claim. Some insurance companies will even total your car because it is less expensive for them. You not only can negotiate with them, but you also have to right to reject any proposal that seems too low. For instance, each policy holder has the right to choose which repair facility will repair their car. A reputable repair facility will help their customer get the best deal out of the insurance company. If the car is a total loss, the first offer from the insurance company will be low. Insurance companies count on uniformed policy holders. They make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by cutting as much as a thousand dollars off your claim. Here are a few ways to get the most from your insurance claim.
One way is to educate yourself. Insurance adjusters can be intimidating and aggressive. Arm yourself with the facts about your car's value and your rights as a policy holder. Make sure that you look up your car's value in Kelley's Blue Book before accepting any settlement from the insurance company. Often, the insurance company will total a car that can be fixed because they can make more money selling it's parts or they just don't want to pay it's full value. Make sure that you know the limits of your policy.
If you and your insurance company agree to fix the car, take it to a repair facility that you trust. Don't automatically accept the insurance company's recommendation. They may have an understanding with them that does not include you. If you take your car to a reputable repair facility, they can be invaluable in keeping the insurance company honest. Hidden damage is more likely to stay hidden if you let the insurance adjusters handle it.
See and Be Seen
Don't rush the job! Take advantage of your rental car insurance. If you don't have it, add it to your policy now! It is only a few extra dollars and it can be very inconvenient if you are without a vehicle for an extended length of time. Even if the accident is not your fault, do not count on the other person to have all the insurance that you will need. Use your policy without fear, it is why you have insurance. Don't let insurance companies take advantage of you. Remember, they have all of your premiums that you have paid, so insist that they repair your car properly.
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