What are you entitled to?
If you were not at fault in the accident, the answer is simple. You are entitled to all costs and expenses caused by the negligence of the at-fault party. Those expenses include:
- All necessary repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-damage appearance, safety and function.
- A replacement rental vehicle or payment for loss of use, from the date of the damage until you pick-up the repaired vehicle.
- Payment for any out of pocket expenses such as, police reports requested by the insurance company, mileage expenses to obtain repair estimates, etc.
- Payment for any personal property that was damaged including; child car seats, CDs/cassette tapes, sunglasses, golf clubs, etc.
- Payment for the diminished value of your vehicle due to the repaired damage and the damage history, referred to as Inherent Diminished Value.
If you were at fault in the accident, what you are entitled to is determined by the terms of your policy, but generally includes:
- All necessary repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-damage appearance, safety and function, less your deductible.
- If you selected coverage for rental, you should be paid for the cost of a rental car subject to the daily and overall limit that you selected in your policy.
- Payment for the diminished value of your vehicle due to the repaired damage and the damage history, but only if you live in the states of Georgia, Kansas and North Carolina. In all other states you cannot collect diminished value from your own insurance policy.
Selection Of Repair Facilities
You should never, ever, not ever 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. We recommend that you actually visit the body shop, stand face to face with the body shop manager and be sure he/she understands that they work for you and not the insurance company. Be sure that you are satisfied that the shop has the proper equipment, the techs have the proper training, that the shop provides a minimum 5 year warrantee on all work performed including paint and that the shop will keep you advised of the progress of the repairs. You should be kept informed of the progress of your vehicle repairs every step of the way.