One of the most worrisome events that can happen in a person’s life is a car accident. Car accidents are among the top causes of bodily harm in the world, but for those who managed to make it through with no injuries, there is still quite an aftermath to manage.
More often than not, a car is part of someone’s long term goals and aspirations. It is likely something they worked hard and saved money for, which is why any type of accident can be incredibly painful for that individual—and not just because of the bodily pains.
The gravity of an accident can leave the state of a vehicle in varying levels of destruction. What is the next step for someone who’s been in a car accident?
To help you out, this article will cover a few things you will need to know when dealing with insurance in the aftermath of a car accident that was not your fault.
How do I know if I qualify for coverage?
If you are not at fault for any part of the accident, then you are entitled to damages from the offending parties’ insurance company. Any personal property—be it clothing, electronic devices, eyewear, etc.—that was damaged in the accident should also be covered by their insurance.
Any items that were in the car, but cannot be accounted for—whether they have been lost or stolen—do qualify for coverage too.
Unfortunately, it may take an insurance company weeks or even months to determine the validity of a car accident insurance claim. As such you will have no choice but to be patient when it comes to your well-deserved insurance payout.
What types of coverage can pay for the damages to my car?
Assuming you are not the party at fault, here are the types of car insurance coverage that may pay for the damages to your car and property:
Liability Coverage under the Defendant’s Insurance
If fault is proven, then an insurance company will pay a standard amount to have the damage to your car fixed.
Collision Coverage (under your own insurance)
If you are in desperate need of your vehicle, then using your own insurance in the event of an accident is usually the fastest and easiest way to get that done. You might have to pay a deductible upfront, but this can be returned to you once the defendant’s insurance company repays yours. Depending on your terms, you may also claim for reimbursement of a rented vehicle to use while your damaged car is out of commission.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (under your own insurance)
In the event that the person who caused the accident has no auto insurance or was not identified, your uninsured motorist policy can cover the damages. Depending on the type and scale of the accident, however, you may still end up paying a deductible amount.
How do I get my car fixed?
It is important to contact the offending party’s insurance company as soon as possible. A date and time might be scheduled for the inspection of the vehicle. You may also be asked to bring your car—if it is in working condition, of course—to the insurance company’s office. At this point, you will get a cost estimate for the repairs of your vehicle from the insurance company.
From there, you can take your car to the body shop of your choice. If the estimated amount is lower than the actual cost of the repairs, ask the manager of the establishment to call the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company should issue a check to the body shop to pay for the repairs on the vehicle.
In some cases, you may have to get estimates more than once. Some insurance companies do not have inspectors and local estimators on-hand, which is why you’ll need to get 2–3 estimates for the cost of your repairs from different body shops. After that, they will likely issue a check for the lowest estimate.
What if my car is totalled beyond recognition and drivability?
The offending party’s insurance company will send an adjuster to estimate the cost of the damage. A check will be issued for the estimated cost, which must then be paid to the body shop of your choice as soon as possible, as repair shops might have repair fees for which you could be responsible for.
The unfortunate nature of accidents is that they never happen at an opportune time. No matter how ready you are, even with your car insurance and your skills at driving, there is no way to account for human error 100% of the time. In that case, it is good to have a basic knowledge of how auto insurance works just in case you end up in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
If you need more help with auto insurance and car repairs, send us at Accident Management Services a message. We provide assistance for insurance claims made in the UK. Get in touch with us today!