How to get vehicle repaired

it's happened. You bought insurance in case you ever have an accident and now you need it. If the damage to the vehicle is covered by your insurance, the following steps will assist you.

Submitting your claim

If you are claiming from your own insurance company, ask the company for a proof of loss claim form. Complete, sign, and submit this form to the company as soon as possible to avoid delay in settling your claim. The other option is to file your claim through your insurance agent or broker by telephone, fax or in person. If for some reason you are not physically capable of doing these steps then you may appoint someone to help you with these tasks. Forms will get signed later.

Repair cost estimate

  • Before your vehicle can be repaired, you and your insurer need to know how much the repairs will cost.
  • Your insurance company may accept the repair shop’s estimate of the damage, or may want to appraise the damage to the vehicle. The company has the right to initially assess the damages to your vehicle and estimate the cost to repair them. Because the quality and extent of the repairs will affect the value of your vehicle, you may wish to be present if the insurer’s appraiser meets with the body shop manager to discuss the repair job.
  • If your vehicle is drivable, take your vehicle and a copy of the insurance company’s appraisal to the repair shop of your choice.
  • If the vehicle is not drivable, or it was towed from the collision scene, contact your insurance company so that suitable arrangements can be made.
  • Only one estimate is required. However, you may decide to get more than one, in order to compare prices and opinions about the extent of repairs. If you do get a second estimate and it is different, find out why. Be aware that the lowest price is not always the best deal. Look for a shop that has a reputation for high quality work and a written guarantee. (Turner's Tips reminds you that many insurance companies have "preferred suppliers". If you use the preferred supplier then you may find the requirement is just for one appraisal.)

What is included in an estimate?

An estimate of costs should specify:

  • what repairs are being done,
  • whether parts are being repaired or replaced,
  • whether new or second-hand parts are being used, and
  • whether parts from the original manufacturer or generic parts are being used. If the body shop plans to use generic parts, compare the warranty provided to that offered on parts from the original manufacturer.

Choose the right repair shop

Do I get a guarantee on car repair?

Is repairing your vehicle a choice?

Dealing with the repair shop

How to resolve disputes and disagreements