The Collision Coverage
Car repairs that become necessary on your automobile due to wear and tear over time, considered normal maintenance repairs, are not covered by your automobile insurance policy. You need to accept the option of collision coverage in order to have your insurance company cover repairs that may be needed to make your car drivable again after your vehicle is involved in an automobile accident. It’s important to invest in collision coverage because your car repairs will be covered in the event the accident was your fault. In the event the accident was the fault of another driver, then his insurance company is responsible for paying to repair your damages, but smart drivers don’t take a chance that the other driver’s insurance will come through for them and carry their own collision policy.
Collision Coverage and a Totaled Car
If you own a car with a Blue Book value of at least $4,000, it is usually less expensive to repair your car rather than replace it, so you should have collision insurance in place. Especially if you own a newer model car worth four or five times this base figure, your collision coverage limits should equal the amount that your car is currently worth. If you end up causing an accident, you will be covered by your insurance company to repair or even replace your vehicle in the event it’s been totaled.
Collision Coverage and Uninsured Drivers
Collision insurance also protects you in the event the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. It also helps to prevent having your car be in repair limbo in the event the other party refutes responsibility for causing the accident and lawsuits ensue. Having collision insurance is also essential if no other driver is involved in an accident but your car strikes a telephone pole or tree. Your repairs will still be taken care of by your insurance company under your collision policy.
Claiming Car Repair Costs
In order to claim car repair costs from your insurance company following an accident, it’s important to file your claim as soon as possible. These days most major insurance companies send their own appraiser to estimate the amount of damages that need to be repaired or will direct you to get repair estimates from two or more approved repair stations in your area. You must pay the amount of your deductible upfront out of your own pocket and then the insurance company covers the repair bills up to the limits set by your policy.
The Gap Insurance
As many as one out of eight cars involved in an accident are deemed total losses after investigation by an insurance appraiser. Every company has their own formula to determine if the car is not repairable. It’s important to invest in something called Gap Insurance if you have financed the car and don’t want to spend out of pocket for the difference between what the insurance company pays you if the car is totaled versus what you still owe for the vehicle.
Additional Policy Options
Investigate whether your automobile insurance policy allows you to choose your own repair facility or if you must have repairs made at a shop or dealership approved by your insurance company. Some insurance providers also offer policy options for an additional premium charge that cover specific repairs such as windshields, auto glass and small dents and minor repair issues such as dings on your car doors.