Insurance Estimate Lower Than Body Shop – Must You Go With Body Shop Suggested By Insurer
You just came out of a car accident, and you need some time to take in all that has happened. After resting for some weeks, it is time for you to deal with the insurance company, and you have an estimate. The problem is, the insurance estimate is lower than the body shop estimate.
What do you do? After an accident, it is common thing for you to get a repair estimate from your insurer, but the estimates you get from your insurer shouldn’t be your complete or final estimated cost. The insurer will pay the body shop a reasonable amount if you decide to fix the car or restore it to its previous condition.
Insurance Estimate Lower Than Body Shop
After receiving the first estimate to get your car fixed, your vehicle gets assembled. However, not all damages that occurred on the vehicle will be seen, but it will be easy to identify the damaged parts when the car is disassembled or taken apart.
After identifying all necessary parts that need fixing, you can be rest assured the price to fix your car will be altered. You will find out also that prices in body parts change, too, because parts prices a body shop gives you might not be the same price if it comes directly from a supplier.
All of these factors combined to affect the price of fixing a car, and if there is a price increase, it will be covered by the insurance company.
Am I Mandated To Use The Body Shop Referred By My Insurance Company?
The straightforward and simple answer to the question above is NO. Most times, insurance companies and repair body shops have a contract where prices are negotiated or reduced.
The discount offered by the body shop is always ten percent lower or lesser, but where the insurance company saves money is in the insurance claims adjuster’s efforts in cutting down the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle.
Since the insurance company and the body shop agree, they will unite because they share the same car insurance information and data. Since there is a lowered price agreement between the insurance company and the body shop, and the insurance company keeps taking cars to the body shop for repair, it is a win-win situation.
What Happens When Repairs Are Higher Than Estimates?
In some cases, body shops charge amounts that are slightly higher than the estimate. If you have gotten an estimate from a body shop, the body shop can bill you ten percent higher than indicated in the estimate.
For instance, you received an estimated two thousand dollars to fix your vehicle, but the final estimate might be around two thousand five hundred dollars. It will not exceed that figure.
Will the Insurance Company Send Check To The Body Shop Or Me?
Most insurance companies will not send you the check because there might be rules already in place to send the check to the body shop. This is a way of ensuring that repairs are truly done on the damaged vehicle instead of using the check for something else.
When processing a car damage claim, the insurance companies offer you the option of picking your own body shop to fix your damaged vehicle or stick to the one that suggests. However, it will be good to keep in mind that the insurance company will make it difficult for you to pick another body shop over theirs.
Settling for your own body shop might warrant you to jump some hoops, push some buttons, or get several appraisals. In the end, every insurance company aims to make money off their policyholders.
As a policyholder involved in a car accident, you are within your rights to ask questions about anything that doesn’t make sense. It will be better to stay on top of your insurance company and discuss any condition or suggestion you do not feel comfortable with.
You should always trust your gut and ask for help from an attorney if you find anything confusing. Getting good advice will help you get a good estimate to fix your damaged vehicle.