When it comes to the property damage insurance claims process, there is something that you need to have in mind and that is your personal injury claim and property damage claim are two different things. This is because both claims always have different claims number and in most cases, there are different adjusters assigned to each case. When it comes to body injury claims, the claims would be based on treatment, specific injuries and general treatment but in the case of property damage claims, it would be based on specific market value that your car has before it was involved in a car crash.
Furthermore, you are entitled to receiving the fair market value of your car that was involved in a car crash. The term fair market value refers to what a buyer is willing to pay to a seller for a car in its present condition prior to getting involved in a car accident. Before making this determination, there are several factors that comes into play and these factors includes;
- Model and make of the vehicle involved in the car crash
- The age of the vehicle
- If the vehicle has suffered any form of damage before
- Mileage of the vehicle
- General condition of the vehicle before getting involved in a car accident
Property Damage Insurance Claims Process
It is very important for you to tell the difference between the fair market value and replacement cost. These two are not the same and the amount you have on your loan is not what is used in determining the fair market value of your damaged property. Unfortunately, there are clients that have been left upside down because the money that they owe is worth more than what the automobile is worth. Few information sources that can help an individual in determining the fair market value includes the following;
- NADA Used Car Guide
- Kelly Blue Book
- Computerized Market Guides
- Asking Price From Car Slots
- Classified Ads From Auto Trader Magazines And Newspaper
Maintenance record, repair receipts and service receipts proves to be very useful when it comes to determining the value of a car and when the time comes for an individual to negotiate with an insurance company on his damaged property, these documents needs to be made available. Property damages includes damages that your car suffered during a car accident, damages done to your car clothing or even the cloth you wore during the accident. In order for you to get compensation for the destroyed or damaged property, you should be able to prove that the properties actually got damaged in the car accident.
Who Pays When Fixing Damaged Properties
The insurance company of the at fault driver is the one you would submit your property damage claims to if you want to push for a compensation. Unless questions are being raised as regards liability, the insurance company is mandated to pay for the damages that your car suffered during the car crash and also pay for other valuable properties that were lost. While doing this, make sure that every release that you sign is relating to property damage alone and does not relate to injury claim if you have one.
This is why it is always very important that you work with an attorney to help in reviewing any document or settlement check before collecting any money. As an alternative option, you can also submit your property damage claim to your own insurance company but the only time a person is allowed to do this is when he has collision coverage in his insurance policy. Paying out claims faster than the at fault driver’s insurance company is one major advantage that comes with submitting property damage claim to your own insurance company.
If your own insurance company ends up paying for your property damage claim then it is going to get reimbursed later by the insurance company of the at fault driver. There are several instance where it is advisable to file a property damage claim with your own insurance company and such instances includes if the at fault driver has no insurance coverage, if the accident you were involved in was with a hit and run driver, if the at fault insurance company do not want to accept liability and if the insurance coverage of the at fault driver is not enough to cover up for damages that your car suffered.