Will My Auto Insurance Cover Me If I’m in an Accident Out of State?

One of the best parts of living in the United States is the fact that we can, any time we want to, hop behind the wheel of our car and drive to destinations unknown to see any of the 50 states. Nobody’s going to ask for a passport, nobody’s going to ask what you’re doing. They’re just going to smile, wave and drive on. But is your auto insurance going to make sure you’re protected when you slip across state lines?

The good news is, nine times out of ten the answer to that is going to be yes. In the eyes of most auto repair shops American auto insurance is American auto insurance, and as long as your insurance carrier decides to ante up when it’s time to pay the bill they don’t care which state you happen to be from. You’re pretty much free to come and go as you please.

There are, however, a couple of things you need to know about driving out of state. First and foremost, every state has a different minimum driving age. While you can get a permit when you’re fifteen (and a half) in Virginia you have ot wait until you’re sixteen in New York, which means driving around with a VA Learner’s Permit up north is asking for trouble. Other states enforce strict curfews for drivers under 18. If you have a new driver in the house, make sure you check out the rules of the road before you go traveling.

How much liability insurance are you carrying? Technically you’re not required to meet the minimum liability coverage requirements of another state just because you happen to be driving through it, but you are still going to be responsible for any damages above and beyond your maximum coverage levels-and most judges really, really hate dealing with out of state drivers. Not your fault, there are just some people that like to roll through town and cause trouble and leave everybody else to deal with the consequences.

Regardless, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of your life paying damages to an out of state court. That means you want to make sure your liability coverage is geared up and and ready to handle whatever life (or the California by-ways) happen to toss your way. Most experts suggest that you carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident in liability auto insurance to cover any auto insurance claims that happen to pop up, regardless of what part of the country you happen to call home.

Your auto insurance company is one of the most important resources you’re going to have when you start traveling, so make sure it’s ready. Then kick back and enjoy your vacation. You’ve earned it.

Tire Insurance: Myths and Facts About Road Hazard Policies

Insurance–it’s everywhere. One can insure just about anything. Are tires an investment one needs to insure? Tire insurance, also called a road hazard policy, road hazard warranty, or tire reimbursement plan, is a rapidly growing industry in the automotive world.

Tire warranty plans pay in full or in part for the replacement or repair of damaged tires and/or rims from “road hazards.” Road hazards are defined as pot holes, debris, nails, wood, and other hazards found in the road. Curbs, sidewalks, and stone walls are not road hazards. This is an important distinction to consider when deciding if tire insurance is right for you (discussed further ahead).

Tire plans last for a specific period of time and tire wear tread-depth. Some plans last 2-3 years. Others can last 5 years or 60,000 miles. Several plans come with fixed amounts of coverage: $500 per year up to 4 years. Many contracts require three years of law school to comprehend. In terms of tread depth, a tire is usually considered worn out (and thus the plan null and void) at 2/32 to 3/32 of an inch.

Another important distinction is in the type of plan.

Tire reimbursement plans are just what they say. You, the plan holder, will be reimbursed after the claims process is finalized–usually 2-8 weeks. There is an out-of-pocket expense. These plans are often sold by new car dealerships. The prices can range from $300 to $600 dollars.

Road hazard policies operate similarly to reimbursement plans. However, some tire insurance providers, in partnership with the repair facility, may have a direct-pay relationship. Thus, there would be no out-of-pocket expense, except for applicable deductibles, and items not covered in part or in full. These plans are primarily sold by tire dealers and repair shops. The prices range from $10 to $30 per tire. They also can be based on a percentage of the cost of the tire: usually 12% to 15%.

Both types of plans have a number of variables, requiring a magnifying glass to read the fine print. Also, many are pro-rated warranties, covering only a percentage of the cost of the tire based on its wear.

Claims and Coverage

Depending on the plan, claims are initiated by the repair shop. The process is fairly smooth, although there can be a significant delay from the provider for authorization. This delay may be an hour or an entire weekend. This means that you’ll have to “ok” the tire replacement, and then hope it’s authorized for the full amount, or drive on your spare.

Some plans offer national coverage either among their service facilities or from other repair centers. Claims procedures will vary. Others only provide local coverage, or coverage at the selling facility.

Limitations

Tire insurance does not mean that everything is covered. Pro-rated warranties are based on the wear and tear of the tire. You may get 75%, 50%, or only 10% coverage depending on the tread-depth. You’ll pay the remainder. While there are plans that offer full coverage, even these have limitations, or they may conflict with a repair shop’s policies.

For example, many plans allow for a maximum of $30 to mount and balance one tire, and a maximum of $15 to repair a tire. However, sport tires often have significantly higher mounting and balancing fees–upwards of $50 per tire–and tire repair prices can exceed $90. There are also discrepancies on the tire and rim prices themselves, which in the end, may have to be supplemented by the service customer.

Although there usually is not an issue with the latter given the competitive market, the service center’s price mark up may be unacceptable to the plan provider. In this case, the service center needs to lower the price or you, the service customer, need to pay the difference–or go somewhere else. This does happen!

Rim Replacement and Repair

Rim replacement is becoming less frequent. With the high cost of aluminum wheels and sport wheel packages, tire insurers have opted to have them repaired. Repair will only be done if the rim does not hold air. What this means is that even if the rim is warped–enough to cause a vibration and even premature tire wear–they won’t replace it. Rather, they will send it out to be straightened and repaired.

Rims are replaced only if the damage is so extensive that the new tire, when mounted on the rim, won’t hold air. However, even in this case, especially if it’s an expensive sport wheel, they may still attempt to repair it.

Repairing rims is a bad option. While some rim repair is acceptable, badly warped or damaged rims will in no way ever be the same.

Alignments

If a car hits a road hazard hard enough, such as a pot hole, it’s wise to have the alignment checked. Road hazard policies and tire reimbursement plans do not cover alignments. The service customer will have to pay for this procedure.

Road Hazard Protection Positives

Some plans include tire rotations, wheel balancing, and nationwide coverage.

Myths

Can I pop all 4 tires and get a new set of tires?

You can try. But this type of claim will trigger a number of red flags with the insurer. The policy holder will likely send out adjusters and/or require photographs. You will also have a difficult time explaining how a “road hazard” caused all 4 tire pop.

New tires come with a warranty.

New tires do come with a warranty by the tire manufacturer (Michelin, Yokohama, Goodyear…etc), but not a road hazard warranty. The warranty by the tire manufacturer only covers defects in workmanship. New tire warranties do not cover punctures or damages from external sources. This is why “road hazard” protection is being pushed.

New tires are rarely defective. If there is a problem, it’s usually noticed when balancing the tire. Or, there is a drivability concern such as vibration or noise. If there’s a defect it’s generally caught right away, and the tire swapped out.

It’s so cheap; it’s a no-brainer, right?

Actually, the experts don’t agree with this statement.

The Economics of Tire Warranties

An article from the Washington Post by Terence O’Hara explains the economics of extended warranties and purchase protection plans in general. It is quite fitting for road hazard warranties. He writes:

The decision to buy an extended warranty…defies the recommendations of economists, consumer advocates and product quality experts, who all warn that the plans rarely benefit consumers and are nearly always a waste of money.

‘[Extended warranties or purchase protection plans] make no rational sense,’ Harvard economist David Cutler said. ‘The implied probability [of having an issue with the product] has to be substantially greater than the risk that you can’t afford to fix it or replace it. If you’re buying a $400 item, for the overwhelming number of consumers that level of spending is not a risk you need to insure under any circumstances.’

In short, road hazard warranties are a waste of money. Don’t insure that which you can afford to replace.

Numbers Game and Slim Chances

Like all insurance, tire insurance plans are a numbers game. However, this is a game you have a 98% chance of losing. Insider statistics show that the percentage of claims paid out by providers is as low a 2%.

Curbs

Another interesting note is that a lot of tire damage is caused by curbs. Curb damage is not covered under most road hazard policies. High granite curbs with sharp edges slice through tens of thousands of tires per year.

You Won’t Notice

Many people don’t even notice tire damage. Other than to see if the tires are holding air, who “really” looks at tires? Tires are subject to a whole host of external influences which cause bubbles, slices and gouges. Despite the potential dangers of damaged tires, the damage very often does not translate into any noticeable drivability issue. The point is that if you don’t notice any tire damage you can’t benefit from the coverage.

Research Shows

Those raving about the benefits of a road hazard policy are the actual folks in the industry who stand to benefit from the sale. They’ll argue that it’s so cheap–only $10 to $20 per tire. Even so, for four tires, that’s $80 based on the “possibility,” the “chance,” of damaging a tire that meets the repair/replacement requirement protocols.

Auto Insurance

If a rim and tire has incurred significant damage, it’s quite likely that other problems have resulted as well. The first is that the vehicle may have been jarred out of alignment. Secondly, hub bearings, front end components: tie rods, spindles, ball joints, and a variety of other components may have sustained damage. In this case, auto insurance, which you are already paying for, will pay for everything–brand new.

Free Road Hazard Warranties

Many tires come with road hazard warranties FREE. In other words, in an effort to secure retailers, many tire distributors provide service centers FREE road hazard insurance. Some shops pass this on to their tire customers, others sell them. Ask if the tire “comes” with a road hazard protection policy. If not, request that one be provided at no additional charge. It’s worth a shot.

Also, some car manufacturers provide road hazard warranties FREE of charge for 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you’re buying a new car or even used, ask that the dealer provide a complimentary road hazard policy (after all the wheeling and dealing is done, of course), and just before you commit.

What’s the best road hazard policy?

Money in your bank account.

Insurance Totaled My Car – What This Means

“Your vehicle is a Total Loss.” These words, more often than not, spark immediate controversy between an insured and their insurance company. The main cause of controversy between an insurance company and an insured as it relates to total loss is that most people feel their vehicle is worth more than it really is.

A vehicle, though historically not a good investment, is very personal to us. Many of us spend a great deal of time in our vehicles each day and grow attached to our car. Many others ”trick out” their cars and inherently feel that their modifications enhance the value of the car.

I thought it might help some folks if they heard exactly how an insurance company views this and how they go about compensating you for your car should it be determined to be a totaled. There are typically two main things involved in understanding this process: What exactly is a Total Loss and how is the value of a car determined. In this article I am going to discuss and define a Total Loss from an insurance companies perspective.

So, what exactly does it mean when your insurance company deems your vehicle a total loss? In general, there are two types or measurements if you will when it comes to making this determination: Financial or Economic Total Loss and an Obvious Total Loss.

Financial or Economic Total Loss

A vehicle is often declared an Economic Total Loss when the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, plus sales tax, less your deductible. I am sure you have heard that there is a percentage used to determine if a car is an Economic Total Loss. You have probably heard numbers from 50% to 70%, or more. This is true, however, it is important to know that not all states set an actual percentage and that for the states that do not set percentages, it is up to the insurance company to determine what that will be.

Although all insurance companies that are free to set this number themselves are all different, a common number you will hear is 70%. What exactly does that mean? I thought a quick illustration might help:

Market Value $15,000

Plus tax $ 1,050 (7% used as example)

Sub-total $16,050

Less Deductible $ 500

Total Loss Value $15,550

Cost of Repairs $11,662

Repairs are 75% of the value

In the example above, your insurance company would likely determine your vehicle to be an Economic Total Loss. One thing to remember is that if you are paid the value of your vehicle, the insurance company will retain the salvage or damaged vehicle and then sell it to a vendor. Most insurance companies have negotiated contracts with salvage buyers and will use that avenue to recoup some of the money paid out for the total loss. In the example above, your insurance provider would know that your car had a salvage value of $3,000 (example). So, when making their total loss decision, they would factor in this amount and subtract it from the total amount paid of $15,550, bringing their net cost to $12,550.

One other brief point to make that is worth noting is that your insurance carrier will also factor in estimated supplemental damages were your car to be repaired. From my experience as an adjuster and claims manager, there are often supplemental or additional damages/repairs identified once a car begins the repair process. These damages are often discovered on “tear down” or after parts of the vehicle are removed and additional damages are more visible. In many cases it is almost certain that there will be additional damages based on the visible damages, however, an adjuster will only write for what they can see and note that additional damages are likely.

Obvious Total Loss

An Obvious Total Loss or OTL is in which the damages to a vehicle are so extensive in terms of repair and/or putting the structural integrity of the vehicle at risk with a repair, that the car is determined to be an OTL. Some examples of an OTL are:

  • Fire Damage
  • Rollover
  • A theft
  • Extensive Water Damage
  • High impact front-end collision
  • T-Bone or hard hit to the side of a vehicle at the center-point

In most cases, a claims adjuster will not have the direct authority to determine a vehicle to be an OTL. The two insurance companies I worked for required a manager approval to make this call. With today’s technology, that can be done easily in the field by simply sending some detailed photos to a Claims Manager or Property Damage Manager. In this case, there isn’t a cost of repairs necessarily but the valuation process is the same.

Hopefully this helps you understand what is meant when you are told that your car is a total loss. Your insurance claims adjuster should explain all of this to you, however, having a basis understanding will certainly help should you find yourself in this situation.

6 Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage That First-Time Car Owners Need To Know

But, it still doesn’t take away the importance of covering your car with a good auto insurance plan, since you don’t know what will happen to your car later.

For instance, in the time of a big accident, you need to pay all of the fixing up costs by yourself if you don’t cover your car with a good car insurance plan. Thus, you don’t need to pay a dime just to get your car fixed when accidents happen. It is also the same with other unexpected things, such as theft, disaster, and faulty vehicle.

Here are 6 types of auto insurance coverage that first-time car owners need to know:

1. Accidents. Accidents happen at unexpected times. It can be caused by your own recklessness, or it can be caused by the recklessness of other drivers. Also, accidents can happen because of disasters, such as floods or fire. The point is that if your car is damaged because of any accidents, the auto insurance company will cover the cost of repair for your car.

2. Faulty car. Maybe, you are driving for a few miles down the road, and then in the middle of your travel, your car is faulty. The engine is in trouble and the car cannot move, or your tire is flat. This can become quite a problem for you. But fortunately, the insurance company will cover the cost of repairing your car in this emergency situation. Some companies might also offer roadside assistance for their clients.

3. Car make and model. The make and model of your car will also affect the type of car insurance that you get. If you have a brand new car, or if you purchase a luxury car, you will have a better coverage for damage. But, you need to pay more for the premium, since it might cost more money to repair the damage of your car. This is different if you buy a second-hand car with long mileage.

4. Personal fault. Sometimes, you might be driving your car, and because of your carelessness, you might cause an accident with other cars. Other cars may sustain some damages because of the accident, and other drivers may also need to be sent to the hospital. The car insurance plan usually provides the coverage cost for the car damage or medical problems caused by your personal fault.

5. Non-insured driver. The auto insurance company also offers the coverage for non-insured driver at the time when the driver causes an accident that creates damages for other cars. In this way, you don’t need to pay all the financial burdens by yourself, since the car insurance company will cover the cost for you.

6. Driver’s experience. If you are not too experienced with cars, then you might fall into the high-risk category for the car insurance company, since you will most likely to have accidents on the road. Thus, you usually need to pay more premium costs, but in exchange for that, you get better coverage for any damage. If you are already an experienced driver, you will fall into the low-risk category, and you will pay lower insurance costs since you may not file insurance claims often.

Tips, Tricks, And Advice On Auto Insurance

Don’t put yourself at risk of the financial burden by not having auto insurance for yourself or your teen drivers! Having auto insurance protects you and helps offset costs, should you be in a car accident. Use the following tips to pick the right auto insurance company to fit you or your teen driver’s needs.

As you choose car insurance, be sure to properly protect yourself when it comes to liability for property damage and bodily injury. The right amount of coverage in this area can make a big difference in the event of an accident. Not having enough coverage can leave you with a lawsuit that can be hard to recover from.

When insuring a teenage driver, lower your car insurance costs by asking about all the eligible discounts. Insurance companies generally have a discount for good students, teenage drivers with good driving records, and teenage drivers who have taken a defensive driving course. Discounts are also available if your teenager is only an occasional driver.

When considering insurance for a young driver, it is wise to not purchase an expensive car. Rates are high enough for teenagers, they will skyrocket depending on the type and worth of a car. In this situation, safety is one of the highest factors affecting insurance costs.

One of the best ways to drop your auto insurance rates is to show the insurance company that you are a safe, reliable driver. To do this, you should think about attending a safe-driving course. These courses are affordable, quick, and you could end up saving thousands of dollars over the life of your insurance policy.

When shopping for an auto insurance policy, most companies are going to offer extras like towing, road-side assistance, GPS services, and other add-ons. These may come in handy if you’re ever in a pinch, but they can be really expensive. Say no to these extras in order to save money on your insurance.

There are a lot of factors that determine the cost of your automobile insurance. Your age, sex, marital status and location all play a factor. While you can’t change most of those, and few people would move or get married to save money on car insurance, you can control the type of car you drive, which also plays a role. Choose cars with lots of safety options and anti-theft systems in place.

Check into how much you would save by using the same insurer for both your home and your car. Some companies offer a discount if you have multiple policies with them. The majority of companies today do insure a variety of items, so it is a good idea to look into the possibility.

To make sure you’re getting fair pricing in your premiums, verify that your reported information is accurate in your policy. For example, ensure that the make/model of your vehicle is correct, the number of miles on the vehicle when you took out the policy, etc. Even your reported commuting distance is important as shorter commuting distances can have a positive effect on your premium savings.

You will want to make sure to contact your insurance company if you get a divorce and no longer want your ex to be on your policy. If they get into an accident while they are on your insurance policy, it could cause your rates to go up, and you will have to pay for their mistake for the rest of the time you have a policy with that company.

When you purchase a new car, you should keep your insurance rates in mind and look for the best safety features you can get. Safer cars are cheaper to insure. Because insurance companies are responsible for medical liability, they will charge a lower premium for safe cars that minimize injuries in an accident.

Know the laws in your state concerning auto insurance. In almost every state, car insurance is compulsory. You can face stiff fines and penalties for not carrying adequate car insurance. Some states are even known to jail repeat no-insurance violators. Educating yourself is important so that you can comply with the laws.

When trying to decide on an insurance company for your auto insurance, you should check into the department of insurance from your state. You will find some valuable information there which will include closed insurance cases, important financial data as well as licensing information. This research will help you decide if you feel comfortable trusting this insurance company.

Pay for your auto insurance coverage in one payment up front. When you pay in full you will not be charged interest charges as you would if you were paying monthly. This means some companies also offer you a discount if your coverage is paid for ahead of time. Monthly payments can be convenient, but they may not be as affordable as you would like.

If you live in an urban area or an area where there are many wild animals, you may want to consider animal collision on your insurance. Repairing a car after you have hit an animal, especially a large one, can cost you thousands of dollars. Animal collision covers all of these costs.

A big part of setting the cost for your auto insurance premiums has to do with the type of car that you drive. Remember that when you are in the market for a new car – cars that are more expensive to repair, for example, will often result in higher insurance rates.

Ensure that your car insurance plan pays up front for car rentals. Drivers whose policies do not include rental coverage may wish to secure additional insurance for this purpose. The extra policy can be as much as $20 per day. If your car requires major repairs, you could be paying for quite a while.

Don’t allow your teen or yourself to drive without auto insurance. Car accidents and car repairs can be incredibly expensive. Having auto insurance before something happens is important so you can protect you and your family from a financial struggle! Use the tips above to get auto insurance today!

Car Insurance Claim Procedure

Motor Vehicle Insurance is compulsory in India under Motor Vehicle Act 1988. Motor vehicle insurance is the insurance coverage of the risk of third party arising out the use of motor vehicle and also for covering the risk of damage caused to the vehicle. Indian people neither concern about Life Insurance Plan nor Medical Insurance plan but they are more concern on Motor Vehicle Insurance either they are driving a Scooter or a Bike or a Car or a Truck. It is mandatory otherwise if anyone injured without insurance vehicle, it will treated like a Crime.

Now days everyone have their own vehicle, roads are jam pack with vehicles, the risk is high so as a result, motor insurance companies are growing day by day and claims have also gone up. But many a time, the policyholders do not know exactly what they can do to get their Car Insurance Claim Procedure.

Here we are explaining the procedure how to claim on your car insurance policy. This will help you a lot.

How to claim on your Car Insurance Claim

We will understand this procedure in some scenario step by step so it will be very easy for us.

Claims for own-damage: If your car met with an accident, you should follow these steps to claim for damages:

  • Inform the insurance service provider – First and foremost you should inform to the insurer at the earliest and you have to submit a duly filled in claim form along with the required documents to the insurance company before you send the car to the garage for any repairs. The forms are available on insurance service provider’s websites. Most insurers follow strict guidelines and its mentioned in the policy documentation.
  • Lodge FIR – In some cases, First Information Report (FIR) is required so lodge FIR to the nearest police station for the safer side. Although it may not be mandatory for claim settlements but it is advisable to lodge an FIR. It depends on the condition.
  • Assess the damage – Once you inform to insurance service provider, they will appoint a surveyor who will assess / evaluate the damage of your vehicle. He will prepare a report and pass it on to the insurance company. You will also receive a copy and then you can move your car to the nearest network garage for repair.Note: If the damage is severe then surveyor will reach the spot of the accident at the earliest for survey.
  • Claim settlement – As soon as insurance company receives survey report, they will analyze the claim request and sends an approval to the garage. The garage will have to provide an estimated cost for the vehicle repair and timelines for the same. The insurer will be in touch with the network garage for an overall view of the extent of damage and the way in which the repair work is proceeding.

After the work is completed, you will have to take the duly signed bills and documents from the garage and submit them to surveyor. Surveyor will send it to the insurance company.

If all the documents are completed, the insurance provider will reimburse your bills. Keep in mind that there will be some compulsory deductible and variable deductible components, as stated in the policy document. Once your claim settled and your car is OK then you can drive again.

Car insurance claim process for a third party claim: -If you are responsible for an accident where a third-party suffers injuries or damage to property, here is what you need to do:

  • Inform to insurance service provider – First and foremost you should inform to your service provider at the earliest. Also remember not to make any financial commitments to third party.
  • Lodge FIR – Lodge FIR at the nearest police station and keep a copy of the FIR for future reference as well.
  • Share policy document – You should mandatorily share a copy of your car insurance policy with the third-party, so that they can raise a claim on it.
  • Claim at Motor Tribunal – According to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, third-party liability claims are raised at the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT). The claim can be raised by the third-party at the tribunal closest to his/her residence or yours.

After receiving all the documents, the insurance service provider will verify the documents and assess the accident and if found satisfactory, you will get a lawyer appointed by them.

If the court directs you to pay the damages to the third party thereafter, the insurance service company will directly pay the dues to the third party.

It is advisable to see if the situation can be settled amicably outside the tribunal.

Claims for theft: If you find that your car has been stolen then follow the below procedure.

  • Lodge FIR – Lodge FIR at the nearest police station and keep a copy of the FIR for future reference as well.
  • Inform to insurance service provider – You should inform to your service provider at the earliest with a copy of FIR
  • Once you receive the final report from police station, make a copy of it and submit it to your insurance company. The insurance company will assign an investigator. Investigator will make the report and submit to insurance company. Once that is done, submit the RC book of your stolen car to the insurance company.
  • Submit the duplicate keys of the car and also a subrogation letter. You will also need to submit a notarized indemnity on a stamp paper also.
  • Once all the formalities are completed, the insurance company will disburse the claim.

It is very important for us to know about the formalities of car insurance claim procedure otherwise many people are paying from their pocket due to lack of these information. Now days the entire insurance service provider’s having a very good customer support network and their teams are skilled and co-operative also so you must communicate with your insurer whenever you need it.

I wish that you don’t need these procedures. I wish you will have a Safe Drive, someone is waiting for you.

OEM Parts Versus Aftermarket In Car Insurance Repairs

In the event that your car is involved in an accident and has to go in for repairs, you will more often than not find yourself faced with the decision whether to use OEM or aftermarket parts in the repair.

It is important to note that insurance companies recommend the use of aftermarket parts, which are much cheaper. Non-OEM manufacturers say that the difference between OEM parts and aftermarket parts is negligible. The result is that most insurance companies will not reimburse the repair costs when OEM parts are used. Yet where aftermarket parts are utilized, you will get a 100 per cent refund of the costs that you end up incurring. This means that when a policy hold insists on using quality OEM parts they wil only get refunded the difference it would have cost had they used non-OEM parts. This can be a huge sum of money because in many cases OEM auto parts usually cost double what non-OEM or aftermarket parts will cost you.

Manufacturers of OEM parts and other advocates of it claim that after market parts are not subject to the same rigorous crash-testing procedures that OEM parts go through. The implication is that non-OEM parts are not as safe as OEM parts. This is however contradicted by the Insurance institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) who say that repairs with aftermarket parts does not degrade the safety of an automobile in a crash.

However what everybody knows is that the use of aftermarket parts decreases a vehicle’s resale value. This will greatly concern those who plan on reselling or trading in their cars.

You will have to make the final decision on whether or not to use OEM parts for your repair. If it is a high-end vehicle you may be forced to for OEM, even if you have to foot a substantial part of the repair bill, which will not be covered by your car insurance company.

Understanding the Auto Insurance Claims Process

If you own a car, truck, motorcycle or any other vehicle, you know you need related insurance. All is good as long as you pay your monthly premium and do not make a claim.

Then you are involved in an accident. What then?

For many auto insurance policyholders, the auto insurance claim process is very, very complicated. Here, we bring you the basics of understanding with the following oft-repeated questions.

How long does it generally take to process an auto insurance claim?

A: If the insurance company has all the facts, a settlement should be achieved fairly quickly. By providing much of the details involved in the collision, the policyholder him or herself will help get the process off the ground. Any insurance company worth its reputation will do its utmost to process the claim as efficiently as possible.

Why is the estimated cost of repairs less than the actual payment check?

A: This is because the auto policyholder must first pay out-of-pocket for the deductible. Only after this, is the remaining balance given through a check.

What is the reason for the auto lien holder to be placed on the insurance payment check?

A: Many states make this a requirement for the simple reason that the lien holder has an insurable interest in the repair work done on the vehicle. In order for the policyholder to get the funding for the repair, he or she must be in touch with the lien holder.

What is the meaning of Direction of Payment?

A: Most auto repair shops require you to sign a Direction of Payment form so that they have documented evidence that the insurance company has permission to pay them for the repair work they complete.

What is common practice of insurance companies in regard to rental cars during the time the insured car is in the shop for repairs?

A: Most times, an insurance company will supply a rental car if the insured car is inoperable and in for repairs.

What about towing costs?

A: Generally speaking, towing is a covered service provided by the auto insurance company following an accident.

What is the procedure if the insured incurs injury during an auto accident?

A: The policyholder should be in touch with the insurance company if he or she is injured. The claims person will inform the policyholder about the related medical care and treatments that are covered under the policy.

Insurance Claim Supplements – How to Submit Claim Supplements

A claim supplement is a claim for additional repair or replacement costs. Supplements are commonplace in the claims process. However, if you are a policyholder unaware of your policy rights, you could be walking away from hundreds or thousands of dollars that you are entitled to collect.

Claim supplements usually occur after a policyholder submits a claim, gets paid and gets the repairs or replacements completed. Then, additional damage is discovered some time later.

Many people erroneously think that, once the claim is closed, it cannot be re-opened. And, insurance companies and their adjusters usually don’t rush to tell you how to submit a claim supplement. So, what to do? Let’s look at car insurance claims and property insurance claims.

For any kind of supplemental claim, you must contact your insurance company and give them your original claim number. The best way to notify the company is in writing, sent Certified Mail. That way, you’ll know who signed for the letter. The insurer will have to re-open the claim. You might get the same adjuster as before, but maybe not.

Car Insurance Supplemental Claims

Lots of supplements happen when cars are getting repaired. Many times, hidden damages are discovered when the body shop begins dismantling the car. So, while the insurance company may have issued payment to the body shop from the original repair estimate, they will issue a second check for the supplemental repairs. Happens all the time, no big deal.

However, sometimes post-repair problems don’t show up right away. A good example is the Air Conditioning system. If you have a car wreck in July, you might not notice that your heater is malfunctioning until fall or winter. But when any damages are discovered that can be directly related to the original insured loss, you can submit a supplement. Simply document the damages and their cause and send the supplement to the insurance company. No additional deductible is assessed, since you already paid it once.

Property Insurance Supplemental Claims

Homeowners, Renters or Business insurance claims can find a need for a supplemental claim for some of the same reasons found in car insurance claims. Seasonal issues can bring up damages related to the original loss. But, some other issues might present themselves. You may have an expert’s report that shows additional damage attributable to the original loss. Your contractor may have found hidden damage that must be repaired. In any event, carefully document your claim and submit it to the insurance company.

Be sure that you are collecting all the money you are entitled to collect. Use supplemental claims whenever your claim requires it.

If you have experienced a property loss, whether fire, wind, flood or other, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, go to the website listed below.