If you’ve recently been in an accident, your first concern should be your well-being. But once you’re back on your feet, the next step will be communicating with insurance companies. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to file a claim as soon as possible so that the lengthy repair process can begin.
One of the first steps will be to have your car appraised. If you’ve never been through this process before, it may seem daunting. At Collision 24, we put together this article to show our customers in the Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton areas that car appraisals are much simpler than they seem.
You’ll want to have your vehicle appraisal done as soon as possible—right away, if you can. After you file a report, the insurance company will send a claims adjuster to the vehicle’s location. From there, they can begin their assessment.
What they’re trying to determine is your car’s fair value. To do this, they’ll compare your car’s condition before the accident to what it looks like after. From there, they can estimate how much repairs will cost, and how much money they should give you to complete said repairs. If the cost of damage exceeds your car’s initial value, you probably won’t be getting as much. And if your car was in bad condition to begin with, you should also lower expectations.
First, the adjuster will need to compile the circumstantial evidence of the accident. They’ll begin by asking you some basic questions.
- How did the accident occur?
- How old is the vehicle?
- What’s the mileage?
- Has your car been in an accident before?
The answers to these questions can greatly alter your auto appraisal.
Next, the adjuster will begin to examine your car from top to bottom. To figure out the extent of the damage, they’ll consider a few key categories.
- Physical condition: Your insurance company won’t look to fix those dents and scratches your vehicle had before the accident.
- Mechanical performance: For this, they’ll most certainly pop the hood. Is your engine still running properly? Is there fluid leaking?
- Regular maintenance: When was the last time you had an oil change, or alignment? If you haven’t been taking care of your vehicle, it’ll show. And it’ll count against you.
This is where your vehicle’s history is truly important. Be sure to give your adjuster all the facts—they’ll be checking on Carfax® or AutoCheck for continuity. In addition to taking detailed notes, the appraiser will take pictures of everything they see, for posterity.
When It’s a Loss
Unfortunately, not every car is worth repairing. If you’ve been in a bad enough accident that the cost of fixing your vehicle exceeds its worth, the insurance company will call it a total loss. Your insurance provider will determine their own damage threshold, but typically it’s between 60% and 70%.
If the car needs to be scrapped, you’ll likely receive compensation based on your vehicle appraisal. This will likely be your most economical option.
Is It Time for Repair?
Auto appraisals can be stressful, but if you know what to expect, they can also be quick and painless. At Collision 24, we hope our customers never have to endure this process, but if they must, we want them to be prepared.
After your car appraisal is finished, the process of finding a trusted service center will begin. If you’re looking for an auto repair center in the Brockton, Randolph, or Stoughton area, know that we’re here to provide fair, comprehensive service. Contact Collision 24 today for more information.