How Is Money Handled With Not-At-Fault Accident Repairs?

You might be anxious about how the financial transactions will work out when your car is damaged in an accident that's not your fault. While it varies based on the circumstances of the accident, here are some general guidelines for what will happen next.

It Matters If You Have Collision Insurance

First of all, there will be a big difference in the next steps, based on whether you have collision insurance or not. When the accident is another person's fault, it is assumed that the money will eventually be put forth by their insurance company. But the investigation process might take over a month to complete before the insurance adjuster accepts liability for the accident and starts talking with you about getting your car fixed.

Many people like to file a claim with their own insurance company first in this case. Then, your insurance company can get repairs on your car started for you. The only money you pay out of pocket is your deductible. The rest of the money will come from your insurer and be reimbursed eventually by the at-fault driver's insurance.

If you don't have collision insurance, unfortunately, the money for repairs will have to come out of your pocket if you need the car fixed before the insurance investigation is complete. It will be reimbursed after the liability is finalized.

It Matters If the Car Is Totaled

Another thing that is important to note is how the payment works, based on whether your car is totaled or not. If the car is totaled, and you decide to make repairs and keep it, the money from the insurance company goes straight to you. If the car isn't totaled, then the insurance company usually interfaces with the auto repair or auto body repair shop instead and pays them directly.

If you're working with an auto body repair shop and hoping to get the car totaled, it will help to ensure that they do a thorough evaluation of the damage. It is important to get an auto repair specialist involved to assess mechanical damage or even electrical issues that arise from the accident. They might uncover new damage that the insurance adjuster didn't see before. The auto repair shop and insurance company will keep communicating until all of the accident damage is repaired and paid for. Even if the insurance company underpays from the beginning, they should send supplemental checks to cover the entire damage to your car. Don't settle for a half-hearted fix; choose a thorough and quality auto body repair shop for your repair work, such as Ron's Auto Refinishers .