When you have an accident, it is quite easy to know the rules. There are 3 easy steps to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
Look at the insurance regulations for your state. There are quite a few but every state has a website that you can find them. Find the specific regulations that deal with your claim.
If your vehicle is totaled and they aren’t paying what you think they should pay, mots states have a clause where you can get three comparable vehicles and the insurance company must re-evaluate what they have paid. Never agree with them upfront. Also, make sure they don’t make frivolous deductions in the value of your vehicle. A burn hole in your seat does not warrant a $1,000 deduction, but they will try.
If your vehicle is not a total loss, make sure that the body shop is licensed and their work is guaranteed. Ask if it is a contract repair. What this means is that the insurance company tells the body shop they will pay 5000.00 for a repair to your vehicle. If the shop agrees, all repairs must be done for that amount regardless of how much damage actually exists. If it costs too much, the body shop may cut corners to ensure they make a profit.
Do not be afraid to contact the Department of Insurance and complain. If you do, try to have the exact state statutes to back yourself up. Even if the DOI doesn’t tell you exactly what you want to hear, the insurance company may raise what they are paying rather than have to respond to the DOI.