How Does a Panel Beater Manage an Insurance Claim For Me?
Your panel beater will have the vehicle returned back to its pre-accident condition, however, your insurance company is usually the one left determining how your vehicle is going to be paid for, how much it is going to provide for the repairs and where you can get your vehicle fixed.
Of course, it isn’t up to you to throw out a value for the vehicle repairs and once the vehicle is dropped off at the panel beaters, it is completely out of your hands. This is exactly why it is so important for you to know what a panel beater does after you have dropped off your car and how the panel beater company works with your insurance company to make sure your insurance claim is filled correctly and your car back to you in a timely manner.
Once your car reaches the auto body repairer, a full and complete inspection is carried out on the vehicle. This is so that the repairer can quickly identify exactly what is wrong with the car. While the damage might show one thing, a closer inspection might show something completely different. A minor car accident can cause structural damage to the frame and other issues that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
You need to know about all of this as you don’t want your car to start functioning oddly a few weeks after you receive your car back. Often times, if that happens, the insurance company is not going to pay for new repairs as it could claim the problem as normal wear and tear for the vehicle.
You should not have to pay for damage done to your vehicle during an accident, which is why it is so important to have this sort of an inspection performed properly and thoroughly as soon as your vehicle arrives at the auto body repair shop. Make sure you are issued with this report prior to repairs being started, so you have a copy for your own records.
Report to Insurance Company
After a complete vehicle inspection is done, the insurance company is contacted. The insurance company is told exactly what is wrong with the vehicle and what needs fixing. Sometimes, an insurance company is going to request used parts be used. Used parts come off of similar model vehicles no longer in service. The major problem with using these is the used parts have already gone through extended stress, plus the parts might not match the original look of the vehicle, as a bumper from a car a year earlier is not always going to look exactly the same as your vehicle.
The insurance company is also going to try and simply patch up and reuse current parts on the vehicle, if this is at all possible. Essentially, the insurance company is going to try to have the repair done as quickly and inexpensively as possible. This isn’t always possible and often times it does not bode well for your vehicle either. Used parts do not always work correctly with the shape of your vehicle, nor doe they hold up as long.
A good panel beater will work with your insurance company to get the best possible outcome where parts are concerned. A panel beater like PJ’s Panels will have their specialised claims team working for you and directly with your insurer so that you don’t have to worry about the stress of it all.
Scrap vs. Fix
There are times where the vehicle is so damaged, it ends up costing more money to fix than it is worth. When this happens, it is up to the insurance company to simply cut you a cheque for the value of the vehicle instead of attempting to pay out for repairs.
This money is not going to be what the value of a new vehicle is worth, but will instead be the average value of your current vehicle, or whatever type of policy you have, whether it’s an agreed value or replacement value. You can use this money to go towards a new vehicle.
However, you might also have another decision to make. You might be able to have the car worked on by the panel beater, if you decide to opt into “Sometimes used parts” as an option which are at half the cost of new ones.
Trusting the panel beater repairing your car is paramount to the decision you will make. In most instances, if a car is deemed ‘written off’ it’s probably not a good idea to have it fixed at all. Make sure the panel repairer has all the correct trade indentures and looking at past work is also a good recommendation.
Auto body repairers deal with Insurance companies all the time. They understand the process and should make sure your dealings are as stress free as possible. By using a good panel beater; you’ll ensure that all dealings with the insurance company are dealt with in a professional manner and with less hassle on your part.
Contact PJ’s Panels today if you need help with an insurance claim or need work completed on your vehicle in an efficient and timely manner.
Image Credit: @Doug88888