Minor accidents or fender benders where the damage is inflicted on the body of your car are frustrating and annoying. Reporting body damage to insurance to have the damage repaired, however, is often worse. To avoid the headache and the hassle, it’s important that you know what to do when body damage occurs. Here are five tips for reporting body damage to your insurance company.
Protect yourself and your car
After a fender bender, be sure to get your car off the road and use caution when getting out of your vehicle and interacting with the other driver.
Make sure it really is only a fender bender
One mistake people often make is writing off an accident as a “small dent,” only to find out later that the damage was more significant and costly. Typically, police officers won’t respond to minor accidents where no one was injured and where the damage is under $1,000. But how do you know the dollar amount of the damage? You don’t. If you are in a fender bender, no one is hurt and you are not blocking traffic, it’s still smart to call the non-emergency line to report the accident. The dispatcher will make the call if they need to send an officer. Otherwise, they will recommend that you come into the station and file a report.
Even if the damage is minor, you should still exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to obtain insurance information, vehicle information and name and contact information. If possible, obtain contact information from any witnesses as well. If the other driver is not cooperating, try to at least record their license plate number and any other relevant information.
Don’t wait to call your insurance agent
When the damage is minor, people often wait until it’s convenient to contact their insurer, but it’s important that you contact your insurance agent right away. Regardless of who is at fault, you should report the incident. Your insurance agent will typically ask you a few questions and get you started on submitting a claim or ask you to go into a drive-in claims center. Going to a drive-in claims center is convenient because you can get an estimate right away and already know that the center is authorized by your insurance company.
Get an estimate
If your insurance company does not direct you to a drive-in claims center, you will have to take your car to a company-designated repair shop. Your insurance company will typically let you know which nearby shops you can use. The shop will then give you an estimate, which will then need to be approved by the insurance company.
Dealing with car insurance and body damage can be a hassle, but it helps to know what you’re doing. It also helps if you already know a local auto shop you can trust. If you find yourself in need of a car repair after a fender bender, be sure to bring your car in to Toms Body & Paint, Inc., your local full-service auto repair experts!
Categorised in: Collision Repair
This post was written by Writer