Car Accident Property Damage Claims FAQ

Q: What should I do first to make a car accident property damage claim?

The very first thing you should do is contact the driver who is at fault’s insurance company and let them know of the accident. Concurrently, you will want to have the costs of the damages at hand. This can be done by having the damage to your vehicle assessed. If you need a rental car, you should also ask the faulty driver’s insurance company about getting you one. If the driver who is as fault is taking their time filing a report, you should file it.  You could also send the insurance company the accident report as well.

Q: What am I entitled to recover from my car accident property damage claim?

Your usually able to recover the difference between the value of your car before the accident and what the current value of your car now after the accident. This is usually determined by the cost of repairing the car at its fair market value. Usually, Kelly Blue Book (BBV) might be able to help you get an estimate.

Q: How is a method selected?

Usually it’s the insurance company, and this will be based upon the estimated repair costs. If its costs more than 60% of the BBV of the vehicle the car = totaled.

Q: How many estimates should I get for my car accident property damage claim?

Generally zero. A insurance adjuster will help you out here. A shop of your choosing can do the repairs. Iff that repairer finds more damage, they will inform your insurer.

Q: Can I keep my vehicle if its totaled?

Yes, but most insurance companies will reduce your pay out because they want to be able to salvage the vehicle.

Q: Which BBV value should I rely on?

There tends to be 3 values, the loan value, the wholesale value and the retail value. The retail value is the highest and what you should ask for. The loan value is the lowest.

Q: What if I still owe money on my now totaled car? 

If for some reason you owe more than your car is worth, you should talk about the substitution of collateral with your current lender. You may also be able to use your insurance $ to buy a replacement car.

Q: What if I have aftermarket things on my car, do I mention this in my car accident property damage claim?

Yes, you are of course entitled to be compensated for those items. Let the insurance company know of these aftermarket products and if you have any receipts do not be afraid to show them.

Q: What if the other person’s company refuses to pay for the damage?

If this happens and you have collision insurance, your company will be able to get the repairs done to your car or replace your car. In the meantime your insurance company will talk with the other company about the payment. You will likely have to pay a deductible, but will be reimbursed if the other company pays. If you do not possess collision coverage, you will have to sue the other driver.

Q: What if the other person doesn’t have insurance?

You should still be covered. There is a chance that property damage may not be covered, if this is the case, your insurance will cover the other drivers liability to you…after you pay a deductible.

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