By June 29, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Car repairs with insurance claims

Reader question:

I got in an accident and now my car needs to be repaired. I’d like to find my own mechanic to do it, but I don’t want to get cheated. Should I just let my car insurance company handle it?

Gary

It depends.

It’s always advisable to at least get estimates on repairs before handing the job over to your car insurance company. They aren’t exactly going to be looking for the best for you, so you want to make sure that you aren’t getting over charged or underfixed. Many people prefer to take matters into their own hands, but even in this case you will need to get several estimates before your car insurance company will approve of your choice. Here’s some advice for when you’re taking your car to a mechanic.

  • Know what you need. Some shops, especially when they know it’s the insurance company that’s paying, will try to fluff the bill up a lot by adding a bunch of unnecessary repairs that you don’t need, and this could create problems and get you in trouble. Know what’s wrong with your car and what you’re covered for, and this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Shop around for good estimates. Some shops may charge more since they have top of the line mechanics, but anything 20-30% more than the common price and you should back away, because that can’t be accounted for.
  • Watch out when your mechanic goes from replacing a smaller part to needing to replace a larger part. Mechanics who try to rebuild your car usually do so because they can’t figure out what’s going on with it.
  • Watch out, also, when your dealership requires you to bring back your car for any repairs. This isn’t necessary, as cars should only need to return to the dealer for any repairs that under warranty or paid for by the dealership.

You don’t have to know your way around the inside of a your engine to get a good deal, but the best way to catch someone who’s trying to throw a fast one at you is to look out for big claims. If you thought you only needed a small repair, but your mechanic suggests a much bigger one, get a second opinion.

Cheers,

Fashun Guadarrama.

Posted in: Auto Insurance

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  • Jack

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