How insurers determine auto damage.
If your vehicle is damaged in a car accident, it is natural to want to know how to get it repaired as soon as possible so that you can get back on the road. One of the first questions you’re likely to ask, “What will it cost to repair my vehicle?” This can be an intimidating question since most of us are not in the auto repair business and have no idea what it costs for parts, labor, or paint. When you file a claim, your insurer will often send out an appraiser who will investigate the damage. Keep in mind that this isn’t an instant solution, but it does take the necessary steps to get your vehicle back on the road.
Once you call your insurer and let them know about the accident, you will be able to talk to a claims adjuster. After you give your statement about the accident, and you have coverage for the damage, the adjuster will send out an appraiser to inspect your vehicle or you will need to take your vehicle to a certain body shop. The appraiser will take pictures of the entire vehicle as well as the damaged areas. The reason for this is so that the insurance company can be sure that they are only paying for damages from the accident, rather than wear and tear.
The auto estimate will break down what work needs to be done to restore the vehicle, as well as itemizing parts, repairs, paint time, labor, and tax. The appraiser will compare part prices to ensure they are in line with guidelines your insurance carrier uses for vehicle repairs. Once this estimate is generated, the work will commence. Keep in mind that the shop may find additional damages down the road when the repair work is being completed. If this happens, the shop will submit another estimate, which can slow down the process.