What are you entitled to?

Ignore Your Rights and They Will Go AwayAfter an auto collision it is important to know what you are entitled to. Often insurance company adjusters will not tell you everything you are entitled to in order to save the company money. They will also generally try to convince you to have the damage repairs completed at a shop that is on their "preferred list", citing that the insurance company has "approved" the shop and "guarantee" the repairs. These insurance company / body shop agreements only exist for the benefit of the insurance company to save them money. This often results in lower quality repairs that can lead to problems ranging from cosmetic imperfections to serious structural integrity issues that can lead to problems with the vehicle's ride, stability control and safety.

Selection of Body Shop

You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice. It is illegal for an insurance company to steer, force, require or pressure you into using a particular shop. You should never take your vehicle to a body shop based solely on the recommendation of an insurance company. Not even if it is your own insurance company. We recommend that you actually visit the body shop, stand face to face with the body shop manager and be sure he/she understands that they work for you and not the insurance company. Be sure that you are satisfied that the shop has the proper equipment, the techs have the proper training, that the shop provides a minimum 5 year warranty on all work performed including paint and that the shop will keep you advised of the progress of the repairs. You should be kept informed of the progress of your vehicle repairs every step of the way, including any supplemental damages found or any issues that arise with the insurance company.

Use our Find a Body Shop listing to find a quality shop in your area

If you were not at fault

(3rd party claims) You are entitled to all costs and expenses caused by the negligence of the at-fault party. Those expenses include:

  • All necessary repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-damage appearance, safety and function.
  • A replacement rental vehicle or payment for loss of use, from the date of the damage until you pick-up your repaired vehicle.
  • Payment for any out of pocket expenses such as, police reports requested by the insurance company, mileage and time expenses to obtain repair estimates, dealing with the claim representative, body shop, etc..
  • Payment for any personal property that was damaged including; child car seats, CDs/cassette tapes, sunglasses, golf clubs, clothes, etc..
  • Payment for the diminished value of your vehicle due to the repaired damage and the damage history, referred to as Inherent Diminished Value.
  • Payment for all medical bills associated with any injuries sustained in the accident, lost wages, required services, loss of consortium and pain & suffering.

Use our Find an Attorney listing to find a qualified personal injury attorney in your area.

If you were at fault

(1st party claims) What you are entitled to is determined by the terms of your policy, but generally includes:

  • All necessary repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-damage appearance, safety and function, less your deductible.
  • If you selected coverage for rental, you should be paid for the cost of a rental car subject to the daily and overall limit that you selected in your policy.
  • If you live in the state of Georgia, you can also receive payment for the diminished value of your vehicle due to the repaired damage and the damage history; however, in all other states you cannot collect diminished value from your own insurance policy unless you are making a claim against the uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
  • Payment for some or all of your medical expenses if your policy has Medical Payments (MEDPAY) coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

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