Accidental car damage can seriously affect your commuting methods and schedules, and therefore deserves the attention it merits. Here’s everything you need to know about car restoration in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
1. File a Claim
First and foremost, you need to call your insurance company and submit a claim. Once law enforcement is involved and medical concerns have been taken care of, you must properly address the damage done to your vehicle on the day of the accident. Since it takes quite some time for such claims to be processed and approved, you must act immediately and inform them of your situation.
If your car is damaged to the point of not being drivable, the insurer will arrange transport for you and your vehicle. Depending on your insurance deal and the company’s coverage policy, the insurer may get your car towed and provide you with a rental.
2. Record the Damage
The next step is to make sure that you fully document the damage done to your car at the scene of the accident. If you aren’t physically injured yourself, it is very important to record the aftermath of the accident.
You can use your phone’s camera to take pictures of your car. Make sure to be meticulous and thorough while doing this, as it will prove to be a great help in dealing with the insurance company later. If you don’t have a phone or camera on you at the moment, then writing down the changes is also fine.
Photograph all the dents and note down the visible changes. When you are dealing with your insurance company and submitting a claim, this evidence will expedite the process and come in very handy. Furthermore, if any damage is done after the accident, for instance, during towing or while your car is on the road, it can be accounted for through your documentation.
Once your vehicle has been taken to be stored in an impound lot or the garage for repairs, you can hand over the pictures or notes to your insurance company to further strengthen your claim.
3. Move Your Car Elsewhere
Having contacted your insurance company and documented the damage done to your car, the next step is to move it to a safe location. But do it only if you are well enough to drive. Also, the question is whether the car is drivable or not. If it isn’t, then as we mentioned earlier, you should first ask your insurance company to help you move it, or call a towing company yourself.
If your insurer does not recommend a towing company or arrange for your car to be towed, you will have to search for a local company. Another option is to look for an auto company that will not only tow your car but also takes care of the necessary repairs. This way, you can cut down on the costs of both by consolidating them in one deal.
4. Check How Bad is It
Once your car is in a safe location, your next move is to get the vehicle inspected by a professional. Your insurance company may refer you to an automotive company that will inspect your car and determine whether it is totaled or not i.e. if it is wrecked beyond repair. If they don’t recommend a place, you can assign the job to a trusted professional yourself.
After a thorough inspection has been carried out, the company will let you know how bad the damage is. They will explain everything that has been damaged, how it will be repaired, and how much it will cost you. You can get an estimate, the details of which we will discuss in the next segment, and report it to your insurance company.
5. Get a Monetary Estimate
Having completed an inspection of the damage, the insurance company will inform you of their decision on what repairs they will cover. In most cases, insurers offer a set amount of money to their customers, instead of a blank check. This amount is specific to the repairs for which they will be paying. Furthermore, getting a proper inspection is also important because it will help you make the best use of your insurance money.
For instance, you could get the major damage covered right then and there, and take care of paint defects and smaller issues later through the settlement. It is worth mentioning that if you come out of the accident as the victim (meaning if yours and the other driver’s insurance company recognize your innocence in the situation), they will cover the costs of a rental.
Lastly, you must keep in mind that such processes and claims take time to finish, therefore you may have to pay for repairs out of your own pocket until later reimbursement. You will, obviously, have to report your spending to the insurance company.
6. Finish the Repairs
In case you want to go above and beyond, here are some great tips from Gettacar.com that will help you not forget what you need to check to still keep your car’s trade-in value high: such as the body and internal condition of the car, the engine, and suspension, etc.
The last step is to have all the necessary repairs completed by a trusted auto expert. You can either pay for the initial repairs yourself and be reimbursed by your insurance company later, or use the money granted to you by the company.
Due diligence is required while having your car repaired, and you must be on top of all the details. Cars often lose their value after such accidents and must be repaired properly to get them back to speed.
In this article, we listed six necessary steps you need to take to restore your car after an accident. These situations are usually very stressful and require quick action. Therefore, we hope that this guide pointed you in the right direction about car restoration and helped you narrow down your options.
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