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How Long Do I Have to Repair My Car After A Car Accident? 

How Long Do I Have to Repair My Car After A Car Accident? 

You’re coming to a careful stop at a light when out of nowhere, a car hits you head-on. Now, what do you do? Chances are you’re soon thinking, “How long do I have to repair my car after an accident”? You may be wondering if you can wait to get your car fixed, or if you can get it repaired fast. Let’s explore what happens regarding the timeframe to get your car repaired after an accident. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


When Do I Absolutely Need to Get My Car Repaired?

Check out some possible explanations about the timeframe to get your car fixed. 

Car Payments on A Car and Your Car Accident 

If you are still making payments on your vehicle, then you will need to get the vehicle repaired ASAP. Since you are not the full and complete owner of the car, your loan company will want a fully functioning vehicle. So, you will have to get your car fixed in a reasonable amount of time. 

Your Car Accident and the Repairs to your Car 

If you want your collision and comprehensive coverage to continue with your car insurance company, then you will have to get your car repaired. You will also want to work with your car insurance company and communicate with them regarding your accident.  

Possibly Not Filing A Claim 

If you are able to fix your car on your own or with a mechanic, then you may opt not to involve your car insurance company, bypassing the claim and just get your car repaired on your own. But you want to ensure that the repairs are minimal and you can handle the costs of the repair work. 

Getting A Car Insurance Check with a Loan on Your Car 

If you are still making payments on your vehicle, then you need to get the car repaired ASAP. Generally, an insurance claims adjuster will come out a few days after the accident- to look at the car. After this happens, you then want to get that car fixed fast. Your car lender will want their possession or collateral (which in this case is your car) in an operable condition. So, you will have to get your car repaired in a reasonable amount of time.  Additionally, lots of vehicle lenders will require that you list them as the loss payee on your vehicle policy. Why? This to ensure that you have full coverage listed on your vehicle at all times. 


But if you own your vehicle free and clear…

If you own your vehicle free and clear- meaning you are making no payments on it and you have the title, then you will have far more say so and flexibility when it comes to getting your car fixed or not. You pretty much have the final say regarding getting your car fixed. Many times, a car insurance company will offer you the option to either get it repaired or deem the car as a total loss. They may even offer to buy your car from you. This option entails the car insurance company not only giving you your vehicle back but also providing you a cash value for the vehicle while subtracting the auction price that the company thinks they would have gotten from a local salvage yard. 


Getting A Car Insurance Check When You Want to Keep Coverage 

Your vehicle insurance company will require that your vehicle be repaired if you desire to continue your collision as well as comprehensive coverages. Think about this: your vehicle insurance company will have no desire to continue to provide insurance for a vehicle for any kind of future physical damage should the vehicle already be a damaged one, with not a single repair on it. That second accident would only amplify, worsen and intensify the existing damage on the car. If your car insurance company paid you once for that pre-existing damage, then they would fully be in the right for not wanting to pay you any additional monies for any compounded or additional damage. For many car insurance companies, it is their standard procedure to require you as an insured person, to drop physical damage coverage from a car that was not fixed. 


Not Filing A Claim for The Accident 

Sometimes, vehicle owners will decide not to even file an insurance claim on a car, after an accident. If the damage is so minor that it can be handled by a mechanic over the course of a day or two, then that car owner may just decide to drive down a street and make arrangements for his or her car to be fixed, without involving the car insurance company. One of the benefits of not filing a claim is that your car insurance premiums won’t rise, as there will be no documentation of an accident on your car insurance policy or driving record. Another benefit of this is that you don’t have to wait to get a “green light” to get your car fixed. You can just drive away from the accident, call a body shop and make an appointment to get your car fixed. 


Getting Your Car Fixed After You Decide to File an Insurance Claim 

If you’ve been involved in an accident and you want to file a claim, then you will need to contact your car insurance company immediately after the accident, so that you can get your car fixed ASAP. Generally, the time between the accident and the repaired car can be days- with most car owners seeing their cars fixed in a few weeks. Unfortunately, insurance claims can take a bit of time to process. So, the sooner you call your insurance company, the better.  While your car insurance company may have various time limitations on how long you have to file a claim- you want to report your car accident no more than a day after the collision. 


Can I Just Keep Cash from A Car Insurance Payout and Not Fix My Car?

If you own your vehicle free and clear, you may decide not to get your car fixed for reasons that you don’t have to share with anyone. You may even want to delay repairs too. Regardless of the reasons that you don’t want to get your car fixed fast, you’re not obligated to use any of the compensation/ money that you receive from a car insurance company on vehicle repairs.