You’ve just been hit by another driver, causing lots of damage to your new car. Now comes the time for the independent appraisal after the accident. How does an independent appraisal after a car accident work? What do you do? We have the answers that you need!
How Does Car Insurance Appraisal Work?
After a car accident, one of the first things that should be on your “to do list”, is to contact your car auto insurance provider. Your insurance provider is there to be with you, while you discuss the accident with the police, file all of the necessary paperwork and ensure that your car is repaired fast. Try to follow the guidance and recommendations of your agent. Once you begin to decide on a body shop for the repairs to your car, you may want to see if there are collision shops that your insurer trusts and recommends.
What Do I Need To Do Right After The Accident?
Just after the accident, you want to stay in the vehicle if you can, and then call 911. Do you need medical care? Are you injured in any way? Did you hit the steering wheel upon impact? Are you in any pain? Try to remain calm and state that you are in pain, if this is the case, to the emergency operator you are speaking with. You may need to get checked out by a hospital or doctor in the moments, days and months to come.
You also want to document what happened. This will help in formulating a complete police report. Next, the police will ask what happened and you want to make sure that you get a copy of that police report. Next, gather all of your insurance documents and those of the other driver. Is the driver uninsured? You want to document that very important fact as well. After such, call your own car insurance company and find out what next steps you have to take. You want to: a) get the medical care you need ASAP, and b) get your car fixed as quickly as possible.
What’s The Independent Appraisal after My Car Accident Process Like?
What is an appraisal? The appraisal is specific documentation of what happened during the car accident you were involved in. It is also a record of all of the damage that occurred. Typically, car insurance companies will often contact a professional to perform an inspection. In many cases, an appraisal company will come and discuss the matter of the accident with you.
In other instances, lots of insurance companies do allow individuals to take pictures and email them or submit them. The most significant damage on the car will require a careful and thorough inspection. Oftentimes, the appraiser will ask you to bring the damaged vehicle to where they are, or towing will be arranged. Then, that appraiser will conduct an extensive evaluation of the car. It’s important to note that the appraiser is a specially trained individual, who is only looking for damage that pertains to the accident you wish to file a claim on. Your vehicle needing tires rotated or an oil change is NOT a part of the independent appraisal process. Instead, your designated appraiser is working with the vehicle insurance company, and not for you. You can think of your appraiser as the person who has the job of determining what kind of damage is notable and present. After the appraiser finishes his or her evaluation of the damage, he or she will then determine the cost of making the vehicle a safe and drivable vehicle once again. After the appraiser completes this, the value will then go to the vehicle insurance company. Your car insurance company will then be determining if they will pay for the repairs to your car. The insurer will then decide if it will pay for the repairs. If your vehicle insurance company chooses total your vehicle, the insurer will then pay you what the vehicle is worth before the accident ever occurred. It’s important that you work with your car insurance company so that you are able to understand their reasoning behind the payments and payouts you may or may not receive. You also want to exercise your right to obtain a fair estimate for the amount of work that a body shop has to do to fix your car.
What Is The Point Of Even Getting A Car Appraisal?
An appraisal after an accident, helps a car insurance company determine a vehicle’s fair value as well as the cost of the repairs. Many times, repairs can cost more than worth of the vehicle. Then, the payment that car insurance companies provide will be based on the complete appraisal’s value.
What Happens During A Typical Independent Appraisal After Car Accident?
Check out the steps during a typical independent appraisal process:
First, you need to contact your car insurance company and notify them of the accident. Most of the time, the claims adjuster will arrive directly at the scene of the accident, so that your car can be appraised.
Next, there will be an interview or discussion of the accident with the appraiser. That appraisal expert will then figure out the accident’s circumstances before he or she evaluates the car’s damage.
Afterward, the appraiser will then look at the vehicle’s overall condition as well as the extent of the damage. Then, the appraiser will follow a set of criteria and guidelines in an effort to determine the overall cost of the coverage that the car has.
What Are Some Points I Need To Keep in Mind, During the Independent Appraisal After a Car Accident?
In certain instances, the damage to your car may be so severe, that the car may be deemed totaled. Officials may also determine that the car’s repairs outweigh the total value of the car. If this is the case, then your car insurance agent may tell you that your car is a total loss. Fixing the car at this point, may be seen as unnecessary and even time consuming. So, you may just accept their payment as the only option you have.
Regardless of any determination, your car insurance company is legally bound to provide you a fair price for your totaled car. If you feel that they are not being fair, you should voice this concern, and then back up your concern with any documentation you have. For example, you may have visited the Edmunds or the Kelley Blue Book site and received a different value for your car, than the one your insurance company is stating.
Should you feel that your car insurance company’s offer is too low for your car, you may attempt to increase their payment by also showing proof of any mechanical improvements maintenance you’ve had done on the car, with receipts. Depending on your car insurance company, you may also be able to hire a third-party appraiser to evaluate your car. You may want to pursue this option if you believe that you’ll get a higher value from them.
How Long Does An Insurance Appraisal Take?
Generally, it takes about one to three days. If it takes longer, then you can contact your car insurance company and find out what is taking so long for an appraiser to come out.
What’s The “Right of Appraisal” Clause In My Car Insurance Policy?
The Right of Appraisal Clause is a clause in a car insurance policy that allows you as the car insurance policy holder, to dispute any estimate that your car insurance company provides. Once the Appraisal Clause is evoked, your insurance company and you can each begin to select an appraiser who will serve as an unbiased third-party. These appraisers will then go before an Umpire. Afterward, that umpire will then determine the reasonable and fair amount.
Your Car Must Be Returned To Pre-Accident Condition
It’s important that each consumer realize is that all car insurance policies must provide your vehicle back to pre-accident condition. Additionally, the parts to fix your car must be equal or better than the parts that are being replaced. Lots of times, the initial estimate your car insurance company provides you with, is not enough to restore your car to a viable pre-accident condition. Thankfully, you’re not at the mercy of this poor initial estimate. Your Appraisal Clause will provide you an avenue or another outlet for you to receive the proper repairs that your car insurance policy provides for.
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