Do I Have To Pay For Auto Repairs After An Insurance Claim?

November 16, 2020

The unexpected has happened and your car has been damaged in a car accident. You may look closely at the damage and decide that it is too small to bother with your insurance, you’ll just let it be and wait for the next one or just take care of it out of pocket. But if the damage is quite noticeable, who takes care of the repair?

Depending on who turns out to be responsible for what happened and determined to be at fault, it could be either your insurer or the other driver’s who is responsible for fixing your car. Once the insurance company gets involved, one of these two options may happen:

  • They may pay the repair shop directly
  • They may issue a check to you to take care of the repairs

However, you may want to try to save some money and do the repairs on your own. Is that a good idea? It depends.

Who holds the title to your vehicle?

If there is a lien on your car, you probably will not be allowed to do any repairs to the car yourself. This is because the lender is interested in keeping your car in as good a condition as possible and they would not be interested in letting you cut any corners. They will not allow you to do the repairs on your own because they have no way of knowing the quality of the work you will perform.

So, do you have to take the car to the shop that the insurance company suggested to you?

Insurance companies do work with a network of trusted repair shops. However, you do not have to go to any of them and you can take the car to a place you are familiar with. Unfortunately, your lender may have something to say about this and may have you go to a specific shop. Read your agreement to find out what conditions apply in this case, and if it’s not clear or you cannot find the specific reference, call your agent and ask.

What happens when you own your car outright?

If you are the owner of the vehicle, there is much greater flexibility. This means that once you get the check from your insurance company you can go to your favorite repair shop, do the fixing on your own or leave the car as it is and do nothing. But just to make sure, ask your insurance agent if this scenario is true for you. You may find out that the insurance company may not feel comfortable having you do the repairs on your own and they may start putting obstacles in your way such as not providing you with comprehensive or collision coverage in the future if you decide to carry out the repairs on your own. Also, consider what would happen if additional damages are discovered later. Your insurer most likely will not be willing to pay for this repair.

And should you get into another accident in the future, the insurance company may refuse to pay for any damage to a part of your car that was previously fixed by you. It may be worth it for you to think twice before insisting on doing the repairs yourself. You may save some money now but you may be looking at a huge headache in the long run.

Still thinking about repairing the car on your own?

If so, it may be a good idea to have an insurance adjuster check out the damage and give you an estimate before doing any work. You may even discover that your insurer insists on it. This way, everyone is on the same page as to the extent of the damages. But please be aware that if you end up messing up the repair any additional attempts to fix it will come out of your pocket. It might be a good idea to think twice about embarking upon this repair if you are not absolutely sure you will end up with a good result. And if you need legal help because of the accident go to now.

Leave a Comment: