Mark Solheim at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine wrote a great article back in May of 2007 about getting your car repaired after an accident. It’s probably a good idea to review the dos and don’ts of auto repair this time of year when slipping and sliding on wintry roads can mean the inconvenience of a fender bender.
- Chances are the repairs will magically exceed your deductible. If you’ve been in an accident you know that your insurance company has a list of “preferred” body shops. Have you ever wondered how those shops achieved “preferred” status? It’s at least in part because they know how to exceed your deductible for even small repairs, whether your deductible is $250, $500, or even $1000.
- “Preferred” shops work at a cut-rate for the insurance companies. In order to maintain a steady stream of business, auto shops negotiate rock-bottom deals with insurance companies for parts and labor. Who do you think pays the difference? You do. How? Through the use of cheaper parts and by doing the bare minimum to stay afloat. For a list of independent shops you can check www.assuredperformancecare.com.
- You know that “one to two weeks” means that your car might be done in three weeks, so have sufficient rental car coverage. Rental car coverage is one of the more inexpensive aspects of an insurance policy yet it can be an afterthought in a tough economy. The best bet? Have enough coverage to get the rental car you and your family need (i.e. maybe not a super compact) for the amount of time you might need it (at least 30 days). Otherwise, the difference is coming out of your pocket and, having just paid a deductible, that can’t sound good.