As the owner of an automobile, you already know that minor to major accidents are nearly inevitable. Those can be caused by your or another’s fault, bad road conditions, bad weather, etc. Whatever the reason, the repair cost always matters. If you just had an accident or want to know the process of handling the repair cost, the question, “Do auto body shops report damage to insurance,” must pop up in your mind at first. Here, we provide a detailed answer to this question.
Basics to Know Before Making Claims to Car Insurance Company
Before knowing the report-to-insurance process and responsible party, it is always better to understand the basics of auto insurance claims.
- First of all, find out if it is worth filing a claim, as it is associated with paying a deductible while having a greater chance of an increase in premium.
- Secondly, insurance companies have no direct provision to pay for auto body repair. You must make a claim under comprehensive or collision coverage. In general, this term provides coverage for damages like dents, deep scratches, broken windshields, damaged suspensions, front- and rear-end damage, etc.
- Thirdly, they are not obligated to pay for an engine or mechanical breakdown.
- Furthermore, if it is your fault, your insurance company will pay, and if it is someone else’s fault, their insurance company will pay.
We suggest you check the in-depth details of your insurance company’s collision peril to find out what costs they pay, as the inclusions vary from company to company.
Who is Responsible for Reporting Damage to The Insurance Company?
If you ask, “Do auto body repair shops report damage to insurance?” The answer is “yes” and “no.” Well, it’s truly confusing; we clarify below.
1. Insurance Company’s Enlisted Auto Body Repair Shop
Every insurance company has contracts with various auto body repair shops. If you decide to take service from any of them, the shop will report damages to the insurance company. In this case, you have to follow the below steps:
- After the accident, take the picture in detail.
- Contact the respective insurance company over the phone or by using their app (if any).
- Know the company’s enlisted auto body repair shops’ details.
- Find a nearby one.
- Contact them.
- If your vehicle is driveable, take it to them or ask for towing service.
- They will check the damages, estimate the cost, and send a report to the insurance company.
- Take confirmation about the work completion date.
- On the given date, go to the shop and pick up your automobile.
- Here, the insurance company will pay the bills directly to the shop.
So, in this case, the answer to do auto body repair shops report damage to insurance, is “Yes.” Be noted: this process is faster than the process of damage reporting by yourself.
2. Auto Body Repair Shop Chosen by You
Though insurance companies encourage you to take repair services from the enlisted shops, you are not obligated to do so. If you want to go to a familiar auto body repair shop, you are responsible for reporting damage to your insurance company. However, the chosen shop also possesses significant responsibility in the reporting process. We detail the process below.
- After an accident, immediately inform the insurance company.
- As you are going on your own, eventually, the repair costs estimated only by your chosen shop will not be sufficient.
- You might have to check with at least three shops and get estimates from them.
- You need to submit these three calculated costs to the insurance company.
- In general, an inspector or assessment office from the insurance company does a physical check-up.
- You will get their approval.
- Ask the selected auto body repair shop to start work and take a deadline from them to avoid any delay.
- On the given date, get the keys to your vehicle.
- In this case, the insurance company will provide a check (in your name, the repair shop’s name, or mentioning both). If the check is in your name, cash it at the bank and pay the shop.
This process is more time-consuming than the earlier-mentioned one. However, in both cases, you must follow the respective state’s guidelines regarding reporting to the police or the designated authority. It is true that having a copy of the police report helps you validate the insurance claim faster.
We hope you already know the detailed answer to “Do auto body shops report damage to insurance?” Still, we just want to make you aware of one thing. Please be cautious that the auto body repair shop does not list any damage that is not related to the accident.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I claim insurance coverage for small scratches?
Surely you can. If the scratches are caused by an accident or theft issue, you can file an insurance coverage claim. However, claiming for small scratches’ repair costs is often not worth it, and it wastes your time and effort.
How do I process an insurance claim if I have a loan on the vehicle?
If you have a loan on the vehicle, you are obligated to pay the repair costs yourself. Also remember, if you don’t repair at the first point, you will not be able to file an insurance claim even after the loan’s term is finished.
How much does auto body repair cost?
Surely, it depends on the type and severity of the damage. For small damages, the approximate repair cost can be a few hundred dollars.
He is a passionate automotive writer with a deep understanding of cars and mechanics. With hands-on experience, John offers a knowledgeable perspective on the automotive repair and tips. Whether you’re a seasoned or regular driver, John’s articles are your go-to resource for all things.