After the Storm, The Claim
My last post gave some general pointers regarding before, during, and after a hail storm. In this post I will discuss the general claim process. Obviously, every company has their unique process, but many follow a general process during catastrophe claims.
Most companies will want driveable vehicles taken to a central location where they have adjusters handling vehicles all day. This can be a claim center, body shop, or other location. While this may seem inconvenient, it’s most likely the quickest way to get your vehicle inspected. It allows mobile adjusters to focus on the more severe, non-driveable vehicle claims.
The insurance estimate may not match an estimate from a repair facility. There are many causes for this, including parts price differences, labor differences, difference in estimating systems, and many more. Shops can write possible damage (hidden), but most insurance adjusters can only write what they see, and any additional damage will need to be handled through a supplement, where the adjuster will reinspect your vehicle once the repairs have started and can authorize additional work if needed.
You do still have the option of taking your vehicle to a repair facility and have it inspected by your insurance company there. If you do choose this option, make sure the repair facility you choose can start on your vehicle immediately after the insurance company has inspected it. If you have some type of rental coverage, it will likely only cover the rental for reasonable downtime. This is the reasonable time for the shop to repair, and can allow for parts delays, but any delays on the part of the shop or you may not be covered.
Also keep in mind that most policies in Oklahoma allow insurers to use alternative parts in their repairs. This can include aftermarket (non-OEM) parts, recycled, and OEM parts from suppliers other than dealers’ parts departments. This is a cost saving measure as an effort to keep premiums as low as possible. We all like saving money don’t we? Insurance companies do want to use quality parts and most will allow supplements of different parts if the part comes in with any issues and cannot be replaced with a quality part by the same or different supplier.
If you do have any questions or are not clear about the process or estimate in any way, be sure to contact your adjuster, insurance company representative, or even the Department of Insurance.
If you are interested in seeing if you can save money or are looking to change insurance companies for any reason, comment or send me an email and I can get you a referrer link to get a quote online with GEICO!
If you have insurance questions or would like to see this type of post again, let me know. I’m currently going this route because of the type of storms we have here, and the questions I run into during my job as an adjuster.