3 things to consider after an auto accident

Posted on December 11th, 2009 by Joe Weast

In a nutshell here’s our typical advice: Have it repaired, by insurance, at Center City Collision (or another trusted body shop)

Now, here’s some things to think about as you make decisions about the repairs.

First, unless it’s deemed a total loss, have it fixed! Repaired cars retain their value when it comes time to sell. You might save money in the short run but lose even more when you go to sell it. Un-repaired cars only get worse (remember the second law of thermodynamics from science class? All things tend toward disorder). Cracked paint allows for rust, broken parts strain adjacent parts and can cause further damage or even make the car unsafe. In short, repaired cars hold their value and are safer for you, your loved ones and other drivers.

Second, it is almost always better to run it through insurance – yours or the other parties – if at all possible. Many people fear making a claim thinking there will be a premium increase. Typically that only occurs if there are multiple claims in a short period of time. (And even then it usually takes months before the increase goes into effect.) Many companies now offer accident forgiveness which allows you a certain number of claims before the rates are at risk of going up. Your agent can typically tell you case by case the impact a claim will have on premiums. It’s at least worth a phone call to your agent. You pay for it so you might as well use it…. think about your monthly premium more as an investment in your car that will allow you to get your fixed right when you need it.

Third, if you’re not at fault your insurance company can fight for you better than you can fight for yourself. Yes, you’ll have to pay your deductible after the repairs are completed but they can often recover that money if you’re not at fault. We see this happen all the time. Insurance companies have the skills, knowledge and attorneys most of us couldn’t afford. One of the reasons we pay them, right?

Lastly, if for any reason you are unable (or decide not to) use insurance many shops have an “Economy Repair” option. Ask the shop for more information on this option.

Thanks again for turning to us.

(Look for a future post about how to select a an auto body shop to do the repairs)