During the course of handling auto body collision repair claims a common situation arises where we have to ask our customers if they have purchased a full coverage automobile policy or one that is discounted. The majority of our customers advise they have purchased a full coverage policy. However, you may want to take a look at your automobile insurance policy to better understand your coverage.
Customers purchase their insurance policies based on television, internet, radio commercials and price without ever taking the time to read how their coverage is written. Customers will purchase a cheaper policy, expecting it to cover everything their previous policy did. If you purchased your policy based on those television commercials that say you are in “Good Hands” with Allstate or that State Farm is a “Good Neighbor,” you may have a lesson to learn. Progressive’s lady in white – Flo, Geico’s friendly green gecko, and the Farmers “Hall Of Claims” actor J.K. Simmons promoting Farmers insurance services and what they have paid does not depict the real world and what a policy holder receives in actual claims coverage. The television ads are selling you people and slogans that make you feel good about their products.
If you are looking for repairs based on your vehicle’s original manufacturer’s recommendations you should read the insurance policy before you buy it. We can go on and on and explain how each commercial is promising something they cannot deliver but you can do this the quick and easy way just by understanding your insurance policy. Please read your auto insurance policy!
Unless you are a high risk policy holder or have purchased a limited policy, most vehicles owners believe they have purchased a full coverage policy until they need to use it. For example, your vehicle sustains a loss and you contact the insurance company for repairs. It is at this point when the damage repair estimate prepared by your insurance company’s appraiser is written following the guidelines outlined in your policy. Or you may have selected the photo estimating method of claim handling, which is even more exasperating as your claim evolves into the actual repair process. You will see terms like alternative parts, aftermarket parts, non-original parts or reconditioned parts printed out on your estimate. We deal with this situation on a regular basis and when the insurance company appraiser is asked about the parts listed on the estimate, the appraiser responds, “That’s what they paid for. If they want original manufactured parts they will have to pay the difference.”
This does create a problem at Crawford’s Auto Center due to the fact we cannot guarantee your repairs if the vehicle is repaired with the use of non-original parts and we cannot guarantee the safety of the repairs with alternative/imitation parts. This creates problems you did not anticipate when you purchased your coverage. A coat of paint can hide a multitude of sins. I repeat, a coat of paint can hide a multitude of sins. As this statement sinks into your mind and makes sense throughout the topic of this message you need to ask yourself, have I purchased a full coverage or discounted auto insurance policy. The easiest way to find out is to ask your auto body collision repair professional how your insurance company will handle your loss in the event of an accident.