Did your car, home or property receive any damage from the recent hail storm?
Do you understand the difference between the terms comprehensive loss and collision loss? You may misunderstand your rights within your insurance policy and what is owed to you
On May 22, 2014 Chester, Berks and Montgomery Counties experienced one of the worst rain, wind and hail weather events in our history. Thousands of vehicles, homes and other property were damaged by this storm that is being considered a Class 3 weather catastrophe. Our collision repair facility has inspected and estimated several hundred vehicles for owners who are in need of repairs or have elected to be reimbursed for the damages but may not repair their vehicle.
It is important for readers to understand that this type of damage is covered through your automobile insurance as a “comprehensive loss”. The difference between a “comprehensive loss” and a “collision loss” is the fact that the loss is an act of nature and beyond your control as the owner of the vehicle. This is significant to know if your property has sustained hail, wind or a water loss from this storm and you have comprehensive coverage in your automobile policy. You have a right to collect for the loss of value to your property even if you decide to not repair the property. Many of our customers are confused and believe the repairs must fall under their collision coverage which is simply not true. These customers are worried that a claim on their damaged property will affect their rates or they may lose their insurance. Again, not true. A comprehensive loss is a loss that is beyond your control. You have the right within your insurance policy to have the property repaired without the risk of losing your insurance or experiencing a higher rate due to the storm’s exposure.
You should be aware of insurance company street estimates, where their appraiser or the DRP “Direct Repair Partner” shop writes a low-ball estimate, because they have no idea what your true intentions are with your damaged property. Insurance companies also have their catastrophe teams in the region writing estimates that are inaccurate due to the catastrophe estimator writing for PDR (paint-less dent repair) when in reality the repairs require traditional auto body methods which may require an adjustment to the original estimate. These low-ball estimates can be adjusted in the repair shop of your choice. However, if you elect not to repair you are still entitled by law to receive an accurate appraisal of damages and full financial reimbursement for your loss. If you have any questions regarding your storm loss or an estimate you have received on your damaged vehicle please feel free to contact us for assistance.