Just Take a Picture … or NOT!
April 12, 2018

The insurance industry’s practice of photo-estimating is NOT as consumer friendly as they make it sound!

In our shop’s front office we see folks stopping in with photo estimates that are under-written by thousands of dollars. The repair facility will have to start the claim all over again, which means the repair days and rental car allotments are prolonged as we wait for an actual appraiser to physically inspect damages that the photo estimator missed.  Prior to the Commonwealth passing an amendment to the state’s appraiser’s act the physical inspection was the manner in which damage claims were handled. You would call the insurance company or they would contact you and make arrangements to send out a state licensed PA motor vehicle physical damage appraiser to inspect the damages to your vehicle. You can still do

this by the way – your rights as a consumer are protected, however, you have to request a physical inspection.


The only accurate method of determining your loss is to physically inspect the damaged vehicle. Inspect inside, inspect outside, inspect underneath and inspect by touching and measuring. Then after all of this you may provide an accurate appraisal of damages, however, most times we have to dismantle the vehicle to get a deeper look inside.

In today’s society with vehicles averaging over $30,000.00 that have manufactured tolerances within millimeters, you cannot accurately capture the cost of repairs with photo estimating.

People, if you accept this method of claim handling you are asking to be taken advantage of.

This entire method of photo estimated claim handling is fraudulent! The repair shop can call the carrier and request that additional repair cost needs to be addressed but what ever happened to the insurance company’s obligation to make one whole, to be indemnified, to have your vehicle returned to the same condition it was just prior to the accident? How many vehicle owners out there are accepting the photo estimated amounts and trading their vehicles or living with the damages? They have not been indemnified.

There is no quick and easy way to appraise damages to a car or truck.

Even before photo estimates the insurance industry would short-pay vehicle owners on the true cost of repairs. Please, if you experience a loss to your automobile or truck insist that your vehicle is physically inspected by a PA state licensed appraiser. If you have any questions regarding the information offered in this article please feel free to call us and ask away.