Every day we try to find new ways to make bad situations easier. Car accidents and insurance claims are no exception! In 2015 the insurance industry introduced and lobbied the state legislature to pass photo estimating through House Bill 1638 – a law that allows for vehicle estimates to be based off of photographs.
This seems great doesn’t it? Your car has been damaged so you snap a few pictures, then send an email and its all smooth sailing after that, right?
The answer is NO.
It’s NOT that easy, and you will most likely be deceived.
Photo estimating is a flawed idea. We have seen firsthand when the insurance company uses a picture as the basis of their estimate, the bottom line for the photo estimate will be lower than what it would be to properly repair the vehicle. They cannot possibly see all the damages on the vehicle from a photograph. There could be damages that are hidden behind the sheet metal, or simply not shown in the angle of the photograph taken.
We have customers bringing in their photo estimates of a few hundred dollars – when the actual cost to repair is several thousand dollars! The process of photo estimating takes advantage of unaware consumers whose inability to identify auto damages will lower their property damage settlements.
How can the vehicle owner avoid this??
Know your rights to a physical inspection!
In Pennsylvania, consumers have the right to request a physical inspection. All you have to say is “I would like an appraiser to physically inspect my vehicle, please send them to my repair facility.” That’s it! Still not a difficult process, and the likelihood of the licensed appraiser missing necessary repair operations is less. If you or someone you know has experienced an accident and wants to know more about the details of photo estimating, stop by our office or give us a call today!
For more information, visit STOP Photo Estimating on Facebook!