Tony Besten  TBesten@icontech.com
Mike Besten MBesten@icontech.com



Must I notify my insurance company before repairs?

Yes, insurance policies require that you notify the company or your agent, make a report, and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected.

Who pays the repair bills?

You must arrange for payment. Your insurance policy states the insurance company will pay you less any deductibles or depreciation.

Who is responsible for repairs?

The shop. That’s why it is important that you select a repair facility that is properly trained and equipped to restore your automobile to its pre-accident condition.

If there is a problem with the repair job, who should you contact?

First, the manager of the shop. If your problem is still not resolved, contact your insurance company claims manager. You may also want to contact the office of consumer protection.

Aftermarket/Used  Parts

Insurance companies cannot force us to use imitation parts.

Make sure only Original Equipment Manufacturers’ parts are used in the repair of your vehicle. Imitation parts are not always as good as the original, and we believe our customers should be assured of a top quality repair. After all, you pay premiums month after month just to have the assurance that your car will always be protected. Using substandard parts can put the condition of the car in jeopardy.

Things you should watchout for

Based on our experience, we have identified some common pitfalls many consumers face when having their vehicle repaired. More pitfalls will be added on a regular basis.

Number One

Most people have little or no idea what their insurance policy really says. They think they have “full coverage” and “their insurance company will take care of everything”. They come to us to have their vehicle repaired and are shocked to find out they don’t have rental car coverage. Then, after checking further, they discover the policy gives their insurance company permission to use NON-FACTORY parts. You’ll want to avoid this pitfall.

We encourage you to get that policy out and read it until you know what you pay for every time you make your payment. Call your agent and have him or her review it with you. Feel free to contact us with your questions. There’s a real good chance we’ve seen your insurance company in action. There are many solid insurance companies and agents out there with excellent products. Make sure you really have the “full coverage” you think you have.

Number Two

Most people are not prepared to make decisions they’re forced to make when their vehicle is damaged. We have people call us and say: “I just wrecked my car. What do I have to do to get it fixed”? If you have avoided pitfall number one, some of these decisions will be easy to make. Other decisions can be thought through in advance. Sit down with your spouse, a close friend, your agent, etc., and ask: “If I was involved In a collision, what would be some of the decisions I might need to make, and how would I make them?”

Please feel free to contact one of our claims centers or e-mail us with any questions you have so you will be better prepared. We’ll be glad to answer them and help you avoid this pitfall.

Number Three

You have just been involved In an accident. You have avoided pitfalls 1 and 2. The next pitfall to avoid is thinking since the insurance company is “paying the bill” they should make the decisions. People forget it’s their money the insurance company is using to pay for the repairs. They faithfully make their premium payments counting on the insurance company to be there for them. And then, they want to tell you how you spend it. It’s you money. It’s your car. You make the decisions.

Again, know what your policy really says. Make sure you haven’t signed anything that limits the decisions you need to make in order to protect the investment you’ve made in your vehicle. Contact us if you would like to know which Insurance companies let you make decisions and which ones think they should decide for you.

Freedom of choose

Customers right to choice there shop. Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car?

Yes. In order to expedite your claim, select the repair shop; leave your automobile there; and notify your insurance agent or company.

Do I need to get three estimates?

No. Notify your agent or insurance company. Get an estimates at the shop of your choice. Let your shop deal and settle with your insurance compant. Your insurance adjuster may need to inspect the damage. If your insurance company has a drive-in claims service and your car is safe to drive, you should call them for an appointment, take your car there, make sure you get a copy of the insurance adjuster’s estimate, and take it and your automobile to the shop of your choice.

Some insurance agents may tell you to get two or three estimates. Talk to your insurance adjuster first. Generally claims are handled by the insurance company’s claims department, not agents.

In some areas your insurance agent may be authorized by the insurance company to pay your claim. I he or she tells your to get two estimates, ask if he will pay your claim from his or her office. If “yes” is the answer, getting two estimates may speed up your claims payment.

If “no” is the answer, talk to your insurance adjuster first. Do not get an estimate from a shop you would not let repair your vehicle.