What to expect from insurance after a car accident

What to expect from insurance after a car accident

A recent conversation with one of our guests very clearly illustrates the most common questions and answers between claimants (victims in an accident) and independent repair facilities.  Because the proper repair requires the insurance company representing the insured (the person who hit the claimant), we thought it would be helpful to our guests to get a behind the scenes view of the steps of the repair process. Here is the conversation as it happened between the Claimant (our guest) and the independent body shop (Nylund’s Collision Center): Claimant: I very much appreciate your offer to have the car in for repair on Feb 14. However, I do want to update you with the fact that American Family Insurance (AmFam) sent me a check for the amount of $4276.13.  I have filed it and will not cash it.  I feel the sending of this check is very inappropriate.  I am very concerned about this behavior on the part of AmFam. And I ask again if-given this behavior on the part of AmFam – do I need to consider hiring an attorney? Nylund’s: All your concerns are valid and you posed great questions.  I wish this process were easier on everyone, unfortunately it’s not the case. We are aware of AmFam’s initial estimate.  It is in no way inclusive of all that will be needed to repair your vehicle back to undetectable, pre-loss condition.  The initial estimates rarely are. I don’t believe there is any reason to hire a lawyer quite yet.  That being said, Let’s chat about a few of your concerns and the options available. Claimant: I asked you if I would be held responsible for any amount that AmFam refuses to pay....
Space Frames and Hot Formed Steel

Space Frames and Hot Formed Steel

Multi-material space frame. Ultra high-strength, hot-shaped steel. Conventional steel. Cast aluminum and bionic structures. Magnesium strut braces. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). Load path compliant fiber. These are just a few of the MANY new terms coming down the production line at an automobile manufacturer near you!  And why should you care? Well, perhaps YOU shouldn’t… but the real question is: does your body shop know them? The industry is in an ever-changing, rapidly-evolving state of growth. Manufacturers like Audi are producing frames and structural panels made out of multiple components, and you better believe that means the repair process just got more complicated. If your body shop technician doesn’t keep 100% up to date with every advance… your repair could be compromised. How would you ever know if the shop you choose really knows what they’re doing? There are a couple of ways.  First – ask to view their most current “AllData” documents. Next, inquire about the status of their subscription to your specific manufacturer’s updated repair manual. And finally – if you really want to know the QUALITY of repair at any given body shop, simply ask them how many times they’ve ever had to buy back a vehicle after repairing it. Your vehicle represents not only one of your largest expenses… it is responsible for the safety of the ones you love the most. Be sure that the people taking care of your family truly know what they’re doing! Take a look at this example of Audi’s innovation: You are always welcome here at Nylund’s Collision Center where, “If it’s not perfect – it’s not...
Surprise – State Farm isn’t Progressive – It’s AGGRESSIVE

Surprise – State Farm isn’t Progressive – It’s AGGRESSIVE

Would you agree with your insurance carrier to allow them to use used, recycled, reconditioned and/or non-original equipment manufacturer parts to repair your brand new vehicle? If you own a State Farm auto policy, that is EXACTLY what you agreed to! You have effectively waived (relinquished, renounced, abandoned, surrendered, ceded, signed away, rejected, abdicated, sacrificed and refused) your right to insist upon original manufacturers’ parts. According to State Farm’s Car Policy Booklet Form 9806B ©2011 page 25: Limits and Loss Settlement – Comprehensive Coverage and Collision Coverage “…You agree with us (State Farm) that the repair estimate may include new, used, recycled and reconditioned parts. Any of these parts may be either original manufacturer parts or non-original manufacturer parts. You also agree that replacement glass need not have any insignia, logo, trademark, etching, or other marking that was on the replaced glass”. Not only that, but according to your State Farm Car Policy Booklet: “(2) The cost to repair the covered vehicle does not include any reduction in the value of the covered vehicle after it has been repaired as compared to its value before it was damaged.” In other words, you are NOT ENTITLED to any diminished value claim – even though your car has been damaged and repaired. What Are The Right Questions To Ask Your Agent? The unfortunate “right question” to ask – BEFORE YOU PAY for your policy is: “What are my rights if I don’t agree with the estimate produced by State Farm?” It’s unfortunate, because the answer – according to your Car Policy Booklet is: you don’t have any. Other insurance companies allow...
You Might Get Sued If…

You Might Get Sued If…

Did you save 15% or more in 15 minutes? Are you in good hands? Do you have good neighbors? Is somebody on your side? Has your insurance company seen almost everything? Are you under the umbrella? Did you name your own price? Or is someone protecting your dreams? You just might get sued… and here’s why: True Stories of Body Shop Horror Joe’s brand new Lexus gets hit from behind by Bill, and Joe ends up claiming the damage via Bill’s insurance. Bill’s “lizard insurance” sends an adjuster who writes an initial estimate to repair Joe’s bumper. (One can clearly see that the bumper is beyond repair and requires replacement – but the adjuster writes for repair because there is no sales tax on labor, saving his company MILLIONS every year.) Joe brings his car to a reputable body shop, and once the bumper cover is removed, it becomes clear that one of Joe’s frame rails (key safety component) has been compromised, and also requires replacement. Those “gecko good ol’ boys” agree, and approve the purchase. The body shop orders all new factory parts to provide the proper repair for Joe’s vehicle and expedites the repair process. Whoa! The new estimate from the “rip-off reptiles” is full of cheap aftermarket parts… and because their company has lost over 80% of their profits recently, the most effective way to make up their losses is to purchase cheap parts and increase your premiums.  Now there’s a significant gap between the cost of the RIGHT PARTS (which are already on the car) and the only amount the insurance company is willing to pay. What...
Oh Hail No They Didn’t

Oh Hail No They Didn’t

Say “Hail NO” to the Wrong Repair! Colorado is well documented as one of the three states (Wyoming and Nebraska making up the other two) known as “Hail Alley”. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), these states average seven to nine hail days per year.* Because of this designation, it’s understandable that there are associated industries that stand ready to process the claims and repair the damage caused by hail storms. Terms NORMALLY associated with automotive hail damage claims and repair: Insurance Agencies Body Shops Terms to be AVOIDED with automotive hail damage claims and repair: Storm Chaser Tents of ANY KIND Dealerships Door Hangers Flyers In light of the most recent hail storm here in Denver, the number of storm chasers and (surprisingly) well-known dealerships who have popped up and started advertising that they are in the hail business is not only surprising – but unbelievably dangerous to the consumer. The problem with storm chasers and the tents they put up right after a storm is this: they exist only to get as much money from consumers as fast as they can. Tent conditions on an abandoned street corner come nowhere near being enough to handle the complexity of many hail cases. The lighting is sub-par. They may or may not have the correct tools to do the job correctly. And God forbid, if something goes wrong or was improperly dis- or reassembled – where will they be to make a claim? They take down their tents and go back to their day jobs in other states. The consumer is left holding the bag of...
Open Letter to Congress

Open Letter to Congress

Your Money or Your Life Dear Members of the United States Congress, I am writing this open letter to express my strong opposition to H.R. 1879 and S. 812, Promoting Automotive Repair Trade and Sales Act of 2017, also known as the PARTS Act. I am especially disappointed in U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and lead sponsors U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), with original cosponsors Reps. Blake Farentold (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) who have put their names in support of this bill. I am the current very proud owner of Nylund’s Collision Center located in Englewood, Colorado. I oppose the Parts Act for the following reasons: A. The language of the PARTS Act completely ignores the value of established patent law, specifically as it relates to the investment in design, manufacture and especially safety testing of vehicles that are built as an entire unit to work seamlessly with all other parts of the same vehicle. B. The language of the PARTS Act suggests that it is against, or ignorant of the safety of the consumer who would – in an effort to save money – purchase parts that may appear to be “similar or the same in appearance to the component part”. Failure of an imitation part that appears to be the same after an accident could put the lives of the vehicle’s occupants at risk. Appearing similar or same in appearance is not the same as being the same. Aftermarket component parts are not subject to the same crashworthiness tests as OEM parts Aftermarket component parts...
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