Reprinted from https://www.centercollision.com/tips.asp
You paid a premium price for your insurance policy, and for the rights that came with it! Don't let anyone take them away!
If you are involved in an accident, you must:
- Stop at once. Report the accident to the nearest police station.
- See if anyone is injured. If injuries appear serious, call an ambulance. If you are hurt, seek treatment promptly.
- Write a complete description of the accident as soon as possible.
- Submit required accident reports to the proper authorities.
- Call your insurance company.
You are not required to:
Give a signed statement to the claims adjuster representing the other driver's insurance company.
- Obtain more than one estimate.
- Take your car to a shop specified by your insurance agent or to any drive-in claims center for inspection.
- Accept a check for repair of your car until you are confident that it covers all necessary repairs.
- Sign any insurance company release until every repair has been completed to your satisfaction.
If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, you have the right to:
- Choose your own body shop.
- Have your car towed to the shop of your choice. Don't let your insurance company specify a shop so they can receive a discount on your repairs. Call your insurance company and advise them of your vehicle's location. Let your body shop go over the damage with your insurance company representative.
- Have your car restored to pre-accident condition.
Your car should look and perform the way it did before the accident. Even minor cosmetic damage should also be repaired at this time. Every little nick or chip can lead to rust damage later and will deduct from the value of your car.
The Importance of Genuine Replacement Parts
Don't be fooled by "lifetime warranties" on imitation parts. Significant additional costs can be incurred if these warranties do not include labor.
If the insurance company insists on imitation parts, ask for proof that they are equal to genuine parts in terms of fit, finish, and corrosion protection. In making your final decision of which parts to use, consider the hidden cost of future repairs, reduced resale value, and the possible risk to passenger safety which you may have to face one day.