Getting your car repaired after an unprecedented accident can be both stressful and expensive. Furthermore, going through the car insurance claims process can be tiresome.
After the car is fixed, you pick it up from the repair shop. However, while driving it back home, you experience some engine issues or rattling sounds. Such a situation raises one pertinent question: What should you do if your damaged car is not fixed properly after insurance claim? This blog will help explain the process of getting your car restored to the pre-accident condition if it’s not fixed properly at the repair shop.
What to Do When Accident Damage is Not Properly Repaired
There are some steps that you can take if your car is not fixed properly after insurance claim:
1. Talk to the Repair Shop
Insurers assign an adjuster to a claim when you begin the claim settlement. As the repair process advances, you will work with your insurer. You should contact your repairer if you face any problems with your repairs.
Your insurer is obligated to pay for the cost of fixing your car until it is returned to its pre-loss state. If, for example, the body shop did not restore your bumper, it is logical for the insurer to permit additional repairs.
2. Request a Post-Repair Inspection
A post-repair assessment can determine whether your car was repaired properly after an accident. You can contact a different mechanic if you suspect the repair shop wasn’t honest with you or didn’t correctly diagnose the problem.
If any other problem is discovered during the inspection, they should be covered by insurance if they resulted from the same incident.
3. Contact Car Insurance Company
Contact your auto insurance provider to explore the issue further if you find additional concerns after repair. Considering they are paying for the repairs, it is in their best interest to ensure the repairs are made correctly and that the claim is processed without concerns.
Whether it’s the ability to retract a payment or the threat of removing the body shop from their list of pre-approved service providers, your insurance company may have the resources you need. It will further encourage the body shop to correct their errors.
Other Ways to Challenge an Insurance Claim
If your insurance company denies your request for further repairs and the repair shop denies wrongdoing, you may have other options. You can restore your car to its pre-loss condition by following these steps.
1. File a Complaint
If you have a complaint against your insurance company, contact your state’s Department of Insurance. Alternatively, you can contact your state’s Bureau of Auto Repair.
2. Contact an Attorney
Hire an attorney specializing in insurance disputes for more costly insurance claims. If the claim is denied, the attorney may be able to file a lawsuit and force the insurer to pay the compensation you are entitled to under the insurance policy.
How to Tell if Car Repairs Were Done Right
A repair can be hard to judge if it was done correctly. Nevertheless, you can check your car after an accident to ensure it was properly repaired.
1. Ask for a Copy of the Vehicle History Report
Obtain a vehicle history report from a reputable source like Carfax or AutoCheck. Check for any reported accidents, damages, or title issues. Examine the maintenance records for evidence of regular servicing and post-accident repairs. Ensure repairs were performed by certified technicians using genuine parts.
2. Test the Paint Job
- Consistency: Inspect the paint’s color consistency across all panels. Inconsistencies might indicate a mismatch due to poor repair work.
- Texture: Run your hand over the painted surfaces. A smooth, even texture is ideal. Rough or uneven areas may suggest subpar paintwork.
- Panel Alignment: Check for any misalignment between panels, as this may indicate issues related to the repair or repainting process.
- Blending: Look for signs of blending, where the new paint seamlessly merges with the existing paint. Poor blending can be a sign of rushed or inadequate repair work.
3. Find Aftermarket Parts
- Review Repair Invoice: Check the repair invoice for details on the parts used. If aftermarket parts were used, they should be high quality and suitable for your vehicle.
- Inspect for OEM Markings: Examine replaced components for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) markings. Authentic parts usually bear these markings.
- Research Parts Compatibility: Verify that aftermarket parts are compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Incompatible parts can lead to performance issues.
4. Look for Putty Resin
- Check for Uneven Surfaces: Run your hand over repaired areas to detect uneven surfaces. Putty resin may be used to fill dents, but poor application can result in irregularities.
- Tap for Solidity: Gently tap on repaired areas. A solid, consistent sound suggests proper repair, while a hollow or different sound may indicate the use of excessive putty.
- Visual Inspection: Inspect the repaired areas under good lighting conditions. Look for signs of cracks, bubbles or an uneven finish, which can indicate improper use of putty resin.
If you’re not confident in your assessment, consider a professional inspection from a trusted mechanic or a collision repair specialist. They can provide a more thorough evaluation of the repair work done on the vehicle.
What to Do if You Suspect Repairs Were Done Poorly
You can take steps to ensure that your accident damages are fully repaired if they haven’t been repaired properly.
1. Consult the Repair Shop
Getting in touch with the repair shop is your first step. To discuss specific issues, speak with the manager. Describe what you noticed, heard, or felt when you drove your vehicle after the repairs. Some vehicles don’t have anything wrong with them.
You may also be asked to have the manager look at your vehicle again to ensure the repairs were done correctly.
2. Request a Post-Repair Inspection
During the post-repair inspection, the original damage is assessed and repaired to the owner’s satisfaction.
While collision repair inspections are free of charge in some states, you can hire a third party to inspect your home in others. If you want an assessment of the repairs after they are done, ask your insurance company’s adjuster.
3. Contact your Car Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company if an inspection proves the repairs were improperly done. No matter where your car was repaired, your insurance company must return it to pre-loss condition.
Under your insurance claim, you may be entitled to more repairs if the repair work was not done correctly.
If your car is not fixed properly after insurance claim, the insurer must continue paying for repairs until the car is restored to pre-loss condition. Inspect your repair after you have contacted your insurance company. Y
our insurance company should cover all remaining costs for repairing your car if the damages were legitimate and the vehicle genuinely needs more repairs. Don’t forget to check out Beem which helps you compare different car insurance options and find the best match in your budget.
1. What if my car insurance claim takes too long?
Consider involving your state’s insurance department if your car insurance claim is delayed, and contact your insurance company for updates.
2. What happens if my car can’t be fixed?
You can keep or surrender the salvage to the insurance company based on the car’s value before the accident, minus the deductible.
3. Can I just keep the money from an insurance claim?
You are usually free to use the money as you please once you get a payment from your insurance company. If you choose not to repair your car, driving it could be unsafe, and it will have a lower resell value.