Guide to Handling your Property Damage Claim

After an accident, most people have two major concerns: First, getting the help you need for treating/paying for your injuries, and second, repairing or replacing your vehicle.

With One Call to Craig Swapp & Associates, we help our clients get proper medical attention to heal and obtain the financial relief you need to get on with your life. We can also help guide you through the process of getting your vehicle repaired or replaced. To help you through this process, we have created this guide which addresses the most frequently asked questions.

Two Options:

  1. Use your insurance
    • Pro – quicker, treated fairly, higher values for total loss
    • Con – you may need to pay a deductible
  2. Use the other person’s insurance
    • Pro – no deductible
    • Con – takes longer, likely will be treated poorly by insurance

Two Scenarios (insurance company will decide whether repairable or total loss)

  1. Car is repairable
    • Contact insurance company to start the process. They should get you in a rental car and direct you to get your vehicle to a repair shop. You can choose whatever shop you want. You don’t have to go with their recommendation. Once your car is repaired you turn in your rental vehicle and collect your now fixed vehicle.
  2. Car is total loss
    • Contact insurance company to start the process. They should get you in a rental car while they evaluate the value of your vehicle. You are owed the market value of your vehicle at the time just before the collision. The insurance company will put together a valuation report that lists all of the features of your vehicle. Make sure that list is accurate. If it is not, ask for the report to be corrected (e.g. report lists no power windows when your car actually has power windows). Then, the report will list comparable vehicles in your area. Look at the list and compare to a local classifieds or online auto trader site. If the value they state is close to what you are seeing online then it’s best to accept the offer and get a new vehicle. If the value is not ballpark, then you need to come up with vehicles for sale that are similar to your vehicle (e.g. same make and model/trim) to send to
      the insurance company to consider when determining value. Once the offer is made, you will typically have a few days to get a new car before your rental vehicle is due back. Confirm that date with the insurance company so there aren’t any unexpected charges.