Auto Insurance Claims/auto claim


I was involved in a car accident months ago. The other driver was 100% at fault. I went to his insurance company the other day, and they offered me a check for around $500. So I cashed it. I was told by someone beforehand that I should get an estimate at a body shop.

If the body shop gives an estimate of, say, $800, would the insurance company be obligated to pay me the balance? This seems to be the fair thing to do. The adjuster even advised me to take the car to a body shop, in case there was hidden damage which he couldn't find.

He also said that the body shop goes off the estimate, but I find that questionable, since the insurance company is trying to save money and thus likely lowballed me.


Yes, they owe you the actual cost of repairs, though this is not an open ended deal as labor rates and parts prices are always rising. Point is, take it to a shop and have them look at the car and contact the insurance company to get an actual figure for the repairs. And as far as the insurance company low-balling you, you can pretty much count on that being the case.



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Charlie Barone


For questions involving auto damage claims, collision repair, forensics, industry practices, we can help. We specialize in claims for loss of resale value (Diminished Value).


I have 30 years experience in the collision repair and body reconstruction field, both hands-on and from behind the desk. I hold a Master Certification from ASE in the Body and Paint category, as well as their certification in Estimating. I have authored over 120 feature and training articles for the largest trade journal devoted to the collision repair industry, and have given expert testimony in court dozens of times. Licensed physical damage appraiser in Pennsylvania and reciprocal states.

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