Auto body repair & detailing/New car body damage
While driving home after work another vehicle changed lanes and ran into my new vehicle (2013 Honda Accord Sport, 8 weeks old with approx 3500 miles on it). Damaged driver side passenger door rear wheel & quarter panel. The other drivers insurance company (Country Companies) sent an adjuster out & he said they would not replace the vehicle because not enough damage and would send a check & estimate. When I got the estimate it called for after market parts (rear door, etc), reconditioned rear wheel. This is my new car, I want new Honda parts, I am sick about my new vehicle already being damaged. What options do I have, would it help if I get a lawyer involved and will any lawyer deal with a small claim like this? Also how would I find the best body shop that will stand behind the work for years to come (planned on keeping this vehicle for 5 - 7 years). Does damage like this get reported to car fax and will this accident effect trade-in value down the road? What is the best approach to take. I can send copy of estimate if needed.
Hi Tim!....So sorry to hear what happened. Even more so on a vehicle this new. First off, do not sign anything right off the bat. Talk to your insurance company first, as at least they will be on your side in this case. They should be able to give to advice in what steps to take in dealing with a specific insurance company. Give them a copy of the estimate, and if they feel it is not fair, usually they can send out their own adjuster. In a case where insurance companies are on the paying end, they are counting on you being flustered and confused, therefore you signing hastely, not knowing what you are actually entitled to. In regards to your vehicle not being written off, here in Alberta, to write a vehicle off, the total damage must be between 70% and 80%, ( depending on the insurance company ), of the replacement value of the vehicle. You can talk to your insurance comany, and see if the guidelines are similar, or what they actually are in your State. As far as using aftermarket parts, and a reconditioned wheel...DEFINITLY NOT. These parts should all be factory brand new parts on a vehicle this new. That being said, there are 2 probable reasons for this. First, the insurance company is trying to cheap out and save money, as I am sure you know, they are in the buisness of making money, and not spending it. Second, they might be trying to keep the cost down, as to not write the vehicle off, so they don't have to pay full replacement cost on a vehicle for you. Again, they are cheaping out. Or, it could be a combination of both the above. If you can, you are welcome to send me a copy of the estimate, and I can give you my opinion on it. As for the Carfax report, yes, it is generally reported to Carfax by the insurance company. Therefore, it will certainly diminish the value to some extent when trading it in, or selling privatly. Again, this is how it works here, so please check with your State, as for regulations there. In choosing a repair shop, your insurance company should have no problem in recommending a Qualified Repair Shop. Please make sure you get a written warrantee/guarantee as well. The shop I work at, offers a Lifetime Warranty on all repairs. You might even wish to test drive your vehicle after repairs are done, before taking it home, to make sure you are satisfied before signing off on the repairs. I hope I have answered all of your questions. If I missed something, or you have any other concerns, please drop me another line....Thanks....Dave