The Claims Process
Coordinating the Efforts
With any luck, you will have little experience with filing auto insurance claims. That's okay. If you've been in an accident, you don't have to be an expert. We can help.
At Duncan Auto Body, we've repaired tens of thousands of vehicles over the past 40 years. Each year, we help thousands of our customers work through the insurance claims process.
This process can be quit cumbersome, confusing and frustrating. We will handle everything for you, start to finish. The claims process can have many parts. Here are some of the most common parts that most people face in a normal claim.
Notice of Loss or Claim
This is the point where you make contact with either your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver. This is also called the 'first report'.
Estimating the Damage
Once an insurance company determines that they have both coverage and liability, it is time for them to determine how much they are required to pay out on the claim. The insurance company can assess the extent of damage in one of several ways. Here are some of the common ways:
• Have you take the car to a shop in their direct repair program (Duncan Auto Body participates in many Direct Repair Programs)
• Send an adjuster out to inspect and prepare an estimate on the vehicle.
• Have you bring the car in to a drive-in estimating office.
Remember, you are the customer and the Insurance company cannot require you to do anything you do not want to do. We will help you with this sometimes extensive process.
Authorize Damage Repairs
Once the insurance company gives you the okay to proceed with the repairs, we can begin the repair process (see the process). Often, this process is short-cut by sending that notice directly to us, at which time, we will inform you that the insurance company has given the approval to begin repairs.
Authorize repair of any additional discovered damage
Usually your vehicle will be repaired on an open contract basis between our shop and the insurance company. With the complexity of today's vehicles, there may be further damage that is not discovered until repairs are in progress. Most initial estimates are performed while the car is still being driven and therefore include only "visual damage," meaning the damages that are visible without doing any disassembly of the damaged parts of the vehicle.
These additionally-required repairs are commonly referred to as "supplements" and are added to the original repair estimate. That means that there is almost always additional damage discovered after the car has been dropped off at the shop. Duncan Auto Body will contact your adjuster and handle the approval process for any "supplemental" items needed to properly repair your car.