Don't feel bad if you've never done this before..
Did you recently get into an accident for the first time? Was it your fault or was it someone else's fault? Not sure how insurance companies work? We're here to help.
Here at Superior Performance, we work with all insurance companies. Please keep in mind, they will try to put a bug in your ear saying "Since they aren't an approved shop, we can't guarantee their work", but rest assured, we have a lifetime guarantee on the repairs. It is Oregon Law that you can take your vehicle to any repair facility of your choosing to get your car fixed, though they may make it difficult for you as stated above.
They will want you to go to a DRP (Direct Repair Program) Shop to get the approved estimate, they may want you to take photos and submit them and wait 3-5 days until you get an approved estimate. Or if your vehicle is not drivable, you can get it towed in and they will be out in 3-5 days to inspect it.
Once you start the claim, and an approved estimate is provided, that's when we start our process and take the weight off your shoulders.
When an accident is your fault, then your Collision Coverage will cover the damages of your vehicle, but your vehicle only.
Also, when an accident is your fault, then your Liability Coverage will cover the damages to the other parties vehicle, property damages and medical expenses.
If your car is broken into, dented by a shopping cart, or has storm damage or anything of that nature, then your Comprehensive Coverage will kick in.
If your car is hit by another driver, but they don't have insurance, then that is filed under Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Which you are required to have under Oregon Law.
Depending on what kind of claim it is, your deductibles are different. If it's Comprehensive, your deductible is normally half (If Collision is $500, your Comprehensive will be $250).
Your insurance company will always short pay us your deductible when it comes to the check/final payment. Us (the body shop) collects the deductible at the end of the repairs. Most insurance companies send you the first check, and any supplemental checks are sent to us.
Supplements are additional damage or repairs we need to fix on the vehicle that are found upon tear down or further inspection. For example, if there is front bumper damage, we don't know your reinforcement bar behind your bumper is damaged until we take the bumper off (see photo above).
We send it over to the insurance company, sometimes they will do a desk review and issue payment for the repairs, or send an adjuster out to write one. 95% of the insurance claims we work on have supplements, so it is very normal. There is nothing you need to do on your part, no money out of your pocket at the end.
All insurance companies are different when it comes to payment. Sometimes they will send us the first check and any supplemental checks, or they will send the first one to the you, or no checks will be sent at all. Before you come to pick up your car, please check with us if we've received payment from the insurance company, because if we haven't we won't be able to release your car with out it.
If you have received the check, you may deposit it and pay us with a credit/debit card or a check when you come and pick up your vehicle. Or if you have yet to deposit it and the check is only made out to you, then you can simply sign the back of it and hand it over to us.
If someone hit your vehicle, who is insured, and they caused extensive damage to your vehicle, you are entitled to Diminished Value. Which is a fancy word for suing the insurance company for the amount of money you lost on your resale value after the accident.
The payout for D.V. is different for every car, so we would suggest going to an expert so they can give you advice and point you in the right direction.