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Collision Repair and Insurance Companies – The “Whole” Truth

February 21, 2013

Earlier I discussed a few key terms which are important when filing an insurance claim – “pre-loss” and made “whole.” These are terms which you the insured or claimant need to fully understand. I would recommend reading your policy carefully and closely when you receive it in the mail. It is the “contract” between you and your insurance company. I am not an attorney and not trying to provide legal advice, but I am sharing 20+ years of involvement with insurance companies, the collision and auto industry, as well as my direct conversations with those that appraise your vehicle. The policy/contract is what you have paid for monthly, quarterly or annually. That policy will be the document which pays for your claim and makes you “whole”. It is very specific and the insurance industry is first and foremost a business, that is required to honor that contract, but they also wrote it and influence those who enforce it. Remember that! There business is to sell policies, lots of policies and then pay out less claims then they have in “force”. The difference of policies sold and policies paid on, is their profit. They all want to keep their jobs, their company strong and their lives moving forward just like anyone else. To do that, they most control and influence the claims process. They do that in many, many different ways. They see the process differently than you or I. They are trained and influenced in a manner that supports their business. The idea of being made “whole” is not viewed the same way. Not in a negative way per se, but in a way that may not make you completely “whole.”

Like anything in life that is foreign or new to us, we are at a disadvantage. When you have been in an accident, that disadvantage can cost you thousands of dollars in lost value to you and your vehicle. The idea of being made “whole,” may involve the types of parts used in the repair of your vehicle. The labor to install those parts. The amount of time needed to complete the work to a “pre-loss” condition. They are all broken down into a dollar amount. That dollar amount is your contractual or policy reimbursement to you, the policy holder for your loss. That is the insurance companies responsibility to make you “whole” financially,  that you have purchased.

We at Hance are here to help you. To level the playing field. To give you our opinion and knowledge that you can use to help make an informed decision and negotiate with your insurance company. Our responsibility is to conduct ourselves ethically, to honor our relationships with you, our clients and with the insurance companies who respect our workmanship. We enjoy the dynamic of being the facilitator with the insurance company.  To help bridge the relationship with you and your insurance company. If you drive a car, you will most likely need our services one day and when you do, know that we understand our role. That we are here for you. To teach you what we can do and what you can ask for. To share with you our goal to make you “whole.”

Next time I will delve into “pre-loss” condition and what that means, as we see it and how insurance companies see it. Until then, Happy and safe motoring. -Rob aka Car Nut Dallas

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