Q: My car was recently hit by another driver and I believe it is a total loss. My car insurance company feels it is repairable. Do I have to go with my car insurance estimate?
A: We think you have your terminology a little bit confused. The car insurance estimate usually deals with how much a policy will cost, the car insurance estimator usually determines whether a car is repairable or not. It is important to understand the difference so you will be able to follow what is going on with your insurance company.
In most cases the car insurance estimator will decide on whether the car should be repaired or declared a total loss. If the customer disagrees with the decision there is usually a clause in the policy that will allow an independent estimator to evaluate the automobile.
If the independent estimator agree with the car insurance company the car will be declared a total loss and you will be compensated as such. If they believe the car is repairable the insurance company will often reimburse you for repairs up to some percentage of the value of your car. The percentage differs from company to company, but the agent will be able to give you this information.
If you are very attached to the automobile and it is declared a total loss in some cases the auto insurance will sell you the car for fair value market value. You can then have it repaired with the reimbursement you received from them for the total loss. If repairs cost more than they paid on the claim you will be responsible for the difference.
After the car repair is complete you will have to go shopping for a car insurance estimate again. Please feel free to check back in if you need help with this process.