Dealing with insurance claims and car appraisals after an accident in San Diego, Kearny Mesa, and El Cajon is never easy. At Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego, we understand just how stressful the aftermath of a collision can be, and we want to help make things as easy as possible. So, to make the car appraisals process easier, we created this in-depth guide to help you get a better understanding of how everything works and what you can expect from car appraisals after an accident.
The Purpose of a Car Appraisal
The point of a car appraisal is to help insurance companies calculate a car’s fair value. Typically, if the cost of repairs is higher than what the vehicle is worth, insurance companies will offer to pay the value of the car based on the appraisal.
Car Appraisal Process Walkthrough
The insurance appraisal process isn’t as complicated as it seems. In fact, the process only takes a few steps.
- 1. Call your insurance company: The very first thing you need to do after an accident is report it to your insurance company. From there, your insurer will send a claims adjuster to the scene to appraise your car.
- 2. Discuss accident with appraiser: Before the appraiser inspects your vehicle, you’ll need to discuss the details of the collision so they can understand the circumstances of the crash.
- 3. Appraisal inspection: After the appraiser takes your statement, they’ll begin their inspection. They’ll take a closer look at your vehicle to determine the extent of the damage. The overall condition of your car will also be examined to determine its appraisal value.
The Next Steps
Two things can happen after your insurance company appraises your vehicle. First, they could decide that the cost of repairs is lower than the overall value of your vehicle. In this situation, all you’d have to do is go to a trusted collision center and get your car fixed. The majority of the costs could even be covered by insurance, depending on your policy. The second outcome would be if your car is deemed a total loss. Your vehicle is considered totaled when the cost of repairs is higher than its fair value. In this scenario, your insurer will essentially buy your damaged car from you for its fair value, which is determined in the appraisal process. If you’re financing or leasing your vehicle, and it becomes a total loss, you won’t receive any money from your insurance; your lender will. That money can be used to pay off your loan or lease amount, but if there isn’t enough, and you still have a balance on your account, you’ll be responsible for making the remaining payments. And yes, you’ll still need to pay even after the insurance company has taken your totaled car.
Need a Repair After an Accident?
Understanding and knowing what to expect from the insurance appraisal process can make dealing with the aftermath of an accident much easier. So, be sure to consult the guide above for everything you need to know about car appraisals. And if you’ve recently gotten into an accident in San Diego, El Cajon, or Kearny Mesa, get in touch with the Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego Collision Center and schedule your post-collision inspection now.