Why your insurance company shouldn’t estimate your auto body damage

Why your insurance company shouldn’t estimate your auto body damage

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Hail DamageA freak storm rolled through Delaware County in June of 2010.   Many cars were damaged, and because a hail storm is considered an “act of God”, most insurance companies were obligated to repair the damage without increasing the driver’s rates.  My car got beat up pretty bad on the roof.  There were noticeable dents on the roof and hood, although you had to be standing very close and at the right angle to see them.  At first I didn’t think it was worth repairing but then I heard about the who act of God rule and decided to make a claim.  While on the phone with Progressive they offered to send out an estimator to assess the damage.  A few days later he showed up, took about 15 minutes looking at my car and handed me a check for $1200.

I was really excited about getting over $1000 for something that I was not planning on fixing.  Like many people I had a lot better use for the money than fixing some cosmetic damage on my car, so I spent the money and assumed it was over.  About a month later I took my car into Direct Paint & Collision in Havertown to have it detailed.  The staff over these noticed the hail damage and asked if I wanted to fix it.  I told them I didn’t care, but also shared my experience with the insurance adjuster.  They informed me that I could have received much more.  I told them they were welcome to re-estimate the damage and use any additional money from the estimate to fix the roof and the hood.  The staff contacted my insurance and cleaned my car thoroughly.  Under close detail they circle hundred of small dents that the insurance adjuster had missed.  Even though I had already been paid, the insurance company was forced to re open the case and awarded me another $2000.  So with the help of an auto body shop my estimated damage changed from $1200 to $3200!

I spent the additional money fixing the most noticeable damage on the car.  I really have to look hard to find some of the small dents left behind.  I felt a little bad when the insurance company called to apologize because I felt like I was getting away with something but everything was completely legal and fair.  If there was something in the fine print that excluded covering my car for damage I am sure progressive would have refused to fix it.  This time the fine print was in my favor so Ill take it.

Thanks to this auto body shop in Delaware County for their help with this.