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What to Do if an Insurance Company Underestimates Repair Costs

If you’ve sustained property damage in a vehicle accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, you deserve compensation. You deserve enough compensation to repair or replace your vehicle. However, what happens if the insurance carrier underestimates your repair costs?

This is not uncommon. Insurance carriers have an interest in limiting how much money they pay in compensation for vehicle repairs because every dollar they send you impacts their bottom line. Here, we want to discuss what you can do if you think the insurance carrier is lowballing your vehicle repair settlement offer. An experienced car accident lawyer in Houston may be able to assist you with your case to ensure you are fairly compensated for damages associated with a vehicle collision.

Why Would an Insurance Carrier Not Pay the Full Repair Amount?

It is not uncommon for the amount an insurance carrier offers to pay to be far lower than what the repair shop tells you the cost will be. Now, there is something to be said for exploring multiple options when considering repairs. Individuals should take their vehicle to multiple shops to receive estimates to present to the insurance carrier.

However, insurance carriers typically do limit how much compensation they offer, particularly when they first approach the settlement process. Their goal is to limit how much compensation they pay out for property damage expenses because every dollar they don’t send to crash victims is a dollar more for the company.

What Are Your Options if the Insurance Carrier Gives a Lowball Estimate for Repairs?

If the insurance carrier has presented an inadequate offer for your vehicle’s repairs, you may need to speak to an attorney. A skilled vehicle accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and help stand up to the insurance carrier on your behalf. The role of an attorney is to thoroughly examine the facts of the case, including the vehicle damage. An attorney can assist with receiving multiple estimates and then presenting a demand letter to the insurance carrier.

Negotiation is Usually Possible

Whether you have an attorney or not, you will typically be able to negotiate with an insurance carrier when it comes to property damage expenses. The first offer that comes from the insurance carrier will typically be far below what you should actually receive.

If you do not have an attorney, you can ensure your vehicle receives multiple estimates so you can present the estimates to the insurance carrier yourself through a professionally written demand letter. If you are working with an attorney, they will help you with this process.

What if the Insurance Carrier Demands You Work With a Certain Repair Shop?

Insurance companies do not necessarily have your best interests at heart, and if they demand that you use a certain repair shop or mechanic, there are some tips we want to provide:

  • Make sure the repairs come with a warranty
  • Have a second repair shop or mechanic that you trust review the repairs
  • Make sure the repair shop is using OEM manufacturer replacement parts

Some vehicle insurance carriers will negotiate with dealerships and mechanics to receive a more fair offer. While this can cut you out as the middleman and will often ensure the repairs you need, we still suggest that you receive estimates from others so that you know you are getting the best possible offer from the carrier.

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