If you’ve recently been involved in an auto accident, you may be wondering if you can make your own repairs to the vehicle rather than having them done by a professional. There are a lot of insurance issues here to consider—if the insurer is going to pay for the repairs, they’ll want to make sure they’re done reliably.
Here are a few factors that will go into determining whether you can do your own car repairs in Tampa, FL after filing a claim.
Ownership of the vehicle
If you own the vehicle outright (meaning you owe nothing to a lender), then you will have much more flexibility with regard to your repair options. You’ll get the insurance payout and be able to do pretty much whatever you want with it. Of course, you’ll need to carefully read the language of your policy first before you take any repair action.
Liens on the vehicle
If there is a lien on the vehicle, you probably will not be able to do the repairs yourself, as the lender will not want to assume the risk of having someone with questionable expertise perform these repairs. An exception may exist if you can prove you are a qualified auto mechanic in your own right.
Your insurance company will not require you to use a specific repair shop, but your lender might, so you should carefully read your loan agreement for conditions relating to motor vehicle collisions and repair work.
Effects on coverage
If you do own your car outright and are under no obligation to use an approved shop for repairs, you might still see some effects on your insurance coverage. For example, your insurer might be wary of providing you with further comprehensive or collision coverage if you perform your own repairs. And, if any additional damage is discovered down the road, the insurer will probably not want to pay for the repairs if you were the one who made the initial repairs to begin with.
Therefore, you might determine it’s not going to be worth the small amount of money you’d save in doing the repairs yourself if it opens you up to potentially larger financial risk later on.
If you’ve read through all this and have still decided you wish to do the repairs on your vehicle yourself, you should at least have an insurance adjuster come out and look at the damage to give you an estimate before you get started. This gives you and your insurer alike an idea of a reasonable settlement figure for the damages, and potentially arms you with some of the information you may need in further negotiations of that settlement figure so you can maximize the amount of money you get.
If you make mistakes during the repair, keep in mind that the costs of any future repairs to remedy the issues will come out of your pocket, so it’s crucial that you’re completely confident in your ability to make the repairs.
For more information about doing your own repairs after filing a car insurance claim in Tampa, FL, or for information about getting a better car insurance policy, contact the team at Affordable Car Insurance Tampa today.