How Do Car Insurance Estimator’s Work?

Sep 16, 2020 | Auto Hail Damage Repair, Hail Damage, Hail Damage Insurance, Hail Damage Repair, Paintless Dent Repair PDR

car-with-dents-ready-for-pdr-insurance-estimator

When hail damage occurs, it’s important to get the best repair -and that includes getting the best experience and price. But before we can start on your repair for hail damage, an estimation has to be done. In the past, many of our customers turned to their car insurance estimator to get accurate estimates. But, are they really equipped to give you an accurate estimate?

A lot of our customers don’t realize until it’s too late that we offer to handle your insurance process from the moment you drop your car off with us. That means we file your hail damage insurance claim for you and work with insurance adjusters on your estimation!

Car Insurance Estimator

When you work with your insurance company directly, you will be working with their assigned hail damage car repair estimator. It’s a necessity with any repair to get an estimation of the cost to know how they will proceed with payment. 

But, there are a few issues when it comes to an insurance company using their own estimators such as: 

  • Waiting weeks for your appointment.
  • Causing further damage to your car. 

Scheduling an appointment can take weeks depending on how many other claims they are receiving at that time. You’ll be asked to go to them unless your car is too damaged to drive.  

By waiting weeks to repair your vehicle, you could be damaging your car even more! Driving with dents can create a whole new world of problems for you. It can cause paint peeling and rusting to occur, which means a more costly repair. Not to mention if you find yourself in a car accident while your car still has hail damage, your insurance adjusters can deduct the cost of the dent repair that has not been repaired from the new collision claim.

Hail Damage Estimations 

Car insurance estimators look at dozens of different claims every day, not only auto hail damage. They can also look at:

  • Collision damage – typically car accidents fall under this category.
  • Comprehensive damage – while hail falls under this insurance category, so do other natural disasters like falling trees.
  • Property damage – theft or damage you did to your vehicle.  

This leaves room for a rushed job, done in a very general area, where you could receive the wrong estimated cost. And, they aren’t just writing the total cost of your repair, but rather the cost they want to put towards your repair.  

Here’s the thing, insurance adjusters simply don’t have the proper equipment or expertise to properly write up your hail damage estimation. To properly assess your vehicle for hail damage, your vehicle needs:

  1. To be wiped down entirely. This removes any obstructions and helps us identify dents clearly. 
  2. To be in a shaded area, the darker the area, the better. 
  3. PDR lights to see any dents visible and invisible to the naked eye. 

It’s also important to know that you have the right to choose where you go for this repair. If your insurance company recommends you to go to specific body shops, it is a federal offense called Insurance Steering

What Options Do Body Shops Offer?

If you have chosen to go to a body shop, or were illegally steered there, it’s important to understand the type of repair you will receive. Traditional methods are typically used at body shops to repair your vehicle. This means replacing your car panels–or worst, filling in the dents with Bondo

During the estimation process, your estimator will decide what sort of parts your car is eligible for. This is normally outlined in your insurance policy. 

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts – these are completely new car parts and are eligible to those on average during the first 7 years of your vehicle’s life. 
  • Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) parts – given in replacement of OEM, but are less durable. 
  • Junkyard parts – parts found in junkyards used on your car as a replacement. 

Other than replacing car parts, there is one more uncommon option that an insurance adjuster might blindside you with.  

A Total Loss

Your insurance company might tell you your car is ‘totaled’ when it really isn’t. This generally happens when the estimated cost of repairs is higher than the value placed on your car. When this happens, they will offer you a check instead of that value.

At Hail Specialists, we reduce the risk for a total loss by negotiating and dealing directly with your insurance adjuster. 

Working with our Hail Specialists Estimator

It’ll be easy to say yes to an estimation done by your insurance company because it seems like your only option. But, we have in-house estimators that are specifically trained to identify hail damage accurately and make your insurance pay for the real cost of the repair. 

Here’s how our estimation process works:

  1. First, we have you drop off your insurance paperwork and vehicle.
  2. Then, we take your car to our enclosed base room that has our PDR lights. Here, we can see all the dents, which is not possible in the sunlight. 
  3. We completely wipe down your car so no residue would obstruct the estimating process by making it harder to see dents covered in dirt.
  4. A car-safe and water-soluble pen is used to circle every dent. 
  5. Next, we write an estimate accepted by your insurance company. We utilize the same software (CCC1) that most major insurance companies use, meaning Hail Specialists and your insurance company will both understand the estimate properly. 
  6. An insurance representative will then visit us to make sure your claim abides by their policies.
  7. Once approved, we began our insurance approved Paintless Dent Repair process for dent elimination. 

We offer same-day appointments, unlike insurance estimators. And, by working directly with your insurance company, we knock out the stress of dealing with them yourself. 

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is the best method to repair hail damaged vehicles. When you choose us to take care of your repair process, we use this method to return your car to its pre-loss condition in only 1-3 days! Instead of replacing your damaged panels, PDR massages the dents out in a non-invasive way. 

Our expert technicians have been working with PDR for over 200 years in combined experience to perfect their technique.  

Contact Us For Your Insurance Approved PDR

We make this process much easier for everyone involved. By doing your estimation in-house, we eliminate the weeks waiting for a car insurance estimator. The insurance adjusters visit our shop immediately after our estimation, and we get authorized the same day to start your insurance approved hail damage repair. Even big companies, like Geico, will approve of PDR

Find us at one of our many locations today to get the process started or request an assessment!

Colorado:

Denver

 

Texas

Houston

Huntsville

Katy

San Antonio 

 

Florida: 

Jacksonville

Call us today at 904-729-8875 or Email us at [email protected]

Our mission is to provide a $0 out of pocket cost for our customers while maintaining the same level of quality repair & service! There is a reason our customers continue to return to Hail Specialists year after year.

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