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December 15, 2016
Alberta Insurance Guide: Understanding Auto Insurance & Selecting an Alberta Auto Body Shop After an Accident
It can be unnerving when you’re involved in a vehicle collision. During a distressing time, it can be difficult to maintain your cool and remember what to do. Try not to worry, and remember; we have your back. We’ve put together a quick insurance reference guide to have on hand should you ever find yourself in this situation.
You’ll be bombarded with information, and it can be disorienting – especially if it’s your first time in an accident. Knowing what to do, who to call, what forms to fill out and what information you need can be challenging, even when you’re calm and collected.
Reporting An Accident To The Police
When do you have to call 911?
In Alberta, police must be dispatched to the scene of an accident if there has been a serious injury or fatality, if damage appears to be over $2,000 total, or if a driver involved appears to be in violation of the Criminal Code (i.e., Signs of intoxication).
What About A Police Report?
If any vehicle is no longer drivable, a driver fails to produce proof of insurance or driver’s license, or you see signs of intoxication, it’s best to call the local police station and have an officer attend the scene of the accident.
Depending on the type of accident, it is possible to file a police report after the accident has been dealt with and it isn’t necessary to have an officer come to the scene. If there is any injury, even minor, pay a visit to the police station and file a police report. In Alberta, if there appears to be $2000 or more in damage, it is necessary to file a report with an officer of the law. You can, however, bring your car in and have a professional estimate completed before you file a Collision Report Form.
Insurance Reference Guide
What Should I Ask My Insurance Company?
We recommend reporting any vehicle collision to your insurance company within a week of the accident. Some insurance companies will be more lenient about timing, but a week is standard. In most cases, drivers have up to two years to file an insurance claim. If the other driver files and you decide not to, your car insurance rates could increase, or worse, it may be grounds for your insurance company not to offer you a renewal.
What Is My Deductible?
Finding all the necessary information can be difficult. Sometimes filing systems no longer make sense when you’re under stress. Don’t worry; your insurance company can provide you with all the information you need; you just have to ask.
Your deductible (the part of the claim you pay out of pocket) likely won’t be the same as your friend, so if the information isn’t handy, be sure to ask what your deductible is when you call.
Does My Policy Cover A Rental?
Parts can take a few days to a couple of weeks to come in, depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the amount of damage, which means, you might not be able to drive it. Some insurance policies cover the cost of a rental car during this time. If you’re unsure if your policy coves a rental car, don’t hesitate to ask.
Choosing An Autobody Repair Shop
In Alberta, you can choose an autobody repair shop that works for you. Insurance providers will steer you in the direction of their preferred shops, which are usually shops they work with on a regular basis. The choice is yours. Take your time, and do your research. Call a few local shops and ask questions, and select the one that fits your needs best.
When Can I Come In For An Estimate?
Obtaining an estimate for the repair work needed on your vehicle will be helpful. Before an insurance claim can be processed, an estimate is required. Your insurance company will want to know the extent of the damage, and the cost it will take to repair it fully. You can bring your vehicle in wherever you want and the insurance company will be able to send an adjuster.
How Can I Get A Rental Car?
Whether your insurance is covering the cost of a rental car, or you’re paying out of pocket, it’s a good idea to ask the collision repair centre you’re dealing. Some companies will have agreements that will give you a vehicle as soon as you require it.
How Do I Get My Car To You?
Once you’ve decided on a shop, you’ll be asking yourself how you get your vehicle to them, especially if it’s not in drivable condition. Many shops have tow trucks at their disposal specifically for this situation, and the auto body shop will handle the transport of your vehicle to their location, efficiently and easily. At JD Collision we have access to towing services to help you out when you need us.
Accidents are rarely convenient for your pocketbook. Depending on what your deductible is, it can be an unexpected cost that you can’t afford. Ask about financing options or payment plans at the Alberta auto body shop of your choosing.
Understanding the options available to you, and being familiar with the process will help you maintain your cool should you find yourself in a difficult situation at any point during your driving career.
Remember to take a deep breath; At JD Collision we’ve got your back.