If you’ve been in an automotive collision, you may be wondering how insurance works and what your options are for getting your car repaired. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know.

How Insurance Works After an Automotive Collision Car Crash Truck Vehicle Accident Perry Legend Collissions Columbia MOIf you have collision coverage, your insurance will pay for the damage to your car. If you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. Either way, it’s a good idea to get an estimate of the damage from a reputable auto body shop like Perry Legend Collision Repair Center. Perry Legend offers free estimates and has a drive-up estimate bay for your convenience. We offer a shuttle service if you need a ride somewhere when you drop your vehicle for repairs.

Once you have an estimate of the damage, you can start the claims process with your insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage and confirm the repair estimate. Once the insurance company has processed your claim, you’ll then contact the auto body shop about ordering parts and scheduling repairs.

It’s important to note that there are some common mistakes people make when it comes to their auto insurance coverage. Make sure you understand your coverage and don’t make these mistakes:

* Do you have enough liability coverage? – Make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself financially in case of an accident. The minimum amount of liability coverage required in Missouri is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. However, this may not be enough coverage if you’re involved in a serious accident. It’s important to talk to your agent about how much coverage is right for you. Remember, Liability insurance covers the vehicle and property that you damage.  If there are multiple cars, expensive cars, and a large amount of property damage, you may not have enough insurance to cover those damages.

*Should you have rental coverage? – If your car is damaged in an accident and needs to be repaired, you may need a rental car while it’s being fixed. If you don’t have rental car coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, that expense will be your responsibility. This may easily result in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in additional costs to you out of pocket, depending on the severity of your repairs, the workload of the repair center, and the communication from all parties. Some insurance companies offer rental reimbursement and others will pay the rental company directly.

* What is comprehensive coverage and do you need it? Comprehensive insurance is coverage for acts of God or Nature, such as hail, storm or deer/animal, theft or vandalism, rock chips and glass replacement.  It is generally a good idea to keep this deductible at a more manageable amount. You can carry liability and comprehensive insurance, but you may not be able to carry rental insurance without having collision insurance.  That is something to discuss with your agent or insurance company.

*Having Collision Coverage. Collision coverage is to cover your vehicle in the event of an accident.  Again, be sure to carry a deductible you can afford.  You pay whatever that amount is and any cost over that amount is covered by your insurance company.  This is where you need to make sure you have enough coverage for your vehicle and consider adding bodily injury and uninsured/underinsured coverages to your policy.

* Determining amount of deductible to carry – A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. Having a higher deductible may lower your premium (and monthly payment amount) but it also means you’ll have to pay more if you do get into an accident. Be sure if you have that higher deductible amount that it is an amount you can come up with at any point in time.  They are called accidents because we do not plan for them.

* Insurance policy quotes – Feel free to shop around.  Decide if you want an online insurance company (not having a specific individual) or if you want an agent with whom you can sit in the office with and discuss your policies.

*Accessories or aftermarket additions to your vehicle-Be sure to insure any additions you have made to your vehicle.  Some insurance companies will not cover added items unless you inform them and add value to those items.  Running boards, camper shells, bed toppers, tool boxes, radio, speakers, and wheels/tires are examples of some of these items. Otherwise you may only get factory value if/when you get in an accident.

There’s a lot to know about how insurance works after an automotive collision but hopefully this overview has given you a better understanding of what to expect. If you need repairs, be sure to bring your vehicle into Perry Legend Collision Repair Center for a free estimate. And don’t forget to talk to your agent about getting adequate coverage so that you’re protected financially in case of an accident.