Will Car Insurance Cover Repairs After a Car Accident?

May 16, 2024

The short answer is “Yes.” In most cases, your insurance will cover car repair after an accident. However, there are quite a few nuances to be aware of—for example, how can you be sure your car is repaired properly if the insurance company assesses the damage?

Even though insurance companies are the main car repair payers — according to PropertyCasualty360, nearly 90% of the repair industry’s revenue comes from insurance-paid work — there are many questions to answer before you can safely and confidently file your insurance claim.

Read on to find out:

  • Can I repair my own car after an accident?
  • To what degree does car insurance cover repairs?
  • How long do I have to make repairs after an insurance claim?
  • Can I repair my car before the insurance claim?

Without any further ado, let’s dig into it.

Is It Worth Repairing a Car After an Accident? 

There are several factors that should be considered to make an informed decision (at the end of the day, you must ensure repairing a car will be financially justified in your specific case):

Car’s age and conditionRepairing older cars and cars in bad condition might be financially unjustified. On the contrary, repairing a popular car that is generally in good condition might be an easy decision
Severity of damageSeverely damaged cars can be declared a total loss, with no prospects of repair. Then, the damaged car must be replaced with a new one of equal market value.
Insurance terms & conditionsInsurance policies might handle repairs differently, so you must know your policy first.

Over the last year, the cost of car insurance and car repairs has increased by 22.2% and 11.6%, respectively. Consequently, drivers who pay more should at least get the repairs done professionally.

Luckily, even for a car not fixed properly after an insurance claim, there’s a solution. In this scenario, you may receive compensation for additional costs associated with poor repair. 

How To Get Car Fixed After an Accident

Self-repair Self-repair might sometimes be an option for drivers who have skills in collision damage repair and have free time. However, in this case, you will not receive guarantees from official workshops.
Using auto insuranceContacting an insurance company is almost always a better option. First of all,  pay for insurance every month for a reason. Likewise, you don’t have to search for the spare parts.

That said, using your insurance policy to repair your car after an accident gives you no control over the repair progress.

DIY auto repair infographic

Source: Car Parts

Will Car Insurance Cover Repairs To a Satisfactory Level?

There are different types of insurance policies in the US, and depending on the circumstances of the incident, some of them can cover car repairs. 

Here are the main types of insurance coverage that can cover repair costs:

Collision CoverageCovers the cost of repairing your car after an accident, regardless of who was at fault in the collision
Comprehensive CoverageCovers non-collision damage such as damage from natural disasters, theft, vandalism, falling objects, or animal collisions
Liability Coverage (responsibility to third parties)Does not cover repairs to your car but covers damage you cause to other people or their property
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (coverage in the event of a collision with an uninsured/underinsured driver)Covers the cost of repairs if you are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or has insufficient insurance to cover all costs
Medical Payments Coverage (medical expenses) or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)Covers medical expenses for you and your passengers but does not cover car repairs.

At the same time, it is worth noting that each insurance policy has its own conditions and limitations. Reimbursement for repair costs may also be subject to a deductible, which is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company covers the rest of the cost.

If I Damage My Own Car, Can I Claim on My Insurance? 

Yes, if your insurance policy specifies the company’s responsibility for this type of repair. Before making a claim to the insurance company or demanding something, we advise you to familiarize yourself carefully with the terms of the contract or consult with an agent.

Does Car Insurance Cover Mechanical Problems? 

Whether your car insurance policy covers mechanical problems depends on the terms and conditions of the policy, including the cause of these problems. For example, maintenance negligence may be the reason for not covering mechanical issues with a car.

Will Car Insurance Cover Repairs After a Car Accident? 2

Source: Forbes

Signs of Improper Repair From the Insurance Company

Incorrect car repairs can lead to serious problems, reducing the safety and reliability of your vehicle. To detect defects in time, it is worth knowing the main signs of poor-quality repairs from the insurance company.

General SignsAn unprofessional attitude of staff, imposition of additional services, and lack of proper documentation
Visual SignsUneven painting, use of low-quality or second-hand parts, incorrect installation of parts, damage to the paintwork, and poor assembly
Technical SignsMalfunction of the car’s systems, deterioration of driving characteristics, new breakdowns, lack of warranty for repairs, and delays in the performance of work

Why Are Bad Repairs Often Made After Insurance Accidents?

Unfortunately, low-quality repair after an accident is quite common, and there’s no real way to avoid it other than knowing the insurance company and the workshop that repairs your vehicle.

Here are some common reasons for suboptimal auto repair:

Inadequate control over the repair process & too many restrictionsInadequate control over the repair process by insurance companies or government regulatory bodies can lead to unscrupulous workshop work, low-quality spare parts, or the ignoring of important repair elements.Financial restrictions imposed by insurance companies can encourage repair shops to economize on materials, labor, or time, negatively affecting the quality of repairs.
Negligence and malicious intentSome repair shops may knowingly use substandard parts, overcharge jobs, or ignore essential details to make more money. Likewise, not all workshops have sufficient experience and knowledge to perform high-quality repairs on certain car makes and models.
Lack of knowledge of the car owner’s rightsMany car owners do not know their rights and responsibilities, understand the nuances of insurance policies, or know how to file claims correctly and defend their interests.On a similar note, insurance companies and repair shops do not always provide car owners with clear and comprehensive information about the repair process, which makes it difficult to control its quality.

What To Do If Your Car Is Not Fixed Properly After Your Insurance Claim

Poor repair after an accident can lead to serious problems, so it is important to eliminate this possibility in the first place.

Step 1 – Contact the Repair Shop

Contact the repair shop manager to discuss your concerns about the vehicle after the repair. Express willingness to re-inspect the vehicle.

Step 2 – Perform Additional Verification

Inspection after repair:  An inspection should be completed after a repair to assess the quality of the work and ensure that all original damage has been properly repaired.

This inspection may be free in some states or may require the hiring of an independent inspector.

Step 3. Contact the Insurer

If the inspection after the repair shows that it was performed improperly, contact the insurance company. They are obliged to compensate for damages and restore the car to the condition it was in before the accident.

Should I Get an Estimate Before Filing a Claim?

If your car was the only one involved in an incident (for example, you rear-ended a pole), getting a repair estimate before filing a claim is a good idea. This way, you will know the approximate cost of the repair.

Do You Have to Pay to Get an Estimate on Car Damage? 

Usually, you will not be charged, at least until the cost of repairing any damage not covered by the insurance policy is announced.

Remember, if the damage is minor and the repair costs can be easily covered out of pocket, you may not be able to file a claim.

When Not to File a Car Insurance Claim

However, for more significant damage or injuries caused to others, it is very important to get your insurer involved immediately.

How Quick Should I Get My Car Fixed After a Claim?

The repair deadline depends on three factors:

StateSome states may have regulations determining how long the insurance company can require you to keep the damaged vehicle until repairs begin.
Credit AvailabilityIf you have a car loan, the lender will likely need the car repaired within a reasonable time to preserve its value as collateral.
Insurance Policy ConditionsSome policies may contain clauses that determine the timing of repairs after an insured event.

How Long Does It Take For an Insurance Company To Fix Your Car?

It is important to understand that your insurance company does not perform the repairs directly. Its role is to assess damage and make a final decision regarding permission for repairs.

Here is how you can speed up the process:

  1. Quickly report the accident to the insurance company
  2. Provide all necessary information, including photos of the damage and a report made by the police at the scene
  3. Choose a workshop with experience in cooperation with your insurance company

Above all, though, it is crucial to choose the right insurance whom you can rely on.

Get your accurate auto insurance quote in a few minutes. If you have questions, call 888-432-7716 or email us at contact@coverexplore.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get an estimate from insurance?

Minor damage is usually assessed quickly, within hours or days. Serious problems will take longer, as the workshop will assess the extent of the damage, order parts, and calculate the cost of repairs.

Can I repair my own car after filing a claim?

In most cases, yes, you can repair the car yourself after filing an insurance claim. However, if you are unsure, it may be helpful to consult your insurance company or a car mechanic.

What coverage does not cover the cost of the insured’s car repairs?

Auto liability in the US does not cover auto repairs, so you should add comprehensive coverage and collision insurance to your policy.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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