Photo Inspection for Car Insurance Claims
After getting involved in a car accident, the next logical step would be to pursue an insurance claim for damages. But before you can obtain compensation, your insurance provider might ask you a couple of things before releasing the compensable amount.
First on the list would be an investigation on your claim. To open a formal inquiry for the release of the compensation for damages, your insurance provider may require a photo inspection.
So what is a photo inspection? What are its purposes?
There are two main instances where insurance companies require photo inspection for car insurance purposes. First, there’s the pre-insurance photo inspection, and, second, it’s the insurance claims inspection following the car accident.
Pre-Insurance Photo Inspection
In some jurisdictions, car insurance companies may require a photo inspection of the vehicle before issuing an insurance policy and providing coverage. This constitutes proof of the physical condition and visible state of the vehicle to be insured at the time of the application for insurance coverage. In this manner, the photos serve to protect the car owner and car insurance company, as it makes into record the prevailing circumstances as it relates to the vehicle.
The inspector for the car insurance company may require a reading of the vehicle’s identification number. He or she may also inspect the odometer reading, check on the condition of the car, and scan for the car’s accessories, if there are any.
The car insurance inspector will record these discoveries and readings, which will form part of the application for insurance coverage. Depending on the state of your vehicle, there is a good chance you’ll get a lower cost of your car insurance coverage if you comply with the requirement for pre-insurance photo inspection.
Insurance Claims Inspection Following a Car Accident
Typically the next step following a car accident is to file a claim for damages with the car insurance company. For this reason, the insurance provider will assign a claims adjuster to investigate your claim. Part of the claims investigation procedure is the requirement of photo inspection, which shall be used to assess the extent of the damage and determine the corresponding amount of compensation.
While insurance companies follow different procedures in inspecting the claims, the idea is the same. The claims adjuster will inspect the scene of the car accident, assessing the damage of the vehicle. Alternatively he or she will go to your home, if the vehicle to inspect is there. And taking of the photos of the car will be part of the inspection process.
Some insurance companies give vehicle owners the option to take their cars to the latter’s preferred repair shop. It’s best to ask your insurance provider if it offers this recourse.
What Happens Next?
With these photos, the claims adjuster will identify the dents, scratches, or damage and determine the extent of the costs for repair. He or she will then prepare a written estimate.
If you think the estimates provided by the claims adjuster isn’t accurate, you may make an appeal. For this purpose, you need to obtain a cost estimate from an independent appraiser, to be submitted in support of your appeal.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Negotiating with a claims adjuster can be a lengthy and protracted process; it can be frustrating at times too. If you believe you are entitled to a higher compensable amount that what was offered, consider hiring a car accident attorney.