Collisions can do untold damage to your car, and that damage can often extend beyond areas that the eye can see. That means that when your insurance agent pays you a visit to inspect the damage on your car and write you an appropriate check, they may not catch it all. And that becomes a problem when the full extent of the damage is revealed during an inspection by an auto body technician. When technicians identify damage not picked up by the insurance agent, it is called hidden damage, and it can be a big problem. In today’s article, we outline what to do if this scenario happens to you.
How is hidden damage discovered
By its very name, hidden damage is not obvious and is usually completely undetectable by visual inspection. It will only be picked up when auto body technicians get to work on your car and start to remove parts. Any good collision repair shop will alert the owner immediately if they find additional damage that they did not quote for. If you get alerted to additional damage on your vehicle, you will need to contact your insurer immediately.
Addressing hidden damage with your insurer
Assuming that you notify your insurer as soon as hidden damage is discovered, they will send out another agent to reinspect your car, usually at the collision center. If they agree with the technician (it is very unlikely that they won’t) they will produce a supplemental estimate and consult with the collision repair shop to come to a fair price for the additional work.
When trouble can occur
This is a common occurrence and both insurers and collision repair shops are used to coming to an agreement on costs for additional work. But sometimes they don’t agree and this is where you, the vehicle owner, can suffer. That’s because the longer the two parties don’t agree on a price for the extra work, the longer your car sits in limbo.
How to avoid problems caused by hidden damage
You can’t control the amount of hidden damage that your vehicle incurs. But you can go some way to controlling the collision repair center that you use. By choosing a trusted and certified repair center, you can make sure that these kinds of delays are much less likely. The best repair centers will have a strong working relationship with insurers that means coming to agreements on additional costs is quick and painless.
If you want to avoid your car falling into limbo because of disagreements between repair centers and insurers, make sure you get a quote from us at Chaney’s Collision Centers. We have excellent relationships with the leading insurers and work hard to make sure our customers leave as satisfied as possible.