You are not an adjuster or appraiser
Hello again to all our CSN members and thank you for joining the revolution! This is a movement revolution to bring continuity to the collision services industry but more importantly a voice, that speaks to you the consumer, promoting clarity and solidarity for the consumer and more specifically; the industry.
Okay, spoiler alert. Please do not ever, ever allow your insurance company to provide you with an estimate and “check” utilizing your phone, your time & photos. You are not an adjuster or appraiser. The insurance company has paid professionals that are licensed by New York State who they hire to accomplish that. These people are trained and have acquired technical skills that allow them to accurately and professionally determine repair costs by writing a detailed damage appraisal which will accurately reflect the damages on the vehicle. It is a service they must provide to deliver the promise they made to you when you purchased insurance. Look, if a carpenter you paid to perform work on your home started asking you to help install the new cabinets or tear down the old walls what would be your answer to that; never mind your disgust. If your mechanic, asked you to come into the garage and hold the lamp so he could install the new serpentine belt you would probably object and of course never go back.
Remember what the insurance company does from the minute they get on the phone with you; begin to look for ways to reduce costs, when, where and often. You must remember what you paid for when you purchased that insurance policy; a promise to insure you against certain hazards that you determined to be necessary to have protection for and to deliver on that promise if those declared hazards should jeopardize your financial well-being. It is the delivery part that gets lost in translation here for the insurance company. The insurance company wants you to believe that by participating in the appraisal process you are helping yourself by eliminating waiting time for an adjuster. Getting the estimate faster means getting your vehicle into a body shop sooner and of course getting your check for the vehicle damages quickly. To most consumers this sounds great, I mean wow, the insurance company really does want to help me get my vehicle repaired quickly and get my check. Ok folks here are the facts. This process results in a supplement rate of nearly 98%, a real dollar difference in the initial estimate (with your photos) and no physical inspection by a trained and licensed appraiser of 50% and increased down time for your vehicle in the repair shop. Those are the real statistics the insurance companies do not want you to know. That means 98% of the time the first estimate you receive will need to be revised. Also, dollar for dollar your first estimate will be half the required actual repair costs or more; tripled or even quadrupled with the revised estimate. Well this works just fine for the insurance guy why? Because it helps them reduce costs when, where and often! Bottom line, they are not meeting the legal standard of the insurance policy which is indemnification. That is a big word which basically means they have paid you the full dollar amount of your damages; made you whole again. I will explain more about the principle of indemnification, the legal and statutory implications and how the insurance policy guarantees of coverage are supported by it.
The take away here is simple, helping the insurance company deliver on the very thing you paid for does not benefit you. To ensure you receive the full benefit of your insurance policy coverage, insist that a paid, trained and licensed adjuster perform a physical inspection of your vehicle at a CSN collision facility. Taking photos of a damaged vehicle is a very technical process. There are many steps and processes involved to ensure a complete assessment of your vehicles damages, write a detailed estimate that accurately captures all the related damages to your vehicle and results in a fair & equitable settlement of your claim. The next time your insurance company wants you to “help them” tell them where they can go to inspect your vehicle; at a CSN collision services body shop.
And as always; Remember, before you speak to Them you should be calling US.
See you next month when I will continue the discussion on the 3 industry segments and how each one interacts with the other and what that means for you the consumer.
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