What Is a Car Insurance Photo Inspection?

After you've been involved in a car accident, you need to make an insurance claim to recover damages. Once you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will ask you to do certain things in order to open an investigation on your claim. One of the main tasks is to get a photo inspection. Read on to learn about how a car insurance photo inspection works.

Types of Car Insurance Photo Inspection

When an insurance company requires a photo inspection, there are two possible reasons why: (1) for a pre-insurance photo inspection or (2) as a car accident claims inspection.

Pre-Insurance Photo Inspection

Some states require you to get a photo inspection before issuing you a policy to protect the insurance company and yourself. The photo inspection is designed to make a record of the physical condition of the vehicle. In addition to taking photos of your vehicle, the inspector will most likely record your vehicle identification number (VIN), odometer reading, the condition of your vehicle, options, and accessories. Depending on the condition of your vehicle, a pre-insurance photo inspection can help you to get a reduced cost of automobile physical insurance coverage.

Car Accident Claims Inspection

If you've been involved in a car accident, you'll need to file a claim with the insurance company. A claims adjuster will be assigned to your case to investigate your claim. As a part of the accident claims inspection, the insurance company may require photo inspection to determine the amount of damages.

Car Accident Claims Inspection Process

Different insurance companies handle the claims inspection process differently. Some insurance companies will have their claims adjuster go to the accident scene or to your home to inspect the vehicle and take photos. Other companies will give you an option of taking your vehicle to an approved body shop, choosing your own repair shop, or getting quotes to compare different repair shops.

Regardless of the inspection location, the purpose of all claims inspection is to get an accurate estimate of your vehicle damages. In cases of minor accidents, the inspector will mark any dents or scratches and take photos of them. If any parts of your vehicle need to be replaced, the inspector will take photos of those parts as well. The photos will then be sent to the claims adjuster assigned to your case.

What Happens Next?

After photo inspection, the claims adjuster will use the photos to determine the cost of repair, including labor fees. The adjuster will send you a written estimate, containing breakdowns of the repair costs. If you're not satisfied with the estimate, get independent repair estimates on your own and make an appeal to the claims adjuster. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you should consider hiring an attorney.

Get a Free Claim Evaluation

Photo inspection may reveal only the obvious damage. Therefore, insurance companies may not be able to document the full extent of the damage, especially damage that's hidden. Negotiating with a claims adjuster can be frustrating. If you believe that you are entitled to more compensation than being offered, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to get a free claim evaluation.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified auto accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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