What to Do If Your Car Isn’t Fixed Properly After an Insurance Claim

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by Nick Versaw Updated April 29th, 2022

Car not fixed properly after insurance claim: woman talking on the phone and checking her car

Getting your car fixed after an accident can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not it was fixed properly. But sometimes, it’s clear that something isn’t right. Whether it’s visible damage or an unfamiliar sound when you’re driving, you may need to take your car back for a post-repair inspection to find out what’s wrong.

Although your insurance company should be willing to pay the cost of getting your car back into its original condition, it may take some coordination between your insurance adjuster and the repair shop to get it all sorted out.

Here’s what to do if your car’s not fixed properly after making an insurance claim, and how to navigate any issues that arise during the repair process.

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Car Not Fixed Properly After An Insurance Claim? Here’s What You Need to Do Next

Whether you’ve taken your damaged vehicle to a trusted mechanic or to a repair facility that your insurance company recommended, they don’t always get it right. Sometimes, it’s a case of shoddy workmanship, but other times it’s a genuine mistake.

Either way, your mechanic and your insurance company should be willing to address it without too much hassle.

Here are the first steps to take when you suspect something might be wrong.

Keep a Photographic Record

It’s a good idea to take photos of your car’s condition — before, during, and after any repair work is done on it. This is especially true if you’ve bought a used vehicle that already had some dents or other visible vehicle damage.

Your auto insurance company is legally required to return the car to pre-loss condition, or the condition it was in before a car accident.

If you have visual proof that your car wasn’t fixed properly after making an insurance claim, then you may have an easier time getting it addressed.

Listen for Any Unusual Sounds

Any time you take your car in for auto repairs, there’s a chance that something could be different under the hood. Your mechanic might have used replacement parts that aren’t quite right, or failed to notice signs of accident damage.

You know your car best, so be on the lookout for any sounds or performance issues that you haven’t noticed before.

Some car repairs, such as replacement brake pads, might feel a little unfamiliar at first, but any major bumps or shaking sounds should be reported to your mechanic.

Get a Post-Repair Inspection

If you suspect that your car was not fixed properly after an insurance claim, the next step is to take it back to the repair shop or body shop for a post-repair inspection.

Many reputable auto repair shops will verify their work for free, so you may not need to get your insurance agent involved just yet. If you don’t trust the original repair shop to get it right, then you may be able to ask a third-party repair shop to provide a free consultation and repair estimate.

If it turns out that your car does in fact need further repairs, then you’ll need to let your insurance company know. Insurance law requires them to return your car to pre-loss condition, even if the original auto repair shop is responsible for the error.

What to Ask Your Insurance Adjuster

Man standing beside a car accident

If you aren’t satisfied with your collision repairs and your repair shop isn’t willing or able to provide a post-repair inspection, then you’ll need to get your insurer involved.

The first person to talk to is your insurance adjuster. This is the insurance agent who’s responsible for processing your claims. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve already spoken to them during the repair process and they may have recommended an auto body repair shop whose work they guarantee.

It’s their job to know your insurance policy inside and out, to assess the cost of repairs after an accident, and to determine what your collision coverage will pay for.

If you’ve taken your car to an authorized repair shop, then you may have an easier time getting the issue addressed. Still, your insurance adjuster should be willing to work with you, even if you chose a repair shop that wasn’t on their list.

The exception is if you chose to skip the repair shop altogether and fix the car yourself, which may void your insurance coverage or make it difficult to renew your policy.

Look up your own insurance policy and know your rights before you get on the phone to request further repairs. Your adjuster should be able to explain whether you’ve met your deductible and whether you’ll be given a rental car if your vehicle has to go back to the repair shop for additional repairs.

Car Still Not Fixed Properly? Make a Formal Complaint

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you and your insurance company simply don’t see eye to eye. Or maybe it’s your auto body shop who’s putting up a fight and dragging out the repair process. It might be time to escalate your case.

You have two options here. The first is to file a formal complaint with your state’s Bureau of Automotive Repairs, such as the BAR of California.

You can use your state’s website to locate an auto repair shop, look up their license, and make a complaint if the issue hasn’t been resolved.

Another option is to make a complaint against your insurance company with your state’s Department of Insurance. You can easily file a complaint online, although you may have to pay additional repairs yourself while waiting for it to be processed.

If all else fails, you may want to reach out to an attorney who can help you assert your rights and recoup the cost of repairs from your insurance company.

Do You Need to Get Your Car Fixed After an Insurance Claim?

If you’ve gotten into a serious car wreck, then it may not be worth your while to repair the car at all. Your insurer might write it off as a total loss and cover the cost to replace your vehicle.

In other cases, the vehicle damage might be minor enough that you decide to fix it on your own or pay for it out of pocket to avoid reporting an accident.

If you’ve filed a claim, though, it’s important to go through with the repairs. Your insurer might not take too kindly to you pocketing the check, and in any case, the repairs may be necessary to maintain the market value of your car if you decide to resell it.

Shop Around for the Best Car Insurance Rates

Happy family riding a car

In an ideal world, after getting into an auto accident, the repair process would go right the first time and your insurance company will cover it without any issues. But that isn’t always the case, and sometimes, you may end up with a car that’s not fixed properly after an insurance claim.

The first thing you should do is request a post-repair inspection and speak with your insurance adjuster, but if necessary, you can file a formal complaint.

After getting the issue resolved, it might be a good time to switch insurance providers. You should always shop around for car insurance after getting into a collision, since your current insurance company might decide to raise your premiums.

By comparing quotes from multiple car insurance providers, you can make sure to get the best insurance policy at the lowest rates.

Simply enter your ZIP code here to compare your options:


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