What is an Auto Insurance Supplement Process and Why Do Most Claims Require Them?
Auto Insurance Supplements–What are they? In short, sometimes an insurance adjuster can miss some damage or leaves some necessary items off of his or her original estimate. When this happens, body shops write supplements to complete or finish the job on the vehicle.
So, let’s say your car gets hailed on. The first thing you would do is contact your insurance claims office. Typically then they will ask you to run through their catastrophe tent where they’ll take a look at the damage and write an estimate.
After they have completed their estimate and given you a check for let’s say, $2,000, you bring the car to StormWise, and we say
“Well, it’s actually going to cost $3,000 to fix all the damage on your car.”
Please do not panic or stress when this happens, and do not waste your time going around the city looking for a $2,000 rate.
What we do is write up a list of items they did not capture in the first estimate, and send it to your adjuster. Usually the insurance companies recognize that they are not going to catch all the damage on the initial estimate, and they make it really easy for us to request a supplement in order to cover that last $1,000 in damage that they didn’t originally catch.
That difference is NOT going to be something you will have to come out of pocket for under any circumstances.
Getting a little more depth …
First, your insurance company is going to require that we work off of THEIR initial estimate (the one taken on their catastrophe tent, your home, or work place). Therefore it is not necessary, as it once was, to go around getting estimates from companies to provide to your insurance; they won’t even look at them. The adjuster will look at the damage him or herself and write whatever they’re going to write.
The good news is, we use the exact same pricing matrix that every single insurance company uses, and therefore it is very easy to see the differences once we type up our estimate between ours and the insurance’s. This shows your adjuster what they missed in a clear and concise, easily understandable form.
So here’s what happens: you bring your insurance company’s estimate in to StormWise. and our estimate comes up higher than your insurance company’s. This happens 99.9% of the time because hail is very difficult to see in bright sunlight or even a catastrophe tent, and adjusters do not have on-hand the special paintless pent repair lights and other tools we use when writing our estimate.
Therefore if our estimate is higher than theirs, it means that the insurance adjuster missed some damage.
Not a big deal, we will send this discrepancy up to the insurance company’s supplement approval department in order to be paid to fix ALL the damage on the car, not just what they saw on the first initial look. We assume that our customers want ALL the hail damage fixed, and not just the few dents the adjuster initially saw.
What happens once we send a supplement request depends on the insurance company?
If the discrepancy is over a certain dollar amount, they will send one of their adjusters back out to re-calculate the damage or ask for a video call, pictures, or receipts of parts we replaced that were not on the initial insurance estimate.
We circle the dents to prove dent count, they’ll put sizers on the dents in order to determine the size and have all the necessary invoices and estimates ready when the adjuster calls us and/or comes out.
We do this all day every day, so we are pretty good at getting the money insurance owes on all hail damage repairs from your vehicle, so don’t worry about the whole “negotiation” factor.
No matter what, YOU’RE NOT going to have to pay any of the difference out of your own pocket that may arise. Guaranteed.
Even if we send up a supplement that isn’t ultimately 100% approved (which usually doesn’t happen, but has happened a few times with lower level insurance providers such as The General or Bristol West), you STILL will NEVER be responsible for any overages. That’s 100% guaranteed.
As I mentioned before, 99.9% of the claims we deal with do require some type of supplement. Sometimes it’s a difference in part prices, sometimes it’s just missed damage, and sometimes the insurance just doesn’t want to pay for ALL the damage on the vehicle in hopes you’ll just take the money and run.
Writing the estimate below what it’s actually going to cost to fix it is a method of ensuring you actually fix the car with that money instead of keeping the money and using it for something else.
Any way you look at it, just know that supplements are a daily thing in insurance claims and are especially common among hail damage claims.
You can feel confident that when you bring your car in for hail damage repair at StormWise, we will make the process go as smoothly as possible for you and will NEVER charge you anything out of pocket to fix the hail damage. That’s your insurance company’s responsibility, and we ensure they cover all the damaged so you don’t have to worry about it.