Can I Do My Own Repairs After Filing a Claim?
So, you’ve just been in an accident and you’re wondering if your insurer will let you fix your car yourself. The answer: It depends, mainly on ownership.
If You Own Your Car Outright: Probably
If it’s all paid up, then most insurers will let you fix the car yourself. This means you can do whatever you want with the check your insurer sends you. In fact, you don’t even need to fix the car. If you’d rather scrap it and use that check for a mortgage payment, that’s up to you.
If You’re Still Paying It Off: Probably Not
In a sense, your lender is part-owner of the car in this situation. So, it’s only fair that they have a say in the matter. Most lenders would rather you get your car fixed through a certified mechanic. If you are a certified mechanic, your lender might let you fix it yourself.
Your Insurer Will Want You To Get A Quote From A Mechanic No Matter What
Even if you plan on fixing the car yourself, your insurer is not going to let you guesstimate the damages. You’re going to have to get in touch with a certified mechanic and get an accurate quote.
Fixing The Car Yourself May Affect Your Insurance
Your auto insurance company may let you fix the car yourself. But you might wind up paying for it in the long run. You may see your rates go up more than they would have otherwise. And you might have a few more questions to answer the next time you want to file a claim.
There Are Exceptions
Most car insurance companies will let you fix your own car if you own it outright. But not all of them will. Before you pull out the wrench set, you’ll want to read your policy carefully. If you’ve read your policy and you’re still unclear on the answer, let your agent know that you plan on fixing it yourself and see how they respond.
Some of us prefer to do the repairs ourselves. Maybe that’s the best way to get a fair price. Maybe you don’t like anyone else touching your baby. Or maybe you just love the hands-on work of fixing up your vehicle. But you need to read your policy carefully, call your agent, and make sure that self-repairs are actually an option before you proceed.