05-01-2003, 01:21 PM
I filed a claim and am having my headlights, grill, and windshield replaced, as well as the front bumper, hood and mirrors repainted.
Ive seen others get a check from their insurance to use on other things like HDTV's or mods. Basically what I would want to do is get the check to replace my headlights, and use it to buy ecodes instead and just install them myself, same with using the money to replace the grill to buy an aftermarket one.
How does this work?
05-01-2003, 01:30 PM
If it's a little damage that costs more to fix than the actual depreciation of the car's value (like a bumper scratch) then the insurance usually lets you walk with the check (happend to me, a minor scuff, $400 check).
If it's a major damage (like the one you're talking about) then the insurance can do their estimate and then either can give you a check for the entire apraised damage value, or you can take it to a repair shop and the insurance company will make the check out to them.
However if you have a lienholder ( which you definetely do unless you paid cash for the car) then the check will be made out to both you and the lienholder and the lienholder will not endorse the check until they are satisfied that the value of the car hasn't depreciated ie. it has been repaired to specs.
So as I said, it depends on your insurance company, the lienholder and the bodyshop.
05-01-2003, 01:34 PM
All the damage is cosmetic only, got caught in a sandstorm. Pitted/cracked windshield, lights, grill... chipped paint...etc
05-01-2003, 01:40 PM
However since there is no mechanical damage to the car (which I wrongly suspected there was), I think you don't have to worry about hidden damages that a mechanic would have to discover so you're probably pretty safe just taking the money and spend it on e-codes and aftermarket grille.
That is if your insurance company is willing to work with you. Check with them and see what happens. Worst comes to wors they will make a check to both you and AoA and you'd have to finance the repair out of your pocket then show proof to AoA that the car is repaired to get them to endorse the check.
05-01-2003, 02:16 PM
Road debris damaged my hood and I needed body/paint repair.
I have progressive insurance, and they immediately did an estimate and cut a check to me and AoA.
I took it to an Audi certified body shop and they did an estimate which was higher than progressive's estimate. The body shop negotiated with my insurance estimate and ultimately raised the repair price by $150. I sent the check to AoA for endorsement.
What I am afraid might happen to you is that the negotiated increase that happens when repair shops and insurance co's agree on, will not happen for you. In essence, you may leave some $$$ on the table.
05-01-2003, 04:36 PM
I believe most insurance companies have you get your car estimated at the body shop for the repairs. If you know the body shop owner you get tell him to hook you up with a higher priced quote to get more money from the insurance. For example if a repair cost $500 the auto body might quote $750. Once you get the repairs done insurance cuts you a check for $750 which you pay $500 to the auto body and $250 for yourself.
Be advised the top scenario is illegal.
AAA has this premier plan or something to that extent where if you get into an accident you immediately take your car to an approved body shop where they take have your car fixed first. Since it's AAA approved AAA knows the auto boy won't rip them off. In this case no check is even mailed to you and you don't get any extra money.
05-01-2003, 05:27 PM
ALL insurance companies have a "preferred" repair facility list, however by law you are not obligated to take your car there. Taking it there gives leverage to your insurance company (by having a negotiated price) and assures that they will cover all the expenses and hopefully gets your car back to the state it was before the accident.
However you absolutely have the right to take it to ANY body shop you please, you can even get it fixed by yourself, the insurance company has no right to stop you from doing that, not even AAA. In that case they make out the check to you and the lienholder just as I wrote earlier. And as soon as the lienholder is satisfied that their property worth as much as it needs to be (looks good as new) they will endorse the check and you can cash it. The insurance company determines the value of the check using their extensive part catalog and standard labor cost calculations. If you opt to do this you get what they think the damages cost and that is all. If you take it to ANY reputable body shop they would work it out with the insurance company and you would not see a check but it would be similar to taking it to a preferred shop, most body shops are willing to negotiate price and cost with insurance companies whether they are preferred by them or not.
The only drawback of getting a check made out to you and the lienholder instead of the body shop (whether approved or not) is that you are stuck with whatever the initial estimate was by the adjuster and you can't go back and tell them that it ended up costing more than that. In the case of the above person it is pretty straight forward what the damages are so it is a non-issue.
Again, he has the right to get a check from AAA if he wishes as long as AoA endorses the check after putting new grille and e-codes on it and AoA agrees that the car looks good as new (which I'm sure they would). AAA is not different (cannot be different) than other insurance companies, they have to obey laws just as all the others which are written to protect the consumer.