Questions for your Insurer

 Before purchasing your policy:

What specific claims handling practices do you have and what will be required of me if I ever need to submit a claim?
Do you contract with specific businesses for repairs to my property if there is a loss?
Will there be any requirement on my part to use one shop over another?

Can I have a copy of the policy?
Can you go thru important parts of the policy?
Will I get salvage or aftermarket parts?

If I have a claim, what is your procedure for handling the claim?
If I choose my own repair facility, what should I expect?
Why wouldn’t you choose your own repair shop?  (You chose the type of vehicle you drive, you chose your insurance company, you should choose your repair shop!

Do I have rental car coverage? If so, for how long? What if it takes longer to repair than my rental coverage allows (because of parts delays?)
Do I have towing coverage for my accident? If I pay extra for towing coverage, what does it cover?
Do I have personal injury coverage?
What kind of parts will be used if my car is wrecked?
What will the value of my vehicle be based on if it totals?
Would you please go over the terms of the contract I am looking to purchase?
Would you please make your election with regards to the payment of loss provision of my policy in writing?

Will my policy allow me to select a repair shop of my choice?
Will my policy provide me with factory replacement parts?
Assuming I have no at-fault losses, Will my policy premium go down as the value of my vehicle goes down, and if so, how often will it be adjusted?
If I am involved in a non-fault accident or loss, will my premiums go up?
If I demand to have my vehicle repaired properly, employ factory replacement parts and high quality materials…will my rates go up?

At first contact w/insurer when filing a claim:

If approached about using a DRP... and the customer were to decide to use that DRP shop will that shop be able to repair my auto to acceptable standards? May I have the repairs post inspected by a shop of my own choice to verify the quality of repairs and accuracy of the amounts paid to them in regards to the repair?
Here's where I want my car to be repaired... no questions asked.

I want to be contacted directly to discuss MY damage and MY claim to MY automobile on MY insurance policy.  Please do NOT contact the shop as this may NOT be in MY best interest. I will handle ALL claims negotiations and I want to know what kind of repair/s are being made to MY vehicle including type of parts, labor and materials.  I will work with the shop personally.  If there are any delays on the insurers part, you should expect them to extend your rental vehicle coverage accordingly
When you say you cannot guarantee the repairs if I take my car to a non-DRP shop does that mean XYZ Insurance guarantees the repairs of your DRP shop? Do you accept liability for any injury because of unsafe repairs? I ask because my shop guarantees the repairs and is that any different than your guarantee?
If my shop did not do a proper repair, then would not my policy re-repair my car because it had not been restored to a pre-loss condition? In effect, doesn’t my policy guarantee the repair no matter where I have the car repaired?
Would you send me to a shop that cannot guarantee its own work so therefore you must guarantee the work?
Can I get a copy of your guarantee?
When you say; if I take my car to a shop I want you cannot see the vehicle for X days, are you violating our policy agreement that you will inspect the vehicle in a timely fashion?  If the DRP can take pictures of my vehicle and start right away, why can’t my shop take pictures and start right away?
By placing obstacles and even hardship in my way because I am not using your DRP, are you not discriminating against a group of policy holders who want to use the shop of their choosing?
If there are injuries in an accident caused by unsafe repairs by your DRP, do you accept liability for those injuries?

Are you going to follow manufacturers recommended repair procedures to repair my car?
If you guarantee the work (as they say) who do I see about a warranty problem?
Am I entitled to diminished value?

Do you have a list of preferred body shops? Can I have a copy of the list sent to me? (once they get it they can now avoid those repairers who likely see the insurer as their customer and not to consumer!)

Throughout the claim:

Ask for verification and proof of garage liability and workers comp coverages and state and local business licenses.
Ask for daily written updates to be sent with photos to your email account.
Make daily visits to the repair shop for a detailed explanation of the repair progress; take photos. Take detailed notes,

Where and when did you send the check and whom is it made out to?

I will personally deal with all claim matters including supplements.

Where is my copy of the estimate?
Explain every line and part.
Why is your DRP shop keeping me in the dark about my repairs?

At closing of the claim:

Ask for a complete accounting of parts receipts to be retained by customer for warranty purposes. Ask for the shops written warranty. Ask for the insurance company written warranty (if at a DRP suggested by the ins. co.) with a detailed instruction of how to submit a claim against a warranty claim from all parties.
Ask if any discounts were already applied or given to or will be given to the insurance company in exchange for the DRP referral.
Grade the insurers’ performance: 
Did they uphold their end of the deal by the contract that you have with them.  NOW is the time to address this directly with the insurer or filing a complaint with the attorney general and/ or the department of insurance.  You may also wish to swap insurers at this time if you did not have a pleasant claims experience just as you would if you had a bad experience with a repair shop or retail store.

If I have any problems, how long will this file stay open?
What about my loss in value?

30 Things you should know