• What Happens When Your Car Is Totaled?

    It’s commonly assumed that a car is totaled when it’s completely smashed and damaged past the point of repair. But you may be surprised to learn that, even if the auto body shop can repair your car, the insurance company might consider it to be totaled. Dealing with a totaled car can be a major headache, but a helpful body shop staff member can help you figure out your options. Here’s a quick crash course in what happens when your car is totaled.

    How Insurance Carriers Define Total Loss

    Total loss can mean different things for different cars. If you own a 10-year-old Dodge Neon, even a small amount of damage could be considered a total loss. If you own a two-year-old Porsche, the insurance company will pay out far more in repairs, rather than declaring it a total loss. Total loss is calculated by comparing the cost of collision repairs to the actual market value of the car. If the cost to repair the car is greater than what the car is worth, it’s a total loss.

    How Much Money You’ll Get to Replace Your Car

    The good news is that you can get a check from the insurance carrier that you’ll use to buy another car. The insurance company will pay you the actual cash value of your car, less your deductible. If your car was worth $10,000 and your deductible is $1,000, you’ll get a check for $9,000.

    What Happens If You Still Owe Money on Your Car

    In some cases, people are still paying off the auto loan when their car gets totaled. You’ll have to talk with your lender about this situation. It’s typical for the lender to be reimbursed first. Any remaining funds will be released to you. If you owe more on your car than what the insurance company is paying, you’ll hopefully have gap coverage on your insurance policy. Loan gap coverage will protect you from repaying the loan on a car that has been totaled.

    The first step in moving forward from a crash is to bring your car to Michael J’s Body Shop. Our highly trained technicians will do a thorough evaluation of the collision damage, and email you an estimate for your convenience. Call our auto body shop in San Jose at (408) 279-2070 to get the process started.

  • How We Work with Your Insurance Company

    After any car crash, the most important consideration is whether anyone has been injured. If there are no serious injuries, your thoughts will turn to the insurance company and what a hassle it can be to deal with the paperwork. That’s one reason why so many residents of San Jose choose Michael J’s Body Shop. For more than two decades, our auto body shop has been busy building relationships with auto insurance providers to give our customers the best possible experience.

    We’ll help you figure out your coverage.

    If there’s one thing that just about everyone can agree on, it’s that auto insurance is confusing. If you aren’t sure which collision repairs are covered or what your deductible is, just call Michael J’s and chat with one of our friendly experts. We’ll be glad to help you sort through the confusing terminology in your insurance policy so that you know exactly what is covered and what you can expect to pay.

    We’ll handle most of the paperwork for you.

    Whether it’s hardcopy or virtual, paperwork is always a pain. We know you don’t have time to deal with it, especially since the inconveniences of a car crash are already putting a strain on your schedule. We can give you a helping hand with the insurance paperwork. Just give us your claim number, claim representative’s name, and the phone number of your insurance provider.

    We’ll chat with the insurance carrier for you (and deal with the adjuster and appraiser!).

    People often find it nerve-wracking to talk to the insurance carrier reps. It’s hard to know what to say and what not to say. We’ll gladly handle most of the communication with your insurance carrier for you. Our auto collision center will even liaise with the insurance adjuster and appraiser!

    Here at Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose, it’s important to us that our customers have a hassle-free, positive experience, and get back on the road quickly. Call us today at (408) 279-2070 and let us know how we can help you. Ask us about our free pick-up service, rental car assistance, and extended business hours!

  • What Are the Different Types of Collision Coverage?

    Collision coverage is optional in most states, but like all insurance, it’s better to have collision coverage and not need it than to need it and not have it. Collision insurance covers expenses to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident. In other words, adding collision coverage to your auto insurance policy will minimize your out-of-pocket expenses (or even foot the entire bill) if you’re involved in an accident and need major auto body repair . But which type of collision coverage is right for you? That depends on a number of different factors, but to help you choose here’s a look at the different types of coverage you can pick from.

    Limited Collision Coverage

    With limited collision coverage, your insurance pays for repairs only if you are half or less than half at fault for the accident (you are rear-ended, side-swiped, et cetera). You are responsible for paying the deductible on the coverage plan, and your insurance company will pay for repairs over and above the deductible.

    Standard Collision Coverage

    The biggest difference between limited and standard collision coverage is that standard collision coverage pays for repairs above and beyond the deductible if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. With a limited collision coverage, your insurance pays nothing if you are found at fault.

    Broad Form Collision Coverage

    The difference between standard and broad form collision coverage is that with broad form collision coverage you do not have to pay the deductible if you are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. Similar to standard collision coverage, broad form plans will also pay for repairs above and beyond the deductible if you are at fault.

    If you’re involved in an accident, trust the repairs to the experts at Michael J’s Body Shop. We’ve built strong relationships with the leading insurance companies over our 20+ years in the business, and our administrative staff will help you file an insurance claim after an accident. Call us at (408) 279-2070 to learn more about our auto body and collision repair services.