Are there any time limits for an insurance company to pay for collision or comprehensive claims?
There are no specific time limits for the settling claims. Insurance companies are required by law to pay claims promptly. Claims that require extended investigation may take longer to settle.
My car was declared a total loss after an accident. Is my insurance company required to give me the replacement cost?
When your auto is declared a total loss, your insurance company pays only the actual cash value of the car as of the date of the loss, not the cost to replace it. A cars value is determined by the following factors: the retail value for a car that is similar in kind and quality prior to the accident; the price paid for the car plus the value of prior improvements to the car at the time of the accident; the decrease in value of the car resulting from prior unrelated damage which is detected by the appraiser or for which a claim has been paid; and the actual purchase cost of an available car of like kind and quality.
If your auto has substantial value because of its exceptional condition such as an antique, classic, or restored auto, you should have it appraised and then insure it for the appraised value.
Do I have to pay an insurance premium after my auto is declared a total loss?
Yes, you must pay an insurance premium even if your auto is declared a total loss until such time that you return your license plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Your auto policy terminates when you return the license plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you don't have your license plates because your auto was stolen or because your auto and plates were destroyed in a fire, you must go to the nearest Registry of Motor Vehicles office and obtain a lost or stolen plates receipt. This receipt must be presented to your insurance company in order to cancel your policy and avoid paying any additional premium.
Can I keep my car if I have a collision, limited collision or comprehensive claim and my insurance company declares it a total loss?
Your insurance company has the option to take title to your car when it issues payment on your claim. The insurer is entitled to any salvage value your car may have. You can, of course, negotiate with your insuraqnce company to purchase your car for the agreed salvaged value.
The body shop is repairing my car after an insured loss. Will my insurance company pay for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts?
If the repair of the damaged part impairs the operational safety of the car, the insurance company will pay to replace it with original equipment manufacturer parts. For non-safety parts, unless your claim occurs during the first 20,000 miles on the cars odometer, you are not entitled to OEM parts. For cars with more than 20,000 miles, state regulation allows for the replacement of damaged parts with used, reconditioned or after market parts. You can insist on OEM parts, but you will have to pay the difference in cost.
What's the difference between standard and limited collision?
In the event of a accident in which your vehicle is damaged, standard collision can be used to repair your car regardless of who is at fault. Limited collision differs in that it can only be used if you are found to be less than 50% at fault in an accident.
What is a collision deductible waiver?
Insurance company "steering" is illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That means as a consumer you have the right to bring your vehicle to the auto body shop of your choice.
You can have your vehicle towed to any auto body shop you choose.
You are not required to go to a drive-in claims center. Your insurer must inspect your vehicle at the location of your choosing.
You do not need to get multiple appraisals.
Your insurance company is responsible for restoring your vehicle to
Your insurer must negotiate repairs with the auto body shop of your choice.