The Lowball Loss Adjusters: Why Drivers Lose with Photo Insurance Estimates
Picture this: you’ve recently been involved in an accident, and your insurance company tells you that receiving an estimate for your repair is as simple as snapping a photo on your smartphone. It sounds like a perfectly simple solution that combines technology and expert innovation. Unfortunately, as many drivers across the country have already discovered, this convenience may be too good to be true. Many auto body repair shops in Bensalem, PA and across the nation are finding that these photo estimates often vastly underestimate the amount of repair that the vehicle needs, leaving drivers high and dry to cover the remainder out of their pockets.
An investigative report by Inside Edition found that these discrepancies between insurance payouts and the actual cost of collision repair in Bensalem, PA can be massive, costing drivers upwards of $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Auto shop experts claim that insurance companies are intentionally using these photo estimation apps to limit the amount of damage that can be seen when making a claim and thus giving them leeway to offer a lower amount in compensation.
In one such case, 85-year-old Muriel Agostini filed a claim with her insurance company after her car was hit by another driver. Using Allstate’s photo estimation process, Agostini received an estimate that her damage would cost “about $1,700” to repair, and she quickly received a check in the mail to cover the expenses. Unfortunately, when Agostini arrived at the repair shop, she found that the damage to her vehicle was much more extensive, requiring almost $12,000 to repair. Robert Jesberger, owner of Mid-Island Collision in Long Island where Agostini brought her vehicle, expressed frustration at these tools, calling them vehicles for “lowball offers.”
“They are cheating and undervaluing, understating the actual damages on these cars,” Jesberger told Inside Edition.
The best way to protect yourself? Don’t cash any check from an insurance provider without first having your damage assessed by an auto body expert. Scheduling an appointment before you agree to an insurance payout will allow a collision repair shop to give you a much more accurate estimate, and help you to avoid accepting a lowball payout for your claim.
If your car has been in a collision, reach out to us today to set up your appointment.