Do You Have To Repair Your Vehicle After Making An Insurance Claim?

After making an insurance claim after being involved in an accident, you may be curious whether or not you are actually required to receive repairs. You may not want to receive repairs because you can't go without your car while waiting for the repairs to be done or you may just prefer having the cash from your settlement instead of putting it towards repairs. Whether or not you are required to receive repairs depends on a couple of things. 

If You Have a Loan on Your Vehicle:

If you have a loan on your vehicle, then you are going to need to get the repairs done. This is because the lender is going to want to keep the car in the same condition to ensure that, if anything happens, they can sell the car to pay off the remaining balance that you owe. Most of the time, if you own your vehicle outright, then your insurance company will allow you to determine whether or not you want to receive the repairs. 

If You Want to Keep Physical Damage Coverage:

If you decide not to receive the repairs, then your insurance company will probably drop you from being covered under physical damages, which includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. This is because your insurance company does not want to take the risk of paying for the existing physical damages that they already paid you out for if you are in an accident again in the future. Sometimes, your insurance company will allow you to continue with physical damage coverage if you opted out of receiving repairs so long as you take pictures of the damages so that the insurance company knows they won't be paying for that in a future accident. 

If You Buy Your Totaled Vehicle Back:

If your vehicle has been totaled in an accident and you buy it back, then the repairs for frame damage and replaced air bags will need to be done in order for you to continue with insurance coverage. Most of the time, insurance companies will deny coverage for a totaled vehicle, so it is important to check with your insurance company before you move forward with the repairs. 

Knowing when you must receive collision repairs after making an insurance claim will ensure that you can continue with coverage. However, after making an insurance claim, even if you are able to receive the cash for the claim, it is still always a good idea to receive the repairs. This typically keeps your insurance rates as low as possible and will allow you to sell your vehicle for a higher price if you ever decide to in the future.