SCA Claims Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question:

Where can I take my vehicle for repairs?

 

Answer:

The short answer is anywhere based on state law. The longer version is that after contacting your insurance carrier adjuster to verify policy coverage they will give you the options available on obtaining a damage estimate. These will include taking your vehicle directly to a body shop or having an appraiser visit your home or work to write the damage estimate. Your insurance carrier will often have a select number of preferred or network shops where they guarantee workmanship and it is standard practice that if you take you vehicle to a repair shop for an estimate you will give them the opportunity to also repair the damage.

 

For either option of vehicle inspection, shop or appraiser, once you have the estimate in hand you can take your vehicle to any shop of your choosing.

 

Also please note, while your SCA appraiser knows the local repair shops it is against Department of Insurance regulations for them to suggest one over another. The most they can provide is the locations of local businesses.  It's best to look at two or three shops and compare before deciding on which auto repair shop to use.

 

Question:

What if a rental vehicle is needed while mine is being repaired?

 

Answer:

Rental car coverage is almost always an addition to a standard vehicle insurance policy. Before making any decisions on a rental vehicle it’s important you contact your insurance carrier adjuster to verify what coverage you have in your policy. If you leave your vehicle at a repair shop and get a rental without having the rental coverage, the cost for the rental will be yours to cover.

 

Question:

What happens if my vehicle is not drivable after the accident?

 

Answer:

The first thing is to contact your insurance carrier adjuster to arrange for getting your vehicle towed to a secure storage facility or local repair shop, depending on the damage. Once this is accomplished your adjuster will review your options for a rental vehicle.

 

Question:

What happens if my vehicle is considered a total loss?

 

Answer:

In the case of your vehicles damage estimate indicating a total loss (where the damage exceeds the vehicles current market value according to your states guidelines) your insurance carrier adjuster will issue you a check for the cost of your vehicle minus your deductible. It will then be up to you to find and purchase a new vehicle.

 

In some cases the vehicle might not be considered a total loss after the first estimate is written. This is a normal circumstance and while your SCA appraiser knows vehicles there can be hidden damage revealed after the repair shop begins their process.

 

It is for this reason that you do not authorize repairs to your vehicle until your insurance carrier adjuster has all the damage estimate costs which will include the original estimate and possibly a supplement estimate for the hidden damages. 

 

Question:

What are the differences between the parts that can be used to repair my vehicle and who make the decision which to use?

 

Answer:

The type of policy you have with your insurance company will dictate some of the part types used in repairing your vehicle. None of the parts selected will put you in danger however there are differences. Also, there are some parts on your vehicle which, by federal law, can only be replaced with OEM parts. These parts include airbag, steering and break components.

 

It is important to discuss with your insurance carrier adjuster the part types which will be used to repair your vehicle. Although you SCA appraiser knows all about parts they are held accountable to write their estimate according to your insurance company part usage guidelines. 

 

AM (After market) - After market parts are made by someone other than the manufacturer of your vehicle. These parts, like OEM, are considered brand new, never used before. Since these parts were made as replacements for the more costly OEM parts the design and specs on the AM parts should be almost identical as their OEM counterpart.

 

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) - OEM parts are made and used by your car's manufacturer. These are the parts used to originally build your vehicle and when replaced are considered brand new, never used before. Most OEM parts are more expensive than other part type options and in some cases can be impossible to get or take longer to locate. Unless your vehicle is being repaired at a dealership, your local repair shop will have to order the parts directly from the manufacturer. Most carriers insist on mainly using OEM parts for vehicles newer than 2 years, but its again up to your insurance carrier to explain your policy.

 

LKQ (Like Kind and Quality) – LKQ parts are considered insurance quality OEM parts, but they are not new and unused. The majority of these parts were removed by a salvage yard from a vehicle that is the same make and model as yours. These parts are meant to maintain the "like kind and quality" of your vehicle prior to your accident. For example, if your vehicle was built in 2001 then the parts have not been ‘new’ for quite some time. Instead, if the same kind of part was found on a 2005 vehicle, it may be selected to write in the estimate.

 

REMAN (Remanufactured OEM) - Remanufactured OEM parts, like LKQ parts, were originally in another vehicle and removed. Also like LKQ parts these are neither new nor unused. Reman parts are however fully restored to like-new condition and functionality.  Someone takes the time to completely dismantle and reassemble each part to its original OEM specifications. The parts are then tested to ensure they meet the original equipment standards.

 

Question:

Will using aftermarket parts void the warrantee on my new vehicle?

 

Answer:

There are government rulings which state the use of aftermarket parts or used original equipment (LKQ) parts does not void new car warranties.

 

Question:

What is an ‘agreed price’ with the shop and why is it necessary?

 

Answer:

This term is used once you decide to take your vehicle to a repair shop to have the damages fixed. It means that your insurance carrier adjuster, the SCA appraiser and the repair shop have negotiated a price to fix your vehicle. Getting an AP with your selected shop is a routine operation for your SCA appraiser and happens on almost every vehicle.

When your damage estimate was originally written by SCA Appraisal Company the parts included were available and their cost was part of the total estimate value. Also, your SCA appraiser would have used the prevailing labor rates for the area. As soon as you take your vehicle to a repair shop and provide them the SCA estimate they will start looking for the parts listed. In some cases these parts and their respective cost are no longer available so the repair shop will need to search for different parts with different costs. Additionally, the repair shop you are using might have higher rates than what is average for the area. There are a few other items which could change the total cost to repair your vehicle; and, all these monetary changes must be addressed before repairs can begin thus the need for an Agreed Price.