You bought that new car with advanced technology features to keep you safe, but is your insurance policy ready to keep your vehicle safe in case of an accident? There have been numerous changes in vehicle design and technology over the past five years. The repair standards and requirements to restore them after an accident have changed, too. However, in many cases, standard insurance coverage hasn’t kept up with these changes and could leave you with a shortfall or a vehicle that isn’t safely repaired to your expectations.
The following tips from CARSTAR, can help ensure your auto insurance provides thorough coverage for you and your vehicle. In all cases, check with your insurance agent or carrier to see what is offered in your state.
“You should evaluate your insurance coverage not just by the deductible but by the repair standards it covers and those required for your vehicle,” said Arlo Johnson, SVP Insurance, Collision & Glass Vertical, for Driven Brands. “You need to understand if your vehicle requires OEM or aftermarket parts – and what the policy covers, if pre- and post-repair scanning are covered, if calibration is required and if OEM repair standards guide the repair process. This helps ensure your safety on the road in your repaired vehicle and preserves the value of that investment.”
The following factors should be considering when getting new coverage or renewing a policy:
Advanced Technology Scanning: The vehicle’s advanced technology, or ADAS, protects you in traffic. But after an accident, does your policy cover full repair of this technology, included pre-and post-repair scanning? There are hundreds of computer codes required to manage all the operations of the vehicle. By having the collision repair facility scan those codes before the repair, they – and you – can get a more complete evaluation of the repair needed. A scan afterward ensures that all of the repair needs have been met. A high-quality collision repair facility will always conduct pre- and post-repair scans of your vehicle.
System Calibration: Many vehicles with advanced technology have cameras around the exterior to provide lane warnings, backup alerts and front distance notifications. Following certain types of collisions, these may need to be recalibrated to ensure proper performance. It is important to double-check that your policy covers this when you have a newer vehicle.
OEM Parts: Repair standards from the vehicle manufacturers typically ensure the safest collision repair processes to return that vehicle to pre-accident condition. Many times, this mandates OEM parts designed specifically for that vehicle. Review your policy to ensure that OEM parts are covered on a newer vehicle. However, for a vehicle that is more than five years old, you might select the option of aftermarket parts based on the value of the vehicle.
Hybrid and EV Repairs: For today’s hybrids and electric vehicles, the repair processes are very different. It is important that your insurance cover these types of repairs – and you use a qualified collision repair facility. These repairs can be more expensive than traditional vehicles, so you should factor that into your ongoing maintenance costs.
“Should an unfortunate incident occur, it is important to carefully choose a collision repair partner who is certified and equipped to repair your vehicle back to pre-collision quality,” said Johnson. “Research repair locations who are certified by the manufacturer of your vehicle, carry I-CAR Gold training or have third-party quality certifications.”