In the event of an automobile accident, and once your insurer has been notified, it is time to take care of the procedures relating to the repair and compensation of the vehicle. What are the steps to have your car appraised in the event of an accident? And how long does an automotive appraisal last? We tell you everything about the role of the expert and the deadlines to be compensated.
What is the deadline to notify your insurer?
Notifying your insurer in the event of an accident remains the priority. However, you have five days to file a claim.
You will also need to contact a professional garage mechanic who will take care of repairs to the vehicle. The insured can completely choose the garage himself, without this being imposed by the insurance company.
However, be aware that insurers have a list of licensed professionals. By opting for one of the listed garages, you will not have to pay any fees, unless there is a deductible.
The role of the automotive expert in the conduct of the expertise
Depending on the seriousness of the automobile accident, the insurer will decide whether or not to call in an expert. This professional will then be responsible for determining the extent of the damage.
The automobile expert is an independent professional assigned by the insurance company. You will have to give him the documents essential for the examination such as the report and the vehicle registration certificate (ex- carte grise).
Then, the auto expert will quantify the damage suffered by the car precisely. And to make his expertise, the professional will also base himself on your statements. In addition, he will draw up a list of all the damage, verifying that it was indeed caused during the accident. This control helps prevent insurance fraud.
advice : it is recommended to attend the expertise of your vehicle for the sake of transparency.
Should I have my vehicle repaired or be compensated?
Note that in consultation with the garage owner, the automotive expert will propose a solution. There is then two hypotheses :
- repairs are possible. In this case, the expert determines the amount of work to be planned to restore the vehicle to its original state;
- the price of repairs is higher than that of compensation. If the situation arises, the insurer will reimburse the insured directly. It is the expert who determines the amount of compensation.
What does the amount of compensation take into account?
In the event of repairs for which the price would be higher than the compensation, the expert figures the amount received by the insured.
Note that the amount of compensation takes into account several elements such as:
- the condition of the car before the automobile accident. To help the expert, send him all the maintenance invoices proving his general good condition before his damage;
- the local market. It is advisable to get ahead of the expert by carefully preparing a file including examples of vehicles similar to yours.
On the other hand, there are several scenarios to take into account, depending on your responsibility for the incident:
- If you are not responsible for the accident, the insurer will reimburse you for the replacement value of the vehicle, determined by the appointed expert. This therefore allows you to buy a similar property;
- in the case of a new car, it is usually not possible to obtain the purchase value. However, some new contracts provide for the reimbursement of new cars for cars less than 3, 6 or 12 months old;
- finally, if your responsibility is proven in the accident to your vehicle, the insurer pays you the sum provided for in the contract. This takes into account the guarantee ceiling and any deductible. You must also be insured against all risks.
To know : when you want to sell your car, it will be depreciated. In the event of major repairs, insurers provide for this purpose a special allowance for depreciation.
How long does an automotive appraisal last?
Car valuation deadline respected by the insured
The insured must meet deadlines to benefit from the insurance. The declaration of the claim (article L. 113-2 of the Insurance Code) can be made by telephone, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt or by going directly to the insurer.
Depending on the damage suffered and the terms of the contract, the time limit varies:
- 5 days for a road accident or broken glass;
- 2 days for a flight;
- 10 days for damage to the vehicle caused by a natural disaster. This period starts from the date of the ministerial decree recognizing the automobile accident as such.
Automotive appraisal deadlines
This deadline is not fixed by the regulations in force. There is therefore no legal deadline. It only depends on the insurance company. However, there is an average delay of between 8 and 10 days following the accident.
Several factors intervene in the duration of an automotive expertise:
- the extent of the incident;
- the search for the origin or responsible;
- the conservation measures implemented by the insurer;
- recourse to companies …
Note that the greater the damage, the longer the waiting time for the expert to pass through may be. Sometimes, it is necessary to be patient in order to be compensated.
Can we contest the opinion of the automotive expert?
In the event of disagreement with the conclusions of the appointed expert, you can contest the automobile appraisal and request a second opinion. For this, call on an independent expert. However, you will be responsible for the costs. The fees of these professionals are free and take into account the time spent. The sum can therefore vary from single to double. To avoid a bad surprise, ask the car expert for a quote.
This independent expert appointed by you will in turn study your car. In the event of conclusions identical to those of the first expert’s report, the insurer will reimburse.
And in the event of different conclusions, an agreement on compensation will have to be found between the two experts. If they do not manage to come to an agreement, it will then be necessary to think of bringing in a third expert. The costs should be shared between the expert and you.
Finally, if the situation remains blocked, there is only one alternative for a persistent dispute: seize the competent court in the matter.
How do you become an automotive expert?
The automotive expert does not deliver his expertise at random. It is the fruit of work and long training over several years. His training is a level 3 State diploma, which allows him to practice. He must also have obtained a level 4 certification or homologated title to be able to begin his training at the level of expert in automobile. But this is not enough, it is also necessary that professionals justify an activity related to the practice of car repair, such as working in a garage, for a period of three years. Although there are some exceptions that may reduce this time.
Candidates must demonstrate a two-year paid internship with an automotive expert before they can be assessed by a jury on three control units A, B and C. All these qualifications justify the legitimacy of automotive experts. Finally, to exercise, they must register on the national list of automotive experts in France. Would you like to find more information on the training, functions or missions of the automotive expert? You can find more information about the experts related to auto insurance at ornikar.com.