If you’re in an accident contact your insurance company right after the police have been contacted. Its even better if the insurance company comes out to the scene of the accident before the cars are moved. If they have to be moved take pictures from multiple angles before movement occurs. Doing this should speed up the claims process and help your insurance coverage company too especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. Helping your insurance company should in turn make things easier for you.
Research what your car was worth before it was damaged in the accident. Look around to see if you find what a comparable car is selling for in classifieds and at dealers. Check with price guides as well like Kelley Blue Book. Also utilize online tools like Edmund’s appraiser. If you believe your car insurance company is providing less for your claim than what is fair provide your own research to them for review. Ask them to adjust your claim upwards accordingly.
If you are going to keep the car use a shop you trust. Your insurance company may advise you to use a certain shop but keep in mind they may be doing this in their own best interest. They may have some deal set up with that shop to keep cost down. Why would they pay more than they have to? With that said choose an auto shop that is trustworthy that you know can properly fix the automobile with quality parts.
Your state insurance department is on your side protecting you from being under compensated for a claim. Log onto their website or call them to fully understand the protection they provide you.
As a last resort if the insurance company refuses to cooperate with a fair claim legal arbitration is an option. If they refuse to arbitrate you may need to call a lawyer for legal action. Only use this if these is not other way to work with the company.