Dealing with Claims
Like we said at the beginning of this article, we hope you never have to actually use the insurance we're telling you to buy. The vast majority of rods are never destroyed in shop fires, accidents, or other disasters, never stolen, and never involved in collisions. But in the real world, stuff happens and someday you might have to make that call. We asked our sources about what to do if your project is destroyed in a shop. As with everything else, every company has a little different approach. Some insurance companies recommend starting with the shop's liability coverage first and then filing a claim with your specialty car company. Others recommend going to your own insurance company first and letting them follow up with the shop's insurance if the shop is at fault.
If you follow the first procedure, still make sure to contact your insurance carrier. For one thing, they need to know that the car they are insuring has been damaged or destroyed. For another thing, if you encounter obstacles with the shop's insurance (such as a discrepancy in value or inadequate liability coverage), your own company will be in the loop and prepared to help. Your specialty insurance company might be more familiar with these types of cars than the shop's business insurance provider. These procedures are all things to talk about with your agent when discussing your policy.
In the old days, hot rodders making a claim were sometimes unhappy about insurance companies dictating which shops they could go to for repairs to their damaged vehicles. Those days are over, as most of the companies we interviewed allow their customers to work with the shop of their own choosing. "We have those resources so that we can help people find shops in their area if they don't know where to go, Doriguzzi told us. "Otherwise, we let you go to the shop where you want to have the work done-probably a place that knows you and the car." Jakubowski from J.C. Taylor made the same point. "It's your car. We'll let you take it where you feel comfortable and know you'll be happy."
We hope you'll never have to have your pride and joy repaired or rebuilt after any type of accident, but if you should, the experience will be a lot less painful if your car-and the shop-are covered.
Don't forget to come back next month. In Part 2 of this story, we'll be digging a little deeper into the subject of hot rod shop insurance coverage and we'll also look at the advantages of getting your hot rod appraised by a professional appraiser.