Insurance Photo Apps: The Hidden Dangers

Posted by Chris Medine on Mar 15, 2019 10:22:00 AM

Closeup of female hand using a smart phone. Shallow depth of fieldYou’ve probably always heard that you should take pictures of your vehicle’s damage immediately following an accident.  It’s a logical step in a defined process that consists of claims adjusters, insurance companies, and body shops.  Today, however, some insurers are attempting to circumvent certain steps in this process by rolling those consumer photos and the adjuster’s job all into one.

 

How do Insurance Photo Apps Work?

Photo apps are among the latest products promoted by auto insurance companies.  Along the lines of self-service car washes and self-checkouts at the grocery store, these apps are putting responsibility directly into the hands of consumers.  Rather than sending out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage and engage with your collision center in a dialogue surrounding your vehicle and repairs, these apps allow consumers to upload their photos directly and receive claim estimates and even checks based on the images.

What’s the Problem with Insurance Photo Apps?

Unfortunately, unlike your grocery store’s self-checkout, insurance photo apps can end up being not only less convenient, but costly in the long run.  It is impossible for anyone to fully assess the damage and associated cost of a vehicle through photos or video alone.  Not only does the average driver not know exactly what damage to look for, there is often underlying damage that is unknown until parts of the car are removed. 

Most frightening, some unaware consumers accept claim settlements based on their photos.  Once your claim is settled, you have forfeited the ability to get a larger payout, even if your vehicle’s damage is determined to be more extensive and costly once in the shop.

Your Auto Insurance Rights

Even if your insurer provides products such as photo apps, you are not obligated to use them.  You have the right to have your vehicle seen by an adjuster and to negotiate your claim, just as you have the right to choose your own collision center.

At Medines Collision Center, we encounter insurance tactics to lower claims daily.  We understand all the ins and outs of the process, as well as what a quality repair of your vehicle will actually cost.  If you feel intimidated or unsure about the claims process following an accident, let us be your advisors.  Contact Medines to learn more about what we can do to help.

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Topics: Insurance