The steps you take will vary slightly depending on whether or not your car is driveable. However, the process will typically go as follows:
Call your insurance company. They will either send an adjuster to look at your car or ask that you take the car to a specified auto repair shop. They will provide you with an estimate and a list of “pre-approved” body shops. You are not obligated to use their recommended body shops.
Get a second opinion. Take your car to a mechanic you trust. If the body shop fells the repairs to your car cannot be made based on the estimate provided by the insurance company, as the manager of the body shop to contact the insurance company on your behalf.
Discuss Payment. Talk to your adjuster and find out how the repairs will be paid for. If you are liable for any charges, get solid figures on the amount you will be expected to pay prior to having repairs made.
Choose your body shop and mechanic. Again, you are under no obligation to use the insurance company’s recommended shops. You have the right to choose who works on your vehicle. Once the body shop and insurance company has worked out the details, have your car repaired.
Follow up on newly discovered damage. If your mechanic finds additional damage during the repair process, ask the shop to contact your insurance adjuster and inform them.