Frequently Asked Questions

Do you know how much your deductible is?

If you were to have an accident tomorrow, do you know how much it is going to cost you "out of pocket"..

All too often we have customers who are not aware that their deductible is upwards of $1000!! Many people opt for a higher deductible because it saves them on their overall premium. What they don't realize is that decreasing your deductible doesn't increase your premium all that much.. I guess the question is... Is it more cost effective to make slightly larger payments on your overall policy, or , can you easily come up with the deductible "out of pocket" if you should have an accident?...

Are you familiar with the "direction to pay" form?

Anyone who has ever had an auto accident knows that it can be overwhelming and often emotional... We rely on our vehicles for transportation to work, school, for groceries and everything in between.. Having your car in the shop can be a terrible inconvenience.. We often encourage our clients to fill out a Direction to pay form to help expedite the process.

Occasionally , but not often we have a client that is hesitant to sign the form . This is generally because they don't understand what it is that they are signing.. It is often the first time that they have had an accident and/or the first time they have heard of a Direction to Pay form..

The Direction to Pay allows your insurance company to pay us directly for the cost of your repairs. Signing a Direction to Pay also enables us to release your vehicle as soon as your repairs are completed -- so you don't have to wait to receive a "check in the mail" from your insurance company. We also negotiate insurance supplements directly with your auto insurance company and we accept this negotiated amount as payment in full for your repair bill. As always, you are responsible for paying your deductible if it applies.

In short, the Direction to pay form can cut out the middleman so to speak and take a load off of the client as well as speed up the process so that you can have your car back as quickly as possible.

We hope you find this helpful and informative.

Are you aware of your rights as a consumer?

We all know Delaware County is a small area and many people have loyalties or attachments to certain businesses or service people.. While West Branch Collision and Classics can certainly appreciate such loyalties, we have heard of a few instances where customers have been told by towing companies or officials who have responded to the scene of an accident that they "had to" have their vehicle towed to or fixed by a specific business.. And that's just not the case. As a consumer you have certain rights pertaining to Insurance and collision claims.

Consumer Rights With Regards to New York State Insurance Law In a Collision Claim

  • You have the right to have your vehicle repaired in the shop of your choice. Your insurance company cannot direct you otherwise.
  • You are not required to get one or more estimates.
  • You are not required to take your vehicle to an insurance company's "drive in" claim service.
  • Your insurance company must negotiate your claim, "in good faith". You are entitled to a prompt, fair settlement (in monetary value only**) paying for all damages to restore your vehicle to "pre-accident condition".
  • To assist you and protect your investment, you may appoint your chosen repair shop your "Designated Representative", to negotiate and settle your claim with the insurance company. (Only as far as your motor vehicle is concerned)
  • Your insurance company has six business days, after proper notification, to inspect your vehicle and enter negotiations.
  • If additional damages are found, the insurance company has two business days to re-inspect and re-negotiate your claim.
  • The insurance company may not issue a check or draft in payment implying acceptance of such as final or binding.
  • If your vehicle is a total loss (cost of repairs exceed 75% of the actual cash value of the automobile) (Some insurance companies have as little as a 60% threshold) payment is calculated by averaging Red Book and NADA values or the use of a computerized data base, plus NYS Sales Tax. You are entitled to an evaluation worksheet, and have the 30-day Right of Recourse to question the insurance company's settlement offer. Any damages to your vehicle over $1000.00 require D.M.V.form 104 to be filed.