Auto Claims FAQs

What is Safety's VIP Claims Centers Program?

How does the vehicle appraisal and repair process work?

What happens if my auto repair shop finds additional damage that was not included on my appraisal?

How will payment be made?

What is a deductible?

Can I rent a vehicle while my car is in the repair shop or is a "total loss?"

Will I need to purchase additional insurance for my rental vehicle?

What does it mean when my vehicle is declared a "total loss?"

What is "Actual Cash Value?"

Will I need to complete any reports as a result of my accident?

What is bailment?

What is Safety's VIP Claims Centers Program?

Safety's VIP Repair Program provides a "once and done" end-to-end claim and repair service. Under select criteria, drivable vehicles are brought to one of our VIP Claims Centers where the damage is reviewed with a Safety representative so that a comprehensive appraisal can be written. Safety then coordinates same-day transportation and dismantling of the damaged vehicle with a repair shop that is part of our Repair Network. All shops in our network are licensed and experienced and we now have almost 20 shops that participate in our program!

Click here for more information on Safety's VIP Claims Centers.

How does the vehicle appraisal and repair process work?

If your vehicle is drivable, we encourage you to visit one of our conveniently located VIP Claim Service Centers. If you choose not to visit one of our VIP Claims Service Centers, you may have your vehicle inspected at one of our drive-in facilities which are conveniently located across the state.

If it is determined that your vehicle is not safe to drive, we will dispatch a licensed auto damage appraiser to perform the inspection wherever your vehicle is located.

Under any of the above options, your Safety Claims Adjuster will help guide you through the process.

Once your damage appraisal has been completed by one of our licensed appraisers we will send you a copy of the damage appraisal along with a list of registered repair shops located in your county. Any repair shops that are highlighted designate Safety's "referral" shops.

Although you are free to select any repair shop to perform the work on your vehicle, a Safety "referral" shop will restore your vehicle to its pre-loss condition and will warranty the quality of its work. Safety's "referral" shops will agree to repair your vehicle for the amount of our appraisal. If you decide to repair your vehicle with a non-Safety "referral" shop, Safety will not be able to guarantee the quality nor the cost of those repairs to your vehicle.

What happens if my auto repair shop finds additional damage that was not included on my appraisal?

Although our licensed damage appraisers will make every attempt to identify and include all of your vehicle's damages during their initial inspection, there may be instances where some damage is not clearly visible during the initial appraisal. Sometimes additional damage is discovered after your repair facility begins removing the damaged parts to your vehicle. In these situations, your repair facility should contact our appraiser to prepare a "supplemental appraisal" to cover the additional costs.

How will payment be made?

For repairable vehicles, Safety will either pay your repair shop directly, with your written authorization, or issue payment to you and your lien holder (if applicable). You are responsible for payment of your deductible to the repair shop unless you purchased the Waiver of Deductible Endorsement and the requirements have been met to waive the deductible. Any payments made on supplemental appraisals will be issued according to the same methods described above.

For total losses, payment will be made to you, less any applicable deductible, when no lien holder exists. If there is a lien holder who retains a financial interest in your vehicle, payments would first be issued to satisfy those obligations and any remaining balance would be made payable to you.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount of money you are obligated to pay as a result of an accident and is deducted from the initial claim payment. If a policyholder has purchased the Waiver of Deductible Endorsement, the deductible amount for Collision Coverage will not apply under certain circumstances. These specific circumstances include:

  1. The auto was legally parked when struck by another auto owned by an identified person
  2. The auto was struck in the rear by another auto moving in the same direction and owned by an identified person
  3. The operator of the other auto was convicted of any of the following violations:

    1. Operating under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or a narcotic drug
    2. Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
    3. Operating at an excessive rate of speed
    4. Any similar violation of any similar law of another state in which the accident occurs. However, we will not pay if the operator of your covered auto was also convicted of one of the violations
  4. You are entitled to recover in court against an identified person for some reason other than those listed above

Can I rent a vehicle while my car is in the repair shop or is a "total loss?"

If you have purchased "Substitute Transportation" (otherwise known as rental coverage) as part of your policy, you will be entitled to rent a vehicle, subject to the coverage conditions and maximum limits afforded by your policy, while your vehicle is being repaired.

If your vehicle is a total loss, we will pay reasonable rental costs until a settlement offer has been made. This will also be subject to the maximum coverage limits purchased on your policy.

Your Safety Claims Adjuster will gladly assist you with arranging for a rental car. The rental company may bill us directly for the charges covered under your policy.

Will I need to purchase additional insurance for my rental vehicle?

Coverage from your automobile policy will apply to any rental vehicle you are driving as a temporary substitute. The rental car company may offer "Collision Damage Waiver" (CDW) Coverage at an additional cost to you. Depending on the type of coverage offered, the rental car company may pay some or all of your deductible if you are involved in an accident with the rental vehicle. If you do not feel that this extra insurance coverage is necessary, you may decline to purchase it.

What does it mean when my vehicle is declared a "total loss?"

A vehicle is considered a "total loss" when the cost to repair the damaged parts are equal to or exceed the vehicle's actual cash value. Additionally, a total loss will result if the structural integrity of the vehicle is compromised and the vehicle cannot be restored to its pre-loss condition.

What is "Actual Cash Value?"

The "actual cash value" (ACV) represents the sales price of a vehicle offered in the marketplace from a car dealer or private owner. It takes into consideration a vehicle's age, mileage and current condition in determining a fair value.

Will I need to complete any reports as a result of my accident?

You should file a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report if you were the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident where the damage to any one vehicle or property is over $1000.00, or if there is an injury to any person, even if a police officer was on the scene. You should file the report within 5 days of the accident date.

One copy of the report should be mailed or delivered to the local police department in the city or town where the accident occurred, a second copy to Safety Insurance and a third copy to the Registry of Motor Vehicles at the following addresses:

Safety Insurance Company       Crash Records
P.O. Box 55098       Registry of Motor Vehicles
Boston, MA 02205-5098       P.O. Box 55889
        Boston, MA 02205-5889

Please include your claim number on all correspondence.

What is bailment?

A "bailment" situation occurs when the operator ("bailee") borrows a vehicle temporarily from the owner ("bailor") and is responsible for returning the vehicle in the same condition as when it was borrowed. Otherwise, a claim for damages exists against the operator.

A "valid" bailment situation allows 100% recovery of physical damage payments against the other party's insurance company in instances where the operator of your vehicle may have been primarily at fault.

In order for bailment to apply:

  • the operator of your vehicle cannot be the owner and must have permission to use it
  • the owner cannot be an occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident
  • the owner cannot benefit from the operator's use of the vehicle at the time of the accident
  • at least 1% negligence must be proven against the other party involved in the accident

If all of these conditions apply, both the owner and the operator of the vehicle will need to complete a "Bailment Affidavit" which we will send to you. This signed document will be presented as evidence that a valid bailment exists and full recovery of all physical damage claim payments is warranted.

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