Car Insurance Claims FAQs

When accidents occur, we want to make your claim experience as seamless as possible. These frequently asked questions will help guide you through the auto claim process. Your Claim Service Specialist is always available to answer any additional questions you may have.

  • What do I do with all this paperwork?
    The enclosed information includes, among other things, a link to a list of state licensed automobile repair shops in your county. The bolded shops are Arbella's referral facilities. Arbella and the repair shop guarantee the quality of the repairs performed by these shops. Please take the time to read all the material, as it explains your rights and options concerning the repair of your vehicle.
  • Am I restricted to the shops on your list?
    No, you may have your vehicle repaired wherever you choose once Arbella has appraised the damage. However, you should consider potential labor rate differences between repair shops before making your final selection, as other repair shops may charge labor rates in excess of Arbella's rate of reimbursement. These charges could then become your responsibility.
  • My shop told me it will cost more to repair my vehicle than the figure Arbella has given me. What now?
    This may occur when our appraisers are unable to visually inspect all areas of damage at first inspection. In such cases, your repair shop will contact our appraiser and request what is known as a supplement appraisal. The appraiser will then, if warranted, view the vehicle again and write a supplemental appraisal for the appropriate amount of additional damage.
  • What if the repair shop and the appraiser do not agree on the amount?
    In the vast majority of cases the repair shop and Arbella come to an agreement immediately. However, should this rare situation develop, we encourage you to call your Claim Service Specialist for assistance and further explanation.
  • I am considering not having my vehicle repaired. Am I obligated to do so?
    No, you are not.
  • Am I then obligated to return your check?
    No. However, you should be aware that any un-repaired damage may decrease the value of your vehicle by the dollar amount of the proposed repair cost.
  • Will I be charged with a surcharge?
    Massachusetts regulation requires us to issue a surcharge when you are deemed more than 50% at fault for an accident and when certain payment thresholds are reached for certain coverage types. You may appeal the surcharge by following the appeal instructions on the back of your surcharge notice. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your Claim Service Specialist.
  • I am going to need substitute transportation while my vehicle is being repaired. I have 30 days, correct?
    Your policy states that you have up to a specified daily and total amount of coverage to cover the cost of your substitute transportation needs. Your allowance depends on the coverage you selected at the time you applied for your policy. For example: You purchased policy limits of $30/$900. If you rent a vehicle at a daily rate of $30 per day, you may have up to 30 days of coverage. If you are uncertain about your policy limits, you should call your agent or your Arbella claim representative directly.

    In the event your vehicle is deemed a total loss, the number of days allowed are usually determined by the number of days it takes Arbella to appraise your vehicle and issue payment. If your vehicle is repairable, your rental allowance is calculated by how long it should reasonably take to repair your vehicle, up to your policy limit. If your vehicle is safely drivable, you should avoid obtaining a rental vehicle until your vehicle is actually placed at the repair shop.

    Some policy endorsements may provide additional substitute transportation coverage in certain situations. There may be other "special provisions" or circumstances regarding your rental coverage. In any case, you may call your claim representative for further clarification.
  • I do not have rental coverage on my policy - am I out of luck?
    Not necessarily. If the other party involved in the loss was at least 50% at fault, you may present a claim for substitute transportation to that party's insurance company. They will reimburse your rental expenses up to their determined percentage of fault.
  • What is a "direction to pay?"
    A direction to pay is a form you may sign that authorizes Arbella to issue payment for the repair costs for your vehicle directly to your auto body repair facility. You may be asked by your repair facility to sign one, however, you are not obligated to do so.
  • Why is my lien holder included as a payee on my settlement check?
    When you take a loan from a financial institution to purchase a vehicle, they hold a financial interest in your vehicle. Until the loan has been paid off, and the title to the vehicle has been re­ issued in your name, we are obligated to protect their interest in your vehicle. Accordingly, we include them as a payee on any settlement check issued directly to you.
  • Should I report injuries to my Claim Service Specialist?
    Yes! It’s important that you let us know right away about any injuries sustained or medical treatment needed due to the accident. Your Claim Service Specialist will work with you from start to finish collecting detailed information about the injuries, any medical treatment that may be needed, and what injury coverage might be included in your auto policy.