How to Write Damage Estimates

by Larry Davis ; Updated July 27, 2017
Cars, homes and other property are insured for possible damage.

Damage to a home, vehicle or property covered by an insurance policy will be estimated -- in writing -- by the insurance carrier to determine the cost of repair or replacement. This estimate forms the basis of any claim filed with your insurance carrier.

Vehicle Damage

An auto body repair person, as well as an insurance adjuster, will view the vehicle damage and write an estimate. The factors taken into consideration in the repair or replacement of a vehicle include a detailed list of the damage and the parts and labor to replace or repair each of these. Windows, fenders, doors, mirrors, lighting fixtures, engine damage and underbody work are all inspected and included in the damage estimate.

Home Damage

The homeowner has the right to have a contractor write an estimate to compare to the insurance adjuster's estimate. All damage to the building structure, as well as each item inside the home will be written on the estimate for repair or replacement.

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Other Items

Damage to motorcycles, campers or motor homes, water craft, all terrain vehicles and any other insured vehicle item will be treated the same as an automobile damage estimate factoring in all aspects necessary for repair. Mobile homes and vacation homes or cabins will be treated as a home damage claim as in Section 2. Rental property is covered by the property owner, but the contents should be insured by the resident. The insurance adjuster will evaluate the damaged items and write an estimate to repair or replace contents of a rental property.

About the Author

Larry Davis has worked in the safety and environmental field since 1975, writing for "Chevron Review" and other professional magazines. He wrote monthly columns for "Heavy Equipment News" and has written safety programs and training materials. He holds two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree in safety and earned his doctorate in safety engineering, studying under professors from the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.

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