Did the value of your vehicle crash after you had a crash? Everyone knows that a vehicle that's been crashed and repaired is not worth as much as an identical vehicle that has not been crashed. We believe you have a diminished value claim when your vehicle has been repaired from a crash that was caused by someone else. However, in order for you to negotiate your claim, you will need an estimate of your loss. Therefore, you should have a post-repair evaluation of your vehicle by an independent inspector to determine how both the crash and the repair have depreciated your vehicle. This depreciation is called Diminished Value.
The three components of Diminished Value are Inherent Diminished Value, Repair Diminished Value, and Claim Diminished Value. Inherent Diminished Value, very simply, is the decreased market value of a vehicle that has been in a crash compared to the market value of an identical vehicle that has not been in a crash. Repair Diminished Value is the decreased value of a vehicle due to the quality of a collision repair. Claim Diminished Value is also related to the quality of a collision repair but results from the insurance company forcing the body shop to take shortcuts to save on the claim.
The definition of a perfect collision restoration is one where a vehicle is restored to its original or "factory" condition. Anything that does not have the appearance of a factory-like condition is clear evidence of a collision repair and reduces the value of the repaired vehicle. Our diminished-value report lists as defects those conditions that do not mirror a factory-like condition.
Duplicating the factory-like conditions is economically prohibitive in the collision restoration industry because insurance companies want to have vehicles repaired at the lowest cost to them. They either require vehicle owners to "shop around" for the cheapest repair or ask them to use a low-cost body shop that is "preferred" by the insurance company. In essence, vehicle owners are asked to accept the poorest quality repair so insurance companies can pay the lowest cost. As a result, body shops are forced to compete for the lowest price instead of for the best quality and are, thereby, forced to cut corners in order to profit.
Therefore, in nearly all cases, a collision repaired vehicle will not be in a condition that 100% resembles its undamaged, unrepaired, or unaltered condition. If your vehicle has been in a crash and has been repaired, you should have it inspected to obtain a Diminished Value Appraisal. If you wish to schedule a Diminished Value Appraisal of your vehicle, please contact our office at 913-438-1038.