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Your Motor Vehicle's After-Impact Diminished Value

By Dan Baldyga Email:

The Actual Cash Value Policy does not insure the property itself but the VALUE of the property. When the insurance company chooses to “Repair” the damaged insured property - - such an election DOES NOT relieve that insurance company of their contractual duty to restore the Pre-Loss VALUE of the motor vehicle.

To whatever extent such repairs fail to restore that motor vehicle's Pre-Loss VALUE, should be tendered to the policyholder in cash - - failure to do so is nothing less than insurer fraud!

Items are sometimes repaired improperly or overlooked completely. Several of these typical repair related items could be: Poor quality repairs, improper welding, or flawed refinish operations.

“Diminished Value” is owed and if a vehicle has not been brought back to it’s pre-accident function, appearance, safety, and value.


#1. Inherent Diminished Value: This is the automatic and unavoidable loss of market value simply due to the fact than a motor vehicle has been involved in an accident. It's often mandatory that previous damage is made known to a prospective buyer.

#2. Insurance Related Diminished Value: This comes to pass due to oversights or omissions by the insurance company on their appraisal. And also, because of the use of “Imitation Replacement” parts.

#3. Repair Related Diminished Value: This is the amount which the motor vehicle was depreciated due to improper or incomplete repairs, poor quality repairs, or un-repaired items that were compensated for within the insurance appraisal.

Auto repair shops (even the most advanced) do not have access to the type of equipment. Because of this it’s impossible for them to afford such technology that a manufacturer can.

And (that being an absolutely provable case) you’re not going to be returned your motor vehicle in the perfect value it was when it came off the assembly line!

It’s a fact of life that should a potential buyer discover the motor vehicle one is about to buy has been in an accident that it’s going to be worth less money. Almost every damaged motor vehicle will have some possible inherent “Diminished Value” which can evolve into an actual loss to the consumer.

PLUS THERE ARE OTHER “REPAIR PROBLEMS”: The following are 4 of the most potential of them bubbling and boiling - - just under the surface:

#1. Most consumers don’t know what kind of parts they’re getting. They (incorrectly) assume their motor vehicle will be restored to its pre-crash condition.

#2. Too often the “Imitation Parts” don’t match the car’s contours leaving an impossible mess to correct.

#3. When it comes to fenders there are “Fit Problems”. Some require widening the holes or using shims. Many don’t match the contour of the car and require significant reworking..

#4. Replacement bumpers (more often than not) need to be re-drilled or widened leaving large gaps or uneven surfaces.