Diminished value is something every consumer needs to be aware of.

You pay them every month from the time you’re 16 years old.  They tell you that you’re in good hands.  They assure you that you saved 15% or more in 15 minutes – and that you’ve made a good choice to insure with them.

Then the rains come down, and the floods come up… and the hail… the hail… the hail.  So you do what you’ve been trained to do – you call your insurance company and make a claim.  The adjuster comes out, looks at your vehicle and writes an estimate.  They write for the least expensive, often 3rd party or re-manufactured, ill fitting replacement parts.

The auto body shop you choose has everything to do with the quality of your repair.  If they are in some sort of partnership with the insurance companies, then they will likely put substandard parts into the repair of your vehicle.  If they cut corners in an effort to speed up the repair, those shortcuts could put your safety at risk – and will absolutely affect the resale value of your car.

WHEN SHOULD I CLAIM DIMINISHED VALUE?

It is almost always a wise decision to have a post-repair inspection after a collision repair IF YOU FIT THESE CRITERIA.  These inspections are performed by independent technicians, and reveal the quality of the repair.  Often such an inspection comes along with an estimate of diminished value of your vehicle.  Diminished value is defined as that portion of a damaged vehicle’s pre-loss value that has NOT been restored through the repair process.  Insurance companies do not tell their claimants about diminished value, but they ARE responsible to cover the difference in value (which is almost always thousands of dollars).

Consider this compelling video from our friends Mark’s Body Shop in Baltimore, MD:

Where do you go for a post-repair inspection?  There are many places.  Nylund’s Collision Center has always offered a free visual inspection for anyone wanting to check the quality of repairs performed at other shops.  And who do we refer our own guests to? We recommend the services of Auto Damage Experts, and David Smith. Ultimately, your safety is of paramount importance.  Secondarily, you are entitled to know if your repair was properly executed, and whether you are owed more money than the insurance company originally offered you.

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