Pre-Loss Condition

Pre-Loss Condition

Why a Post-Repair Inspection is So Important If you’ve been in an accident, you’ve probably taken your vehicle to a collision repair shop (body shop), with the expectation that they would repair your vehicle to the way it was before the accident. This state of repair is known to the industry as pre-loss condition. What you may not know, however, is that your expectation of pre-loss condition and that of the insurance company who is paying for the repair may be very, very different. And who is to say, after all, what pre-loss condition really means? And finally, how do you know that it has been achieved? We’ll answer all of those questions below. First of all – let’s get to the definition of pre-loss condition. According to USLegal.com, pre-loss condition is “a term used by insurance companies to describe the condition of a [residence] or vehicle prior to damage. It is the act of restoring the vehicle or [residence] to the condition it was before the damage was caused.” Sounds simple enough, right? Read on. If the body shop repairing your vehicle or the insurance company paying for the repair is solving for the least-expensive repair, they may cut corners by ordering non-OEM (original equipment manufactured) parts to replace the original parts that were damaged. Are aftermarket parts exactly the same as OEM parts? No, they are not. So… by using these less expensive parts, is the shop really restoring your vehicle to its pre-loss condition? No, they are not. And what if, as happens often in the collision industry, the body shop cuts corners with the quality...
SEMA Featuring David Smith Courtesy of SRCS

SEMA Featuring David Smith Courtesy of SRCS

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is once again partnering with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to provide the highest quality industry-focused education available. The SEMA Show 2018 (Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Las Vegas, NV) promises to be the biggest and best assembly of automotive industry professionals yet, and SCRS is investing in the attendees by providing the 2018 Repairer Driven Education Series. As part of this series of seminars, David Smith of Auto Damage Experts has been asked to address the ever-increasing importance of Post Repair Inspections (PRI), and why body shop owners should embrace their role in the industry. Smith will educate shop owners and technicians on the rapidly evolving changes in technology and subsequent liabilities that affect the industry. He will train on what to look for in a PRI, and how to make sure that your shop receives an A+ rating every time. Industry statistics suggest that more than 60% of all repairs performed in America are found to have inadequate or unsafe work being delivered to the customer. At best, this clearly affects the value to the consumer… and could very well affect the safety of them and their loved-ones. “We are living in a period of time where the quality of repair is under greater scrutiny than ever”, says Smith. Shops, owners and even technicians are being named in lawsuits where proper repair procedures have taken a back seat to speed and cost-cutting activities. SCRS offers Smith’s seminar, “Why you should embrace post-repair inspections” as a vital element of providing the highest quality care for your customer, and at the same time,...
What if I Disagree with my Insurance Adjuster

What if I Disagree with my Insurance Adjuster

After an accident occurs and your insurance company writes a low-ball estimate for repairs, you may find yourself asking, “What if I disagree with my insurance adjuster?” It is an all-too-common occurrence when, after an accident, an insurance company goes from being your protection, to being your adversary. You pay them every month of every year to take care of you in case of the unfortunate happening. And when you need them most, they cover your loss such a way as to say, “we care enough to do the very least.” One such instance recently came to our attention. A loyal guest of Nylund’s Collision Center in Englewood, Colorado was involved in an accident, and brought their 2017 Ford Focus RS to the shop for repair. The insurance adjuster came out and took a look at the damage they could see, and wrote an initial estimate for $6,008.84. Nylund’s then disassembled the vehicle and wrote a supplemental estimate for $11,747.38. That supplemental was sent to the insurance company, who – with an obvious attempt to ignore the proper repair – returned with their modified estimate of only $7,596.21. (A deficit of over $4,150 to repair the vehicle correctly.) This is a regular occurrence in the day-to-day operations of body shops vs. insurance companies all across the country. The body shops, (highly trained professionals whose sole job is to REPAIR vehicles correctly) have to fight the insurance adjuster (a highly trained professional whose sole job is to PAY for vehicles to be repaired) to come to an agreement of how much a proper repair actually costs. And day after day,...
Diminished Value Case Study

Diminished Value Case Study

“Without your help, I wouldn’t have known how to make sure my car was fixed right, or how to recover the $4,318.84 in diminished value.” – ADE Client Accidents happen. And when they do, it’s nice to know that you have someone in your corner, looking out for your best interests. Today, we share with you a real-life story (one of many) and how Auto Damage Experts was able to help a newly retired schoolteacher recover more than $4,300. Case Study: 2017 Lexus NX 200t After serving her community as a school teacher for more than 30 years, Susie (name changed to protect her identity) decided to reward herself with a retirement gift of a brand new 2017 Lexus SUV. Just one month later, while she was dining at a local restaurant, another patron backed into her new vehicle causing approximately $4,500 in damages. The at-fault party initially claimed responsibility, but later tried to recant his testimony of responsibility. A friend referred Susie to ADE, and we were able to help her get her vehicle repaired by the local Lexus specialist. We consulted her on everything from how to get a rental car to how she should engage the insurance company and the body shop. Upon performing a post-repair inspection, we recommended a few minor adjustments, and the body shop took care of those without issue. From there, we performed a DV assessment on her new vehicle, and found that the car had suffered $4,318.84 in diminished value. Susie sent the at-fault insurance company our DV assessment, and their response was to send her an offer of $900.00 to...
Diminished Value 101

Diminished Value 101

You might be owed money! If someone else damages your vehicle in a collision, you are most likely entitled to file a diminished value (DV) claim. Even after your car has been repaired (and for the sake of this article, we’ll assume that the repair was performed correctly by skilled experts*), you may be owed thousands of dollars. Before we get into the HOW of filing a diminished value claim, let’s define what the term actually means. Diminished Value is the loss in market value of a property (in this case, your vehicle) due to it having a history of damage. Not to be confused with depreciation (expected wear and tear related loss in value), DV is the result of a sudden and unexpected loss in economic value. In plain English, diminished value is the difference in the amount your car was worth BEFORE it was damaged, and what it would sell for AFTER it was damaged (even if it was repaired properly). Not everyone is eligible to recover a DV claim. In the event that you are the “at-fault” party in the collision, you will not be eligible to claim the diminished value of your vehicle. However, if your damages are the result of another’s negligence, you may be able to collect the remaining loss from the at-fault party or their insurance carrier, if applicable. In order to establish the actual value of a diminished value claim, it is best to contract an independent appraiser who is skilled in the area of post-repair inspections. They are best able to assess the quality of repair, and they know how...

Reconditioned Wheels

What Goes Around…May Just Come Back to Haunt You! Along with many other potentially devastating liabilities faced with in the collision repair industry, as a repairer and now industry advisor and consultant/coach, “Reconditioned Wheels” has been one of my greatest concerns for some time. While called for, and employed across the country on a daily basis, these reclaimed and repaired wheels pose serious and significant safety concerns. My concerns began back in the mid 90’s when I replaced a repaired wheel obtained from a supplier listed within the repair estimate prepared and provided by my customer’s insurer. Several weeks after delivery, the customer came back with a concern over his tire going flat. He’d taken it to his tire store to have it repaired only to find that his tire was fine and that the wheel itself was leaking air, and not around the bead, but through the rim where a repair had been performed and where a remaining crack or fissure remained which allowed air to escape through the rim. I realized then that once damaged and repaired wheels are susceptible to having remaining flaws and defects and the distinct liabilities they posed for me and other repairers. While the opportunity to recondition once damaged wheels surely proves to reduce repair costs for insurers and consumers, the considerable risks of failure and potential for serious property damage, injury and even death and the associated liabilities are just as real and far more significant for repairers. Perhaps no entity understands this better than the Original Equipment Manufacturers such as BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, GM, , Honda, Nissan, Toyota and others...
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