I was a little leery of paying an appraiser to appraise a car that was only worth $13-14000... As it turned out, the insurance company paid an additional amount equal to 3 times the appraisal fee...It was well worth the cost.
— Phil Roth, CPA
There have been some reported cases where insurance companies have pressured auto body repair shops to label frame repairs anything other than actual “frame repair.” The logic behind this, however sinister it may be, is to avoid paying a significantly higher Diminished Value claim (if they pay it at all, with unreported frame damage).
When a vehicle's frame has been damaged, it may be fixable, but the financial damage is permanent. Assuming it is accurately documented, a vehicle is valued significantly less due to the stigma to consumers who are in the market for a vehicle.
Another setback related to a frame-damaged vehicle is the likelihood that a car dealership will reject it altogether. We know from firsthand accounts that certified used vehicle programs have strict standards when it comes to a vehicle'works repair history. For instance, Toyota’s program instructs its used vehicle inspectors to “Check frame to be sure no damage has been done to frame; no non-factory welds; no cracks; not bent; no evidence of flood damage." If you don’t achieve a certified pre-owned status, you’ve potentially lost thousands in the value of your vehicle. In 2009, CNN Money did a value comparison between used and certified pre-owned vehicles. Here are a few examples of the dramatic differences:
Used 2007: $14,713
Certified used 2007: $18,114
Used 2007: $23,304
Certified used 2007: $27,892
Used 2007: $19,215
Certified used 2007: $22,157
If you've been in an accident make sure you have a trustworthy appraisal and repair assessment so you can get what you deserve in your next car accident claim.