After an accident, it should be your expectation that your vehicle be returned to pre-loss condition. That is what your repair shop should strive for, and it is what your insurance company promises you. But, any ambiguity in the meaning of that term could leave you with a different expectation of your level of repair than what your insurance company expects to have to deliver. At Medine’s we find it helpful to have everyone “on the same page” from the day you walk through our door. So this Baton Rouge repair shop explains how to define pre-loss condition.
According to USLegal.com, pre-loss condition is defined as “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.” Like many legal definitions, this leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but there are a few things that are clear. First, it means you are not automatically entitled to a new car. You’d be surprised how many people make that assumption. Second, it means your automobile will be repaired as close as possible to the condition your vehicle was in the instant prior to an accident, which is where the interpretation starts. In order to get a clearer definition of what that means, let’s look at four specific categories that make up pre-loss condition.
Defining Function In Pre-Loss Condition
Does your vehicle, and all parts of your vehicle, perform the way it did before the accident? From the body down to the chassis, everything that was repaired or replaced needs to work the way it did prior to the accident. This means, down to fit and finish, there shouldn’t be any ill-fitting parts. If it affects how the car drives, how the car looks, or how the car feels, it should be brought back to the way it was before the accident.
Defining Safety In Pre-Loss Condition
The safety of your vehicle after an accident is simultaneously the most important and most overlooked aspect of your post-accident repair. This is where the issue of aftermarket parts usually comes into play. If aftermarket parts are used in your repair, the possibility is left open that your vehicle may not respond to the next accident with the same safety redundancies that it had in the previous accident. This can affect everything from crumple zones to airbag timing and must be addressed before you are back on the road.
Defining Value In Pre-Loss Condition
Some argue that because of diminished value, it is impossible to return your vehicle’s value to pre-loss condition. But, diminished value actually breaks down into three areas inherent, repair related, and insurance related. While nothing can be done about inherent diminished value, repair related and insurance related diminished value can be minimized. Repair related diminished value can be minimized by the repair shop doing the job right. Insurance related diminished value can be minimized by the repair shop hold the insurance company accountable for everything that needs to be done.
Defining Appearance In Pre-Loss Condition
When it comes to appearance, it goes without saying that all areas of your vehicle should look the same as they did before the accident. But, what about beyond what the naked eye can see? A closer inspection should reveal that replaced parts should fit seamlessly with existing parts. When they don’t it will affect the function of those parts.
Once you have defined what pre-loss condition is, the next step is to guarantee that pre-loss condition is what you get with your post-accident repair. If you feel that the repairs you received have left you short of pre-loss condition, you still have options. Getting a Wreck Check Car Scan is the most comprehensive inspection of your post-accident repairs and will remove any shadow of doubt about what needed to be done. As Medine’s is Baton Rouge’s only certified Wreck Check Car Scan Center, we would would be happy to walk you through the process.