• Generally speaking, you don't. One of the roles of auto insurance is to pay for the repair of vehicles. These repairs are done to the satisfaction of the insurance company. This may not always satisfy you, but that is where claims arbitration comes in. It is not the role of the insurance company to protect an 'investment' in a vehicle. They have played their part when they paid for the repairs, unless you took out a special rider on a rare or special vehicle to protect it against this sort of loss. Regardless, the value of your car is only realized when it is sold. Accident damage may affect the value of the car when you sell it, but it may take a back seat to things such as vehicle age, mileage, service duty, maintenance state, rust, outstanding repairs, and so on. All of these affect the value of the car, too.
  • I don't know where you live, but if the car was repaired after an accident, why tell anyone about it when you go to sell it? If the panel beater was any good in the first place, it should be very hard to tell anything about any accident and or repair after he has done his job.
  • First, I wouldn't recommend being less than honest when selling the car in the future. While it's up to the buyer to do his homework, it's the right thing to do. Having a lower value on the car (if, in fact, it does) after an accident is one of those things. Property depreciates and get's damaged over time. We don't get compensaated for that. Just be glad you and the car are both okay.
  • The term for the loss you describe is "diminished value" and you should be compensated for it. Unfortunately the amount is difficult, though not impossible to determine. It will be a somewhat subjective amount. Sellers must, by law, disclose any major wrecks/repairs to a vehicle. Look at the CarFax ads. Assume you have two identical vehicles, one which has been repaired after a wreck and one which was never in a wreck. A knowledgeable buyer will ALWAYS opt for the one which was never wrecked. People in the know put the diminished value at between 15 and 18% of the value before the wreck. Since this number is variable, whether you choose to fight for the $$$ is a matter of how much and how much your time is worth. Insurance companies will not offer to compensate will make it difficult to collect.

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