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My car was vandalized.  Damage (dent and cracked paint) to passenger door and rear quarter panel keyed.  I brought it to a local body repair shop and an estimate and pictures sent to my insurance company and the claim approved.  Upon completion of the body work I noticed the following day that the key damage on the rear quarter panel had not been properly repaired and the various areas on the new paint contained scratches.  I took the car back to the repair shop and pointed it out to the body shop owner.  He buffed the car to remove the scratches.  Later, I noticed that the buff job had streaked the clear coat on the paint.  Additionally, upon closer scrutiny of the repair job I noticed that the metal contained slight rolls in it. I decided to take it to another body shop for a second opinion and the body repairman agreed that the metal was indeed still bent.  Not severely so but enough to be noticed.  I then called the dealership where I bought the car and talked to the body shop repairman.  It was his opinion that the damage should have been repaired with a new factory skin instead of the traditional repair using bondo.  I've not spoken with my insurance yet but I'm sure that he will tell me to go back to the body shop that made the unsatisfactory repairs.  Additionally, After two tries I'm doubbtful of a satisfactory result.   I've got a new car that's devalued due to subpar work and would like to have the repairs made by the body shop where I purchased the vehicle new.  So, do I have any recourse with my insurance company?

I'll await your reply and thank you,

Bob Smith


  Sorry for the delay.  

  So here's the deal.  You don't have any recourse against your insurance company.  If you can prove that the repair work is not up to expected / industry standards, then you have a beef with the body shop and only the body shop.

  You might be surprised at what kind of repair quality will pass as "acceptable" according to the industry.  Repairs will never be perfect (although I have seen some impeccable repairs) and in about 6 states now, a person can recover the lost value due to stigma (inherent diminished value) from their own policy on a claim like vandalism.  You're in Alabama, so no go there.  The case law is not in your favor there (see Pritchett v State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 834 So.2d 785 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002).

  If the repairs are sub-par, you need an expert to document it for you and the only responsible party is the repair facility.  Depending on the amount of your damages, small claims court might be an option.  Look me up if you need more.  I hope this helps.  Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!  

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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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