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Total Losses Trending Downward, Says Mitchell Report

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The first quarter 2008 edition of Mitchell International’s Industry Trends Report (ITR) might raise a few collision repairers’ eyebrows in that it offers evidence of total loss insurance claim estimates trending downward. Many in the collision repair industry cite total losses as the main reason why there are too few repairs to be had these days, and that these totals if anything are increasing.

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Not so, says the ITR’s Quarterly Feature, “Total Losses Trending Downwards Since 2004.” Based on findings from a recent Mitchell analysis of total loss estimates, the article reveals that shifts in vehicle mix – including both vehicle types and origins – and the significant differences in total loss rates between those vehicle categories have contributed to driving this downward trend.

“This study revealed a considerable amount of information surrounding the significant impact that vehicle mix and differences in loss rates between vehicle categories have on declining total losses,” said Jamison Day, senior director of Information Solutions at Mitchell International. “For example, we found that the growth of trucks and Asian nameplate vehicles alike have had a compelling effect since they have generally lower total loss rates than cars and domestic nameplate vehicles.”

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Other notable statistical trends highlighted in the ITR include:

  • At $13,649, the average Actual Cash Value of vehicles appraised for Collision losses during Q4-2007 was $331 more than in Q4-2006 and also reflected the presence of slightly older vehicles.
  • The United States passenger car population is now the oldest on the road in its history, with the truck/van/SUV category driving overall average age and value of the total vehicle population.

The complete ITR can be downloaded in PDF format at www.mitchell.com. First published in April 2001, the ITR has grown in both content and circulation, now reaching more than 23,000 collision and casualty industry professionals.

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Mitchell International is a leading provider of information, workflow and performance management solutions to the automotive insurance claims industry, serving carriers, collision repair facilities and other commercial participants in the physical damage and auto-related medical claims markets.

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