NU Online News Service, Nov. 2, 2:50 p.m. EST

The average vehicle crash damage repair on an adjusted basis increased $164 in the third quarter, according to an electronic processing provider for the collision industry.

San Diego-based Mitchell International said in the third quarter average gross appraisal value for comprehensive coverage estimates processed through company servers was $2,468 compared to $2,356 in the same period for 2008.

Applying a development factor of 2.1 percent for this data set, the firm said, produces an adjusted value of $2,520, a $164 increase from this same period last year.

Average gross appraisal value is the average repair cost for cars damaged in an insurance claim that are going to be repaired.

Mitchell said on average, the third-quarter actual cash value of vehicles appraised for collision losses was $12,188–$829 less than the period in 2008–reflecting the continuing lower value of today’s vehicle mix.

Actual cash value is the value of those vehicles on average before they were damaged.

Mitchell in its pricing calculations employs the Mitchell Collision Parts Price Index (MCPPI), a metric similar to the Consumer Price Index but created specifically for the collision repair industry.

The firm said it discovered that due to the substitution effect of aftermarket parts, estimate severity has deceased despite rising original equipment manufacturer part prices.

Mitchell said its MCPPI is based on the industry’s most comprehensive data for the top-20 most-replaced collision parts, which can be used to assess how inflationary trends by part type impact the collision repair community.

Greg Horn, Mitchell vice president of industry relations, said in a statement, “Comparing our supporting data from the MCPPI with trends in severity and the national rate of inflation shows that a clear substitution effect is at work, causing average gross repairable estimate severity to decline, despite rising OEM parts prices.”

Mr. Horn added, “As repairers opt to substitute more economically viable used or aftermarket parts in place of costly OEM parts in ever-larger numbers, the net effect has been a decrease in parts dollars and increase in labor dollars on repairable estimates in recent years.”