<< I am not saying anyone did something illegal or fradulent, but, that to place a claim for full value of a loss then do nothing to repair the loss in unethical.I will not be changing my opinion on this matter.To each his own,Dan >>IMHO, the only way this would be unethical is if the person who did not repair the damage went on to claim the same damage twice. ie, you take the money, don't repair the damage, then get into another accident. In essence you are paid again for the same damage but you didn't get the damage fixed. In my state you have a choice to have it fixed or not fixed (and a choice to do it yourself) but the insurance company inspects the vehicle to make sure the repair was completed. If you decide to keep the money then they subtract the settlement from the next accident claim that occurs in the same spot so that you can't double-dip. (I don't know for sure but my impression is that this is tracked so that you can't just change insurance companies to "beat" the system.)In this case there seems to be some anquish over not doing the repair, then junking the car years down the road. But the person with the scratch/dent will have to live with that ugly damage for years. That's what makes it ethical, IMO, because the choice is to live with the damage and keep the money or get it fixed. If you keep the money it is compensation for having to put up with the unsightly damage until you get rid of the car.You can't say that the damage doesn't matter because you aren't going to fix it therefore we won't pay. To me that would be highly unethical. The people up the street hit the car so they have to deal with the loss in value. There really is a loss of value. If you went to sell the car the buyer would either make you fix the damage or subtract the value of the repair from the Kelly blue book value.
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