Unfortunately, state insurance laws permit the insurance company to use non manufacturer's parts and repair certain portions of damaged vehicles to the extent that they can do so and such replacement will not interfere with the operation of the vehicle when it is repaired. That is how they keep costs down. If you can get a repair center to certify that certain parts must be replaced with manufacturer's parts for some reason, then the insurer must pay for them -- otherwise, you can take it to another shop and have it repaired with manufacturer's parts as you believe that it should be repaired, but they will only pay up to the price of the substitute parts that they are permitted to authorize for use on your daughter's car. They should have to replace the trunk and fenders though, if these were damaged in the accident.
Regarding "diminished value" -- the law and the insurance industry do not recognize diminished value -- if the car is repaired, looks good and runs fine, then you will be able to sell it or trade it in for the book value on that vehicle and you are under no obligation to disclose that it was in an accident to any potential purchaser or dealer that she trades it in to at a later date.
I absolutely agree with you that it stinks -- but it is perfectly legal. I have been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment from insurance companies myself and they will not do anything more than they are required to do under the law. I wish I had better news for you here, but I don't.
Good luck with your daughter's condition.
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The states where diminished value language cannot be used in an insurance policy are Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas and Maryland. The language prohibiting a diminished value claim is in your insurance policy -- and is permitted in Lousiana. If the police are successful in locating the other driver and you can make a claim against that driver then you probably can bring a diminished value claim against that drivers insurance company because neither you nor your daughter have a direct contract with that insurer. Here is a recent article from the insurance industry on the subject: http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/diminished-car-value.html
Trust me, if there is a way around something, the insurance industry will find it. You should check your/her policy, however, just on the off chance that language excluding diminished value claims is not in the policy.
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