How to Know You Have a Diminished Value Case
Even if you have a great auto body repair shop, a vehicle isn’t the same after a crash. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have a Diminished Value case until it comes time to sell the vehicle. Insurance companies will sometimes award a settlement even if a car has decreased value after it’s been repaired. Doesn’t sound fair, right?
Diminished Value is one of the auto insurance industry’s best kept secrets. Some companies will automatically issue an amount for the repair, but never tell the consumer about diminished value. However, you can file a diminished value claim even after you’ve been awarded a settlement for the repairs. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Always Talk to a Diminished Value Expert
Talking to a licensed diminished value expert will give you options. Most automobile appraisers work for the insurance company so it is important to have an auto appraiser that is objective and never works for the insurance company. Autoloss is a national company that has been in business for over 15 years. Autoloss never works for the insurance company so we can be objective regarding the loss in value of your vehicle. Knowing the intricacies of your diminished value claim is very important. The loss in value of your vehicle could be in thousands.
Qualifications of a Diminished Value Claims
As long as you have a newer vehicle with over $500 damage you may have a diminished value claim. Smart shoppers will never purchase a wrecked vehicle unless they get a significant discount. The insurance company at fault may be legally bound to pay the diminished value but the consumer has the burden of proof to prove the loss. Diminished value legally is the value of the vehicle before the loss vs. after the loss.
The implications of collision damage might not appear until months, or even years, after the incident. Black mold is hidden in the upholstery and corroded brakes that give out on the highway nine months after a storm pose serious health risks. If your vehicle has significant water damage, the diminished value might be the entire market price of the car.
Get Proactive Post-Accident
You have the right to choose your own auto appraiser. Call Autoloss today to get a free diminished value quote. Many times, the insurance company is giving the client penny’s on the dollar on what their diminished value claim is really worth. It’s up to you to determine the diminished value losses following an accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies have one job – to make money. They’re not going to be eager to write a check for a higher amount. Call us today so you don’t settle for less.
Am I Eligible for a Diminished Value Appraisal?
In order to claim Diminished Value, we consider a set of prerequisites. While we will do our best to get you the compensation you deserve, your claim depends on the type of damage incurred on your vehicle and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Questions to ask yourself before seeking a Diminished Value appraiser include:
1. Who is at fault? Diminished value claims in Oregon cannot be processed for drivers who are at fault in an accident. If you were hit, at no fault of your own, then you are eligible for a diminished value appraisal. If, however, the circumstances surrounding your car accident put you at fault for your own damages and those to other vehicles, a diminished value claim will not be possible.
2. What sort of damage are we dealing with? Frame damage requires a deep assessment due to the manufacturer practice of using lighter materials, which are more complex and require deeper analysis to determine diminished value. A few things we look for when assessing frame damage include: – High strength, low alloy materials and high-strength steel: Both of these newer grades have strict requirements for welding and heat treatment.
- Hydro-formed components
- Repair shop MIG welds vs. factory spot welds.
- Foam-filled or aluminum composite construction.
- Corrosion protection.
3. Ownership: If you own your vehicle, you are entitled to a diminished value appraisal. Vehicle owners are the only ones allowed to receive compensation for a vehicle’s loss in value. However, in the case of an accident, notify your leasing company, which may allow you to collect on their behalf if you offer to purchase the vehicle.
4. Exotic cars: For vehicles costing over $100,000, we recommend that you not only seek out the best appraiser but consider applying for loss of use for your vehicle during the time that it is unavailable. For a list of the exotic cars that we are authorized to appraise, click here. However, keep in mind that to qualify, all cars, exotic or not, must be worth over $10,000 and have over $500 in damage.
5. Stock original or restored? The state of your vehicle prior to damage plays a role in our estimate of lost value. Because we do a detailed breakdown of upgrades and modifications made to original models, the more you know about the original make of your car and any work performed since, the better.
As nationwide leaders in diminished value appraisal, we make sure to consider every facet of your vehicle and accident in order to get you the best compensation. Your awareness of the above vehicle and accident facts will help ensure that we can take on your case and provide you with the excellent results you deserve.
Essentials of an Effective Diminished Value Report
If you are seeking a diminished value claim on a vehicle, when filing the claim with the insurance company, one essential element is the diminished value report. Not all reports are created equal. It’s important that it lays out all the important details, stating your case in the most effective manner possible. Here are some of the most crucial details to include:
- Identifying Features of the Vehicle: This is fairly rudimentary stuff, but it’s important to have a detailed layout of all the identifying features of the vehicle in the report, from the make and model, all the way to the smallest of upgrades.
- Damage Assessment: Your diminished value report should include a thorough assessment of the vehicle’s damage. This starts with a detailed report of the condition the vehicle was in prior to the accident, which helps establish the pre-loss fair market value. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, since every vehicle depreciates differently, depending on various factors, such as market demand, brand, and manufacturing quality.
- Local Comparables: When you are making a case for what your vehicle is worth, a comprehensive list of local comparables is essential. The diminished value report should include four or more dealer-advertised prices on vehicles that closely resemble yours, including the year, make, model, body style, engine configuration, and other optional features. Dealer examples are preferable to private party, since laypeople will have a higher probability of placing an unrealistic price on their vehicle than the professionals at a well-established and reputable dealership.