by | Aug 3, 2020

Is there more money the insurance company owes you from your last auto claim? You could be entitled to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in diminished value to your vehicle.

What is Diminished Value?

Diminished value, in general terms, is the difference between the current value of an object as compared to the value before a particular event or time period. More specifically as it relates to your vehicle, how much less is your car worth after the repairs to your vehicle. There are formulas that can try to calculate your loss, but they are flawed in nature. There are several reasons these formula calculations are flawed but let us focus on how to get an accurate assessment of the diminished value. You should have a reputable and experienced auto appraiser calculate the loss amount. The diminished value is best calculated by averaging quotes from reputable car sales managers and comparing that average to the actual cash value of the vehicle just prior to the loss. The quotes obtained from the sales managers are accurate sale values for a vehicle after a repair and perhaps with a Carfax record.

To better understand the diminished value better, let us look at it from a car buyer’s standpoint. Now imagine you are at a car dealership and you want to buy a used 2019 Nissan Altima. The salesman shows you two vehicles that are identical in color, mileage, options, and everything else with one exception. That exception is that one of those vehicles was in an accident and has been repaired. Now if both vehicles had a price of $19,500, would you accept the damage and repaired vehicle and not care that you could have had the undamaged vehicle? The answer is obviously no! Even if the repairs were done over and above industry standards for auto body repairs. So, the question is, who much would the salesman need to reduce the repaired vehicle’s price for you to buy the damaged one instead of the undamaged one. Now obviously there are many factors that would come into play like how much damage, how much of the vehicle was painted, was there structural damage, was there mechanical damage and was the factory warranty affected. Once you have the answers to your questions, now you can determine how much you are willing to pay for the damaged vehicle instead of buying the undamaged one. Maybe that adjusted price for most people is $17,500. The diminished value is therefore $2,000. Because of factors such as, the classification of a vehicle like exotic, luxury or standard auto and current market trends and demands are not considered in the standard formulas like the Georgia 17c, a simple multiplier formula cannot possibly calculate the diminished value accurately.

Does Every Vehicle Have A Diminishment in Value After Repairs?

Is a repaired and refinished vehicle worth less that one never repairer? The answer is simple. Yes! So, every vehicle that was involved in a loss and had repairs have suffered a diminishment in value. There is a wrinkle in this though. What if the vehicle has already been repaired once, twice, or more before the recent damage? There is a diminishment in value, but it would be less than if the recent damages were the only damage in the vehicle’s history.

Does Diminished Value Apply to My Vehicle Claim?

Every state is different in their rulings, statutes, and laws on this matter. Some states recognize diminished value for first-party and third-party claims, some for just third-party, and other states do not recognize diminished value as recoverable damage under an insurance policy. The state in which the at-fault party’s insurance policy is written would often reflect the availability for diminished value coverage. Our office can assist you with recognizing which state covers diminished value and for which party.

How Old Can My Accident be to File a Diminished Value Claim?

The statute of limitations varies state-by-state. For example, Florida Statutes section 95.11 says that a four-year time limit applies to injury (damage) to personal property. So, it is important to check with the applicable state statue for where the loss occurred.

How Much Will I Get?

The amount you can be awarded for your diminished value loss is directly related to the severity of the damage and the market value of the vehicle before the loss. I have seen settlements for as little as $200.00 to as much as $60,000.00. The average or a standard vehicle is about $1,500. The diminished value on exotic and luxury vehicles is much more complicated, but they often start at about $8,000 and can exceed $50,000. $15,000 would be a typical diminished value settlement for an exotic vehicle like a Lamborghini Huracan.

Who Pays Me for My Diminished Value?

The at-fault insurance company is likely to payout on your diminished value in most states. Ultimately, it is the at-fault driver who is responsible for the diminished value, and is the policy and state allow for the coverage, the insurance carrier will pay.

How Do I Submit a Diminished Value?

We have a Diminished Value Submission Form on our website. Just complete a few questions and we can qualify your claim. You can also call our Diminished Value hotline at (305) 599-4090.

If you need legal assistance for your Florida diminished value claims, check out this amazing attorney, Craig Dermis, that specializes in diminished value claims. His law firm is The Collision Law Center and he can be reached at (305) DV-Money.



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