Has your car lost value after an accident?
Let’s face it, when an accident happens you are never prepared. Accidents only happen to someone else; after all you’re a good driver. There’s no reason to worry. AND, just because of the last statement, most people in an accident caused by someone else have no idea “what is true” and “what is not true” when it comes to the Diminished Value of the your own vehicle.
You can only be paid for Diminished Value if you are NOT at fault for the accident. Insurance companies will lead you to believe they have all the control over a claim when it is being paid by the at-fault person’s auto policy. Let’s go over some of the Myths about Diminished Value.
Myth 1 – When my vehicle is repaired it will be back to the “Original Value”.
After an accident your vehicle will suffer a loss of value even if the repair looks perfect. Most car dealers or savvy buyers will either look up the VIN number to see it has been in an accident or can spot the repaired damage. Under law, everyone must disclose any accident history when selling a vehicle. After such a disclosure, it will negatively affect the resale value. No one would ever pay the same price for a repaired damaged vehicle that they would pay for one that has never been damaged.
Myth 2 – By Repairing the Vehicle I am made “whole”.
By law the Insurance Company of a negligent party is required to “make you whole”. In order for you to be made “whole” they must pay for the full actual cost of repair, plus the loss of use or rental reimbursement and the Post-Repair Residual Diminished Resale of your vehicle INCLUDING the costs to document the true extent of your damages.
All of this means you must be paid for the Diminished Value your vehicle sustained even after the repairs have been made.
Myth 3 – The Lost Value of the Vehicle cannot exceed the amount of repairs.
The cost of the repairs will have no bearing on the Diminished Value of your vehicle. The Diminished Value will include many factors such as your city and correct market value data. When only a formula is used to figure DV, the calculated loss can be significantly lower. An expert can determine the true DV based on the investigation and inspection of the vehicle.
Even if your vehicle is a total loss, you need to be sure they are paying you for the fair value before you agree on a settlement.
Myth 4 – My Car hasn’t lost Value if the Repairs were done Correctly.
If your vehicle had no prior significant damage history you will be entitled to Diminished Value regardless of the repairs. An insurance company will try to argue that you are not entitled to collect the DV, but they may offer you a low figure just to settle, if the subject is broached. Never accept any amount until you know the facts.
Myth 5 – The Insurance Company will always pay for Diminished Value.
The Insurance Company will never pay for the Diminished Value unless it is brought up. When the subject is out, they will make you an offer usually as low as possible and it may not include all the expenses. The only way to get what you are truly owed is to hire an expert. An expert knows how to correctly figure the entire DV amount according to your specific area and loss. The insurance company is obligated to pay ALL costs associated with making you whole, including the cost of hiring a Diminished Value expert and other related costs.
If you are involved in an accident and feel you may be owed Diminished Value, contact me for your personalized Diminished Value Appraisal as soon as possible. You have 3 years from the date of collision to file your claim.