How Can You Obtain Your Vehicle’s Diminished Value From Your Insurance Agency?

If your car has been in a wreck, one unpleasant fact which must be faced is that it is now worth less than the same model of car which has not been in an accident.

This decrease in value is known as “diminished value.” What is not commonly known is that your insurance company, or the insurance company of the person who caused your accident, can be made to pay you the difference in the diminished value of your car.

car, salvage crashThe trick to getting this payment is first, knowing about it, and secondly, requesting it.

Many insurance companies will deny such a claim at first, trying to keep customers from cashing in on this value. However, it is important that you get a check for your diminished value because when you sell your vehicle, you will probably receive less than market price.

In these days of “show me the Carfax,” a car which has been in an accident will not go long undetected.

Buyers are aware of this, and often seek out reports which show the history of the car which they are buying. It is almost certain that a car with an accident in its history will bring less in a sale than one which has not been wrecked.

Because of this, it is vital that you claim your diminished value immediately upon having a claim filed on your vehicle.

There are steps you can take to ensure that your company pays you the full diminished value claim, and does not try to put you off with unnecessary roadblocks.

You must realize that your diminished value claim will be filed and handled separately from your liability, collision, or comprehensive claim. You will be dealing with an adjustor separately from your original claim, although the same adjustor may handle both and some of the same paperwork may be involved.

There are three basic types of diminished value claims, although only one is commonly granted. You might have a diminished value claim if the repair work on your car was substandard, or if the adjustor wrote up an estimate which notes that, for example, aftermarket parts were used when factory parts should have been utilized.

Both of these types are uncommon and may require a bit of expert help. The third type, the inherent diminished value claim, is the most common and easiest to file.

You should notify your insurance company that you want to file a diminished value claim after your liability or collision claim has been handled.

The company will assign an adjustor to your claim who will contact you for information. You should have the following pieces of information ready to show to the adjustor:

1) You were not at fault in the accident.
2) The at-fault party was insured or you have uninsured motorist coverage if the at-fault party was uninsured.
3) Your vehicle is a newer model (less than 10 years old).
4) The damage totaled at least 10 percent of the value of the car, or $2,000 minimum.
5) The car was not “totaled,” in which case you would have been paid the value of the vehicle anyway.

If you can show these things to the adjustor, then insist that the claim be filed. If you continue to run into problems, you may have to resort to having a lawyer or professional review the case and write to the insurer to pursue the payment.

However, it is well worth it if you can get the money you will be losing due to the stigma of having a car which has been wrecked.

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