Diminished Vehicle Value: Necessary Steps to Filing Your Claim

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s essential to remember that the damage done to your vehicle has decreased its value. Even after your vehicle is repaired, it still won’t be worth as much as you may like when you try to sell or trade it in. This being said, it’s imperative to have a good understanding of diminished value claims.

To successfully file a diminished value claim, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

  • Be certain of who’s at fault – This is of utmost importance because if you are at fault for the accident, you cannot file a diminished value claim, no exceptions.
  • Be sure that your vehicle is newer and more expensive – Simply put, if your vehicle is older or costs under $10,000, you’re not going to get enough compensation to make filing a claim worth it. I recommend filing a diminished value claim for a vehicle that is two years old or less.
  • Make sure that your insurance company pays to fix your vehicle – Do not ask the insurance company of the at-fault party to pay for your vehicle damages; otherwise, you likely won’t be able to file a claim. When getting damages fixed through your own insurance, you will be entitled to more money to fix your vehicle. The only downside to this is that you will have to pay your deductible, but in the long term, it will work out better for you.
  • Do not let your insurance company be compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance – Your insurance company, once they have paid to fix your vehicle, will go to the at-fault party’s insurance to get the money paid back to them. It is very important that you tell your insurance that it does NOT have permission to do this. If your insurance company gets paid through the at-fault insurance, they get the money that could be owed to you from your diminished value claim.
  • Get your vehicle appraised by an independent appraiser – You need to have this information available to present to your insurance company to send to the at-fault insurance.

When you have taken these steps and have had your vehicle appraised, it is common for insurance companies to argue if your vehicle is worth what you have said it is. Because of the many steps involved and the inevitable fight involved with diminished claims, I recommend having an experienced attorney on your side when filing the claim.

For more information on diminished value claims, visit our iTunes page to listen to my “Diminished Value Claims” episode of my weekly talk show.

  • JR Reynolds

    Wouldn’t the experienced attorney fee’s equate the payout of the insurance company? I have a 2014 dodge van brand new paid $24k msrp was $29k wife was rear ended by their insured. damages were $920 and the repairs look like crap so they are re-doing repairs this week. Now allstate says the van has no diminished value. They said it doesn’t have any diminished value when the repairs are completed to your satisfaction. This guy was a real winner! I talked on the phone to the DV adjuster. We went around for an hour on the phone he said basically it is going to take a lot of paper work and documentation for them to even consider a DV claim and it is my burden of proof and until I prove anything they will pay NOTHING. Now I then said well I plan on trading it in march 1st. The adjuster said “oh is it a lease”? I said yeah, he said well then when you trade it in there will be a difference. Then I said oh so if I paid cash and never leased there would be no difference when I trade it in? He said well are you trading it in? I said yes I am so we will just leave this claim open and when I trade it in I will have the dealer and independent inspector do all the paper work and hopefully submit all that to allstate and I can be made whole again for my diminished value trade in. ALLSNAKE SUCKS!!!