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What is a diminished value?

What is a diminished value claim?
Diminished value is a term used to refer to the value reduction in automobiles after it has been in an accident. Even though the vehicle is repaired by the best experts, it might still have a lower resale value than another vehicle that has not been in an accident. It can, therefore, be described as the difference between a vehicles market price before and after an accident. It is important to understand that diminished car value is different from depreciation. Depreciation is the drop in the value of a vehicle over time.

It is worth mentioning that these claims do not apply to every vehicle that has been in an accident and has been repaired. For older car models that are repaired and newer parts replace old parts, the value of the car might be higher.

What is diminished value insurance claim?

This is a claim where the car owner requests an amount of money from their insurance company so as to compensate them for the difference between their car value before the accident and the value of their car after repair. For newer cars, this value can add up to thousands of dollars.

The insurance company will pay your claim depending on the circumstances behind the accident and the state you live in. every state has their own policies and so do different insurance companies. Therefore, some car owners can make a claim while others cannot. If the accident was your fault, most companies will not compensate you for the reduced value. However, if the accident was caused by another driver you shall receive compensation.

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Making a diminished value insurance claim

You need to understand that it is the responsibility of the policyholder to prove that the repaired car is worth less than it did before the accident. You, therefore, need to have all the necessary documentation.
The first thing to do after the accident is to have the car repaired. Ensure you contact the insurance company for specific instructions on where to have the car repaired. After the repair work is complete, you can have the car appraised. Hire a professional appraiser to evaluate the current value of the car.
To establish how much value has been lost, you need to know the pre-accident value of the car. That is why you need to find the value of the car before the accident. Find the value of a vehicle of the same model, make, mileage and condition within your geographical area. Present this information to the insurance company.
With this information, you are now ready to file a claim with your insurance company. Make sure you pursue the claim as soon as possible. Ideally, it should be a few days after the accident. The insurance company will resist paying but be persistent. They will offer you a lower settlement payment so as to sort the issue quickly. Ensure you hold on for a higher offer. You have the option to hire an attorney or take the claim to small claims court.


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Every insurance company has a different way of handling this claim. Understand the process before giving up. You need supportive documents to prove that the vehicle’s market value did actually decrease after repair. For guidance, talk to your claims adjuster to help the process along.

Read more about how to make a diminished value claim 

Also Worth Reading diminished value explained

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