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Old 01-04-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Questions on Diminished Values Claim

Long story short, the Boxster was damaged by a very-inattentive teenager who decided to throw her SUV into reverse at a red light (side road waiting to turn left onto main road, at night) to make a U-turn.

So far the repair is over $3k, new hood, latch, striker, crest, paint blend, and frunk bulkhead (where latch bolts on) pulled back into shape.

Seeing how my Box hadn't had bodywork done to it previously, no repaired/replaced panels, and no Carfax/Autocheck hits... how do I go about filing a diminished values claim? The car just ticked 110k on it, maintenance is up-to-date (save for the rear track arms), and even the body shop guys were full of compliments (not that it means anything).

I'm wondering if I should pursue that (since my car isn't really "the same" afterward) or not bother since the age/mileage of it. Thanks guys.

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Old 01-04-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
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I think the first thing you need to determine is the pre accident market value of your car and compare it to its diminished value after repairs.

If the difference is more than a couple thousand dollars then it may be worth your time and effort to file a claim.

I think the values are by their value books and any deviation from that means you'll need to prove it somehow. I would not rule out small claims court action as well if they don't want to be reasonable.

Its all in what you can prove is reasonable to either the insurance company or a judge, and how much hassle the insurance company is willing to go through themselves.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
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Lawyer up!
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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Yes, you'll need an appraisal of the pre-accident value. This is best provided by a professional auto appraiser. In a perfect world, the appraisal would have been performed prior to the accident and that your insurance company can verify that the appraisal was the basis for the insured value of the car.

You can still get a post-accident appraisal of the car's value prior to the accident but the insurance company may not accept it since it was after the fact and they will assume that it was rigged to show a certain value.

Then you'll need a post-repair appraisal showing the value after repair. The difference between the two is the diminished value lost simply because the car was in an accident. Again, the hard part is getting the insurance company to accept/recognize the post-repair value.

In summary, you're looking at a prolonged fight with the insurance company, so if its not a substantial value, then it might not be worth the time and effort.

This is all based on my personal experience with a classic car. I bought the car for $2K and restored it. Then I had two professional appraisals done so I could get the insurance value increased to the market value. Both appraisals showed the car was now worth $15K. I submitted all of this documentation to my insurance agent.

Shortly thereafter, the car was involved in an accident at my fault. I asked for the $8K in repairs to be paid from my comprehensive coverage. The insurance company came back and said that the car would be totaled since the value was only $2K (purchase price). I argued that the value was increased by the restoration and submitted the same two appraisals.

After quite a bit of back and forth with the insurance company, I found out that my insurance agent never submitted the appraisals to the insurance company. So, I was right and the insurance company was right.

After much, much, much more arguing; the insurance agent was fired, my car was repaired under my comprehensive coverage, and my insurance policy was cancelled the day that I picked up the car from the repair shop.
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Last edited by thstone; 11-16-2017 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:27 AM   #5
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I hate insurance companies.

Did I mention that I hate insurance companies.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:50 AM   #6
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Its funny how the insurance companies like to drop someone after they have a loss.

I had an accident at my fault where I dinged another cars tail light and broke it on a slippery icy snowy winding road. The company raised my monthly premium by $100 over a $250 tail light bill. Granted I was a relatively inexperienced young driver at 20 yrs old but I had no speeding or other accidents in that time.

Needless to say I switched companies immediately and got a rate that was lower than the other companies normal rate for better coverage.

Tom, good to know that persistence and knowing your consumer rights can still lead to a fair outcome.
How long did that arguing take, and what level of management approval was needed to finally accept your claim?

I had never even heard of "Diminished Value" claims until joining this forum.
Information and knowing your rights gives you the power to get whats fair.

Perhaps those Oregon Ranchers are doing the same.
Fighting for the rights that were hard earned by their family and patriots before them.

Rex, insurance companies are just big fat cows that need to be squeezed the right way to get the desired results. Just make sure that you don't try to milk a bull though
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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It depends on how hard the process is. I'd fill out a claim, but I'd move on if it turned into more than that.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:12 AM   #8
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I have had 2 diminished value claims, both coming from accidents where I was not at fault.

Case 1: NC Circa 1997 - Relatively new Chevy Lumina that we had bought 3 days before, wife was turning left on a green arrow, she was the 3rd car through the light when she was t-boned my an elderly man running the red light. Insurance company paid for all repairs, etc.. (10,000? the whole left side of the car was torn up) and I got a letter on the dealer's letterhead that said the car's value was diminished by $2,500 as a result of the accident. Appraiser agreed, and I got a check for $2,500. His insurance co was USAA, at the time I was on Geico.

Case 2: FL 2015 - an elderly man ran a red light and I hit him with my 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Spun him around pretty good too Around $2,500 in damage. After the damage was repaired but before the claim was closed, I told the agent I wanted $500 in diminished value damages and they gave it to me with no trouble). He was 90+ and a WWII vet - he took full responsibility and we had a nice conversation. I followed up and he was fine after the accident but surrendered his license and gave up driving after this accident. I thanked him for his service and considered it an honor to meet him. His insurance company was Progressive, same as mine.

Around $20-25% of the repair costs seems to be a good starting point for diminished value. Some states do not allow that type of claim though, I had a friend in SC try to do one and was told that it was not allowed. He may have gotten "handled" though by the agent...

In my opinion you should definitely go for it - your car most certainly has suffered a loss of value and you should be compensated for it.

Steve

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Old 01-05-2016, 07:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotanova View Post
It depends on how hard the process is. I'd fill out a claim, but I'd move on if it turned into more than that.
For both of mine it was very easy - a phone call and then submitted a letter documenting the value of the claim for one of them. The other one, verbal was all I needed to do, and also sign the release form from the insurance co. Free money$$$$
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:40 AM   #10
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Diminished Value claim in Florida | State Laws Related to Diminished Value
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:38 PM   #11
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True! I agree.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:15 AM   #12
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My car was hit in 2009 and the other driver was fully liable. I told their insurance up front that I wanted to pursue diminished value and once the car was repaired they paid to have it inspected. The inspection was essentially a quick look to be sure it all seemed ok. Then the inspector, who their insurance hired, told me it was almost always 30-35% of the repair costs. Which they paid without challenging. So in this case with a $3k bill you should be looking for a $1k or so check.

The appraiser also mentioned that if the insurance company fought that claim, he'd go to court and then they'd have to pay the 30-35% and legal fees plus his time to go to court and dispute it.

YMMV, but I'd be expecting about $1k and hopefully it's just a call to the person administering your claim and possibly an appraisal/inspection. The insurance company I dealt with tried to say that to get the diminished value I had to sign off all liability for the rest of the claim including medical, I'm not sure that's legal, but it may be something they try so be wary.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:44 PM   #13
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That sounds like something the agent's own errors and omissions policy should have covered. It sucks that your insurance company cancelled your policy as a result. On the plus side for you, you probably weren't paying for the extra insured value since your agent never submitted the paperwork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Yes, you'll need an appraisal of the pre-accident value. This is best provided by a professional auto appraiser. In a perfect world, the appraisal would have been performed prior to the accident and that your insurance company can verify that the appraisal was the basis for the insured value of the car.

You can still get a post-accident appraisal of the car's value prior to the accident but the insurance company may not accept it since it was after the fact and they will assume that it was rigged to show a certain value.

Then you'll need a post-repair appraisal showing the value after repair. The difference between the two is the diminished value lost simply because the car was in an accident. Again, the hard part is getting the insurance company to accept/recognize the post-repair value.

In summary, you're looking at a prolonged fight with the insurance company, so if its not a substantial value, then it might not be worth the time and effort.

This is all based on my personal experience with a classic car. I bought the car for $4K and restored it. Then I had two professional appraisals done so I could get the insurance value increased to the market value. Both appraisals showed the car was now worth $15K. I submitted all of this documentation to my insurance agent.

Shortly thereafter, the car was involved in an accident at my fault. I asked for the $8K in repairs to be paid from my comprehensive coverage. The insurance company came back and said that the car would be totaled since the value was only $2K (purchase price). I argued that the value was increased by the restoration and submitted the same two appraisals.

After quite a bit of back and forth with the insurance company, I found out that my insurance agent never submitted the appraisals to the insurance company. So, I was right and the insurance company was right.

After much, much, much more arguing; the insurance agent was fired, my car was repaired under my comprehensive coverage, and my insurance policy was cancelled the day that I picked up the car from the repair shop.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #14
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Steve it sounds like you did good on your second one with Progressive in Florida. My brother had his 2017 Ford Fiesta with only 2,800 miles on it totaled as a result of an accident that wasn't his fault. He has Progressive insurance in New Jersey and so did the person who was at fault. The totaled car was purchased new less than 6 months earlier. Progressive used the JD Power/Mitchell valuation service to come up with a value of the car. They found several similar 2017 Fiestas listed for sale at new and used dealers. They took the listed sales prices, had +/- adjustments for differences in the various options, and applied a factor of $0.06-$0.07 per mile to account for mileage differences between the cars they found and the totaled car. All good so far, and if they stopped there I would have thought it was fair. But then they arbitrarily applied a 6.25% reduction adjustment to all of these prices they came up with, on the assumption that all of the sales prices could have been lowered by that much through negotiating. Then they averaged all of their as-adjusted prices to come up with their settlement amount. I thought that was egregious on their part, but my brother was anxious to get another car and he took the money rather than have them purchase a car for him, which is what they offered as an alternative to taking their settlement amount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
I have had 2 diminished value claims, both coming from accidents where I was not at fault.

Case 1: NC Circa 1997 - Relatively new Chevy Lumina that we had bought 3 days before, wife was turning left on a green arrow, she was the 3rd car through the light when she was t-boned my an elderly man running the red light. Insurance company paid for all repairs, etc.. (10,000? the whole left side of the car was torn up) and I got a letter on the dealer's letterhead that said the car's value was diminished by $2,500 as a result of the accident. Appraiser agreed, and I got a check for $2,500. His insurance co was USAA, at the time I was on Geico.

Case 2: FL 2015 - an elderly man ran a red light and I hit him with my 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Spun him around pretty good too Around $2,500 in damage. After the damage was repaired but before the claim was closed, I told the agent I wanted $500 in diminished value damages and they gave it to me with no trouble). He was 90+ and a WWII vet - he took full responsibility and we had a nice conversation. I followed up and he was fine after the accident but surrendered his license and gave up driving after this accident. I thanked him for his service and considered it an honor to meet him. His insurance company was Progressive, same as mine.

Around $20-25% of the repair costs seems to be a good starting point for diminished value. Some states do not allow that type of claim though, I had a friend in SC try to do one and was told that it was not allowed. He may have gotten "handled" though by the agent...

In my opinion you should definitely go for it - your car most certainly has suffered a loss of value and you should be compensated for it.

Steve
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:58 AM   #15
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Since this (somehow) got bumped, I'll give an update.

Long story short, had to reopen my policy's claim and fight with the insurer to have my bumper cover replaced. Once other body shop adjusters saw it, insurance adjuster had no ability to feign inability to see it.

Did the appraisal and claim towards the beginning of the year. It took them about a month to respond, felt their offer was too low. Tried to negitoate, they held firm, I made things get real and a few months later settled for a value I was satisfied with (after they kept putting up hurdles). Likely could have gotten more if I had pressed it further, but felt it wasn't entirely worth the stress of the insurer making a bigger fuss of it than it actually was.

Compared to the collision I was involved with in 2011 (hit a Pathfinder, very minimal damage to rear bumper cover but $10k to my car) where the driver submitted medical bills to my then-insurer (who responded "Your documentation doesn't add up for your injury claim, but here's $8k to go away"), they fought like hell over a fraction.

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