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Doesthiswork

Diminished Value Claim - Rebutting the At-fault Party's Claims

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I'm trying to handle a diminished value claim without hiring an attorney. New Prime, Inc (self-insured trucking company) hit my vehicle (my vehicle being insured by Progressive). My insurance company handled the claim and repairs, and then recovered what they paid from New Prime. After acquiring a JD Power Vehicle Valuation of my vehicles pre-accident value ($13,093.50), the repair estimation reports (~$9,300), and a written offer from a dealer to buy the car back (only $6500), I made a claim for $6,593.50. After 6 minutes, I received a response for only $1200. I stood firm and asked them to reconsider. Their response has me concerned and confused. See below...

 

"I have reviewed your claim and based on the value of your vehicle that you are submitting and the repairs your vehicle should have been a total loss.  Your insurance company shouldn’t have repaired it they should have totaled it and there would have been no diminishment of value claim on a total loss.  I can extend an offer of $3000.00 to you for the diminishment of value but nothing more than that. 

 

We have paid a total of $10,727.64 for the repairs and your rental car.  If you add the amount of diminishment of value that you are wanting $6593.50 that would make the total amount of the claim $17,321.14 and your vehicle is only worth $13,093.50."

 

Is saying my car should have been totaled and only offering the total amount the at-fault party has paid for repairs minus the pre-accident value a legitimate way to establish diminished value claims? Should my insurance company have totaled my vehicle, or is this person full of crap? If they should have, who should I go after for recovery? Does this person have a leg to stand on against my case?  Thanks for your consideration and recommendations!

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If your car had been totaled, you'd have gotten $13K for it as the value at the time.  They've already paid over $10K and they're offering the difference in the price of repair plus the rental car and the value of the car at the time of the accident for diminished value.  Whether or not your insurance company chose to repair vs. total is irrelevant.  The insurance company is not going to go by what a local dealer will pay.  They will value the vehicle via KBB and it will be either - the private party sale value or what you would pay to purchase the same vehicle from a dealer.  The bottom line is the insurance company is not going to agree to pay you more than what the car was worth prior to the accident.  You can take it or you can sue the other driver and try and get the money from them. 

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You can sue the other driver in Small Claims court for the diminished value.  $6.5k+ is absurd.  You need a valuation from a certified appraiser for your car, and for a similar car with no collision history.  I agree with the insurer that you cannot recover more than the undamaged value of your car.  With your repair and diminished value claim, you would be paid more than the car was even worth.  The insurer would have been better off just totalling it.

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On 4/21/2017 at 3:39 PM, Doesthiswork said:

Is saying my car should have been totaled and only offering the total amount the at-fault party has paid for repairs minus the pre-accident value a legitimate way to establish diminished value claims? Should my insurance company have totaled my vehicle, or is this person full of crap? If they should have, who should I go after for recovery? Does this person have a leg to stand on against my case?  Thanks for your consideration and recommendations!

 

Actually, NONE of that matters because they owe you NOTHING until a court of law says how much. Until then they can offer you a dollar and justify it any way they want to or not even give you any reasons.

 

Frankly, I agree that $6.5K is delusional and the computations leading to a maximum of $3000 are more accurate.

 

I suggest you take if it's still on the table because you aren't likely to win any more than that in court.

 

I also suggest you avoid those "certified appraisers" because they will want money for their services and even they aren't going to get you more than the $3000 that's being offered.

 

 

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Thanks for all your advice. I have been leaning towards taking it, and your comments have helped me think through this. Above all else, I want to recover a fair amount and not be taken advantage of, which is hard for me to gauge without having a lot of experience in diminished value and law. I'll sit on it for one more day and then decide- most likely accepting it. Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, Doesthiswork said:

I want to recover a fair amount

 

No you don't. Admit it, you want to gouge the insurance company for as much as you can get, just like everybody else (including me, to be honest - LOL) but it isn't going to happen.

 

You, yourself, admit that the ACV is $13K something.

 

Makes sense that totaling up the repair cost and the DV shouldn't exceed the ACV.

 

Right?

 

 

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