Determine if you have a Diminished Value claim
Are you or the person filing the claim, the owner of the Vehicle? If the answer is yes, proceed to the next question. If No, in the case of the vehicle being owned by your employer, a rental company, etc. You would not be eligible.
Is some other party other than the driver of your vehicle at fault? If the answer is yes, or the accident happened in Georgia, proceed to the next question. If not, then you are probably not eligible.
Was your vehicle worth approximately $7,000 or more before the accident? If the answer is yes, proceed to the next question.
Is the cost of repairs greater than $1,000 or your vehicle is newer than 10 years old? If the answer is yes, You probably have a valid Claim.
Consumer Note: BEWARE! Many insurance companies and body shops may try to “steer” you to a insurance company friendly diminished value “Expert” and have you settle for 10-20% of what you’re really owed.
In order to prove your loss, you need a credible valuation to show you have sustained a loss of value to your vehicle. The only way this can be accomplished is by hiring a credible auto appraiser. LossValues’ independent, unbiased, auto appraisers are licensed and certified by a government entity, not some company on the internet. Our senior auto appraiser has over 25 years of sales and valuation experience and over 4 years direct experience with diminished value claims. CONSUMER ALERT: Only a few states have a certification and/or licensing program for auto appraisers. Most states license only auto damage appraisers to estimate cost of repairs, not to perform fair market value valuations. There is a difference. Many “dv experts” do not have any background in actual automotive valuations and over 92% are unlicensed, ex adjusters, body shop employees, insurance company employees or self proclaimed “experts”. Make sure you have a credible appraiser who has been licensed by a government entity as an auto appraiser, not an auto damage appraiser. They are two, completely different type of appraisers. See here: Auto Appraisers vs. Auto Damage Appraisers.
Submit Your Demand And Appraisal
Over 60% of our surveyed clients claim they settled within just a few days with the insurance company by submitting their auto appraisal and calling the claim specialist assigned to their claim. They normally settle for a percentage instead of the full amount of the loss. This is logical for the insurance company, and in most cases, logical for the claimant. Most attorneys will want a 20-65% contingency fee. The insurance companies are aware of this so in most cases they will not settle for 100% of the claim, although it does happen. Around 70% is what most clients work to achieve. If you cannot come to an agreement with the insurance company, you will need to send a formal demand for payment of your claim and your appraisal by certified mail to the at fault driver and cc the insurance company if it is a 3rd party claim, or just to the insurance company if it is a 1st party claim.
The Negotiation and Settlement
If you came to an agreement with out sending a demand letter, you’re finished and can celebrate your win. If not, and have sent your documents to demand payment, you may still need to contact the insurance company “remind” them you sent the demand. In most cases, the claim is settled within a few weeks. Once in a while, we have an insurance company that denies the claim. Even if you have a legitimate claim and have very good solid proof. Most of the time when they deny the claim, it is to prevent giving credibility to injuries you sustained in the collision. If you receive a denial letter, don’t worry. 90% of the time this is an auto response form letter sent out by some insurance companies. If you settle for less than what you hoped for, you may also be able to write the remaining amount of the loss off on your taxes (please see a local tax professional to see if you qualify).