You might be owed money!

If someone else damages your vehicle in a collision, you are most likely entitled to file a diminished value (DV) claim. Even after your car has been repaired (and for the sake of this article, we’ll assume that the repair was performed correctly by skilled experts*), you may be owed thousands of dollars.

Before we get into the HOW of filing a diminished value claim, let’s define what the term actually means.

Diminished Value is the loss in market value of a property (in this case, your vehicle) due to it having a history of damage. Not to be confused with depreciation (expected wear and tear related loss in value), DV is the result of a sudden and unexpected loss in economic value.

In plain English, diminished value is the difference in the amount your car was worth BEFORE it was damaged, and what it would sell for AFTER it was damaged (even if it was repaired properly).

Not everyone is eligible to recover a DV claim.

In the event that you are the “at-fault” party in the collision, you will not be eligible to claim the diminished value of your vehicle. However, if your damages are the result of another’s negligence, you may be able to collect the remaining loss from the at-fault party or their insurance carrier, if applicable.

In order to establish the actual value of a diminished value claim, it is best to contract an independent appraiser who is skilled in the area of post-repair inspections. They are best able to assess the quality of repair, and they know how to valuate a post-collision vehicle.

If you feel like you might be eligible for a diminished value claim, we encourage you to contact us at Auto Damage Experts, and let us perform a post-repair inspection for you. Because it is reasonable to expect that no one is likely to pay as much for a car with a history of damage as they would for the same vehicle with no history of damage, chances are good that the cost of our inspection, and perhaps much, much more is owed to you by the at-fault party or their insurance company. In many cases for later-model cars, that can mean the recovery of thousands of dollars that – if left unasked about – no one is going to offer you.

* All too often, cars are not repaired correctly. In many cases, they are repaired as quickly, and inexpensively as possible in an effort to boost the insurance company’s profits, regardless of the quality of repair and safety of the owner(s). This is why we always encourage our customers to have a post-repair inspection by an independent source such as Auto Damage Experts.