Simply put, Diminished Value is the difference between the market value of a vehicle prior to a collision or other damage, and its value after. Ask yourself, if two identical vehicles are for sale with identical mileage, options, and condition, one was damaged and repaired and one that was never damaged, which car is worth more?

Know Your Rights

As the owner of the vehicle, it is your right to choose where and how your collision damaged vehicle is repaired. According to a federal decision called the 1963 Consent Decree (www.consentdecree.com), the insurance company cannot refer, suggest or recommend a shop unless you specifically ask for a recommendation. It is illegal for the insurers to tell you which shop you must use for the repairs.

Do not short change yourself

You have had the misfortune of being in an accident. Most people are trying to save money. Paying for an appraisal under the right conditions is the best investment you can make to prevent you from losing your investment in your car. The insurance company always invests in an estimate or appraisal. You should too.

The insurance claims adjuster represents the insurance company‘s interests

Insurance claims adjusters are trained professionals taught to use techniques to minimize the claim and save the insurance company money. Their job is to produce an estimate or an appraisal according to insurance standards that supports their numbers. Trying to settle the claim on your own and without your own appraisal puts you at a severe disadvantage. Unless you are an attorney or an adjuster, get help from General Auto Check.

The problem with undervaluing your claim

If you do not understand the full value of your Diminished Value claim, you will have a self-fulfilling loss of value. For example, if your Diminished Value is actually worth $6,000, but you submit a claim for $4,000, then you have given up 33% of the potential value. That is a $2,000 mistake. This tells the insurance company that you do not know what you are doing. Online Diminished Value calculators often undervalue claims. A properly prepared Diminished Value claim takes into account the age, mileage, make and model of your car, the car history, and where you live and presents the information in a format where the insurance company will recognize that you have enough information to go to court and they have a high probability of losing if they do not settle.