Diminished Value (DV) is the loss in a vehicle’s market value as a result of having been in accident and repaired. It depends on the severity of the damages endured and the quality and preciseness of the repair. A percentage of its original value can be restored but to what extent of which must be determined by a recognized Diminished Value Expert. The balance or difference remaining between the vehicle’s original pre-loss value and the restored value is considered the loss related Diminished Value or commonly referred to as“DV”. Whether you are a vehicle owner or insurance company we have been hired by both parties that are in need of a proper auto appraisal report created by a qualified and trained professional.
The difference in a vehicle’s value prior to a loss and after a loss or “prior to repair” or “after repair” is basically the barometer in assessing its true inherent loss in value. Its simple, would you buy a car if you knew it was in a previous accident? The answer most likely heard is NO. A logical buyer would not pay the same for a vehicle with a blemished history report as opposed to a vehicle with a clean bill of health. Even if the repairs were done perfectly, the vehicle will still be valued less and inferior to one that was never in an accident.
If an owner sells his horse at a discount because his carriage was in an accident, even know the horse looks the same, its stigmatized and will not appraise for the same money because of the unknown fear and lack of trust the new owner will have in him, thus bringing his value down.
When the outer box of cereal container is crushed then sold at a discounted percent of its counterparts value, it has suffered a Diminution In Value. So why wouldn’t a vehicle sustain similar damages?
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1. Instant auto appraisal reports are often dismissed and carry very little weight.
2. All in One Services can be very one sided and possibly not in your best interest.
3. Formula based print outs that don’t include specifics are integral to specific vehicles.
4. Non-auto industry (impostor) appraisers that don’t know an LX from EX or a 6 cylinder from an 8. This all equates to thousands of lost appraisal dollars! And not having the correct evidence when needed to recover your claim.
5. Internet appraisals that offer cheap prices for a DV amount producing a simple “DV figure” then charge hundreds more to retrieve the DV report.
6. Services that wont pick up the phone and talk to you or charge phone time.
Did you know? CARFAX and other accident history report services might not report information immediately. The actual reporting might not occur for months or even a year or more post-loss. What does this mean to the value of your car? If you are the owner of a vehicle and think you have no worries because you ran a report and there was no accident indicator… think again. When potentially selling your car to a dealer or private party they will run a accident history report again and potentially reveal the accident suffered prior. Of course this is always the most UN-opportune time to have to deal with negotiating the price down, price cuts in half or losing the sale altogether. Diminished Value is real and can severely reduce the sales price of any car. Make sure you are compensated for your damages before you end up being cornered and have to sell your second biggest investment for much less than you had intended.
Let me preface this by stating I am not a lawyer and if you need legal consult please contact a lawyer in your state today.
This was the simple version of course. There are other steps in between that can and will be utilized during the ongoing process depending on certain conditions and how fast or slow one can or wants to move. The support of an auto mediator can become quite essential from the get go. From the process awaiting to hear back from the insurance company in the first step to receiving the monies owed for diminished value definitely run smoother when support from a knowledgeable mediator is at hand. It pays to ask the appraiser if they charge on contingency, a flat fee or if support services are included. Some lawyers might charge large percentages of the DV amount leaving you with a very low percentage when you could have attained the same result for much less money. Also some diminished value appraisal services might charge for phone support, additional form letters and other services tallying up a much larger bill than anticipated. I have even heard of some services that don’t ever come to the phone and only answer by email with extremely late responses. It pays to know who you are dealing with so just pick up the phone and ask. First impressions can tell you a lot about a person and what type of experience you might have in the future with them.
Whatever you do in processing your claim get the report done by a qualified auto appraiser. This can harm your claim throughout the process and cost you more money than you expected. This is not a race you want to start behind in and you will find that a good appraiser is worth his weight and will provide down the line. If you do not select us we can gladly recommend alternate auto appraisers that are competent and fully qualified that are responsible.
When you receive constant push-back from the insurance company and there is no avail other than to try your case in court (civil or small claims), a judge will most likely decide the case based on your extremely strong evidence. This is where an expert with experience, training, a specific knowledge of the subject matter, technical background in the valuation process of vehicles, specialized skills in pricing and someone who is currently involved in the automotive auction process as well as a skilled mediator properly trained by the best university in the country for dispute resolution will help in the practical proof of your claim. In some states mediation is mandatory prior to trial and this can be very important in utilizing our mediation knowledge and guidance. Most importantly you need to be prepared for your claim and our support will help guide you through the process. If need be (optional-court fees apply) we can act as Expert Witness in your case but this service is not mandatory.