When Should You Consider Filing a Claim For Car Diminished Value?

There’s a lot to consider after your vehicle is involved in an auto accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim for what’s known as diminished value, This figure is the difference between what the car was worth prior to the accident and what it’s worth after the repairs are made. Here are some signs that it may be in your best interests to file a car diminished value and recoup what you can. 

You Are Not the One Who Caused The Accident

In order to seek any type of diminished value, the accident cannot be your fault in any shape or form. That means if the official reports indicate that you did something that led to the event, there is no option for seeking this type of compensation. The only thing you can hope to get is whatever your policy allows in terms of covering repairs to your vehicle. 

This is one reason why you want to be specific about what’s said when the police arrive at the scene and prepare to file the accident report. Make sure you are clear on what your actions were, any steps that you took to avoid the other vehicle, and anything that you may have observed that sheds more light on what happened. When it’s clear that you were not at fault, the odds of being able to receive something for the diminished value claim are much higher. 

The Post Accident Value is Considerably Less

How much of a difference exists between what your car was worth before the accident and what it will be worth after the repairs are made? For older vehicles, the difference may not be a great deal. In that case, it may be more trouble than it’s worth to file a diminished value claim. 

When the accident led to a loss of five figures in value, opting to file this type of claim may be a good idea. You can talk with a professional and find out how much you could actually get. While it won’t be the entire difference, it may be enough to make the effort worth your while. 

The Car Will Not Be Totaled

There are some who think they can file claims for car diminished value when the repairs would amount to more than the actual cash value of the vehicle. That’s not the case. When a car is totaled, the only thing that you get out of the deal is money in exchange for turning the wrecked car over to the insurance provider. 

The reason that you cannot file a claim for diminished value is because there is no longer an asset that is yours to keep. As part of the arrangement with the insurance company, you surrender the car, accept the amount offered, and call the transaction complete. Diminished value can only be claimed on a car that you still own. 

The Amount You Can Receive is Significant

While you may receive something for that claim, how much would it be? A lot depends on how much the car was worth before the accident took place. Insurance companies will take into consideration the type and severity of the damage, how many miles are on the engine, and as few other basics. From there, a percentage as well as the current market value will determine how much you can receive. 

In some cases, the percentage involved may be as little as ten percent. That means a vehicle with a market value of $15,000 prior to the accident would get you $1,500. It’s up to you to decide if filing a claim would be helpful in your case. 

Rather than make assumptions, it makes sense to talk with a professional about what has taken place and decide what to do from there. In order to ensure that you’re working with accurate figures, have the car appraised by a certified professional. Data from the appraiser could help your situation significantly.