Car accident, diminished value claim?

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hmw
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Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by hmw » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:26 pm

My wife was rear ended this am by another vehicle. Luckily no injury.

There was quite a bit of damage in her rear bumper. Not sure if there is any stuctural damage. Her car is a 2015 Mercedes ML350.

Our auto insurance company is Amica and the other driver's insurance company is Geico. My wife talked to Amica today, and was told she can either make the claim with AMICA or deal with Geico directly. If we claim through AMCIA, they will pay the claim but will withhold our $1000 deductible until they get paid by GEICO. We have dealt with Amica auto insurance twice in the past, and we are very satisfied with their service. So we are leaning towards handling the claim through Amica.

I am sure that after doing all the repair on my wife's car, the car will be worth less because of the accident at resale. I have read up on claiming diminished value. I know that we have to make the claim with Geico directly.

I have read conflicting things about the ease of making diminished value claims on the internet.

Has anyone actually had any experience making the dimnished value claim? Is it worth the trouble? We live in Texas.

Thanks

targetconfusion
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by targetconfusion » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:58 pm

Good to hear nobody hurt. We did it in Florida after being hit, stopped at a light, by a cement mixer. Low speed, nobody hurt, and it was beyond dispute whose fault it was. Getting the car fixed was quick, pursuing DV takes a little prep. Plan, at least, for an appraisal (I used CarMax quote) and a few hours haggling/drafting letters. The process will go faster to the extent you can document your claim and use independent sources to substantiate your claimed loss.

I'd guess it could be a few thousand, at least, for your wife's car. We can't evaluate that relative to your free time better than you can, but that you're posting suggests it's not nothing to you. Another undercredited dynamic with this stuff is your internal need for justice. The pragmatic among us would view this as a pure cost/benefit, which is how the insurer does. It was harder for me to let go because the idea of insurers pushing around people who don't know their rights bothered me more than the money.

Anyway, if it's helpful I got the car fixed and said I assess DV to be [[KBB Dealer Sale Price for Year/Mileage/Make/Condition]-[CarMax Offer]]*[KBB Private Party Price]/[KBB Dealer Sale Price]. In other words, since CarMax is a dealer and offers "dealer" rates, compare CarMax's (presumably lower) appraisal with the KBB one for a damage-free car and then scale it to private party value (since that's a more proper assessment of value) by using the ratio of KBB Private/KBB Dealer.

CarMax will probably have figured it out, but you're not doing anything wrong by mentioning that the car was in an accident before tossing them the keys.

It's a rough cut, and they might try to argue KBB isn't accurate, but it has the advantage of being based on third party opinion and the actual condition of the car. In our case, the guy went for it and cut a check. Good luck!

rockonhumblepie
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by rockonhumblepie » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:09 am

hmw,

Type "diminished value" in google forum search box upper left page.

Read "New Car hit accident-loss of DV" rockon 8-)

FRANKLINPROPERTY
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by FRANKLINPROPERTY » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:50 am

Read reviews of independent diminished value appraisers. Unfortunately, most of them show bad faith, dishonesty, etc. We were fortunate to find an appraiser from Fort Pierce, FL that works in all states. Diminished value claims are historically difficult to collect full loss of value. That appraiser's advice was right on target and they provided us with a road map on how to proceed. Their advice: You need two things in order to be successful, a good appraisal and persistence. Also, as I have learned via discussion groups and friends, any diminished value appraisal based on a formula, algorithm or guide books such as NADA will be rejected by not only insurers but also by magistrates should you wind up in court. These appraisers are the ones who typically advertise in the Google search pages. Best of luck.

stan1
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:56 am

You need to search for "diminished value <your state name>"

Laws vary by state.

Was there damage to the frame or body? Or was it limited to replacing the bumper? Knowing that will help you decide whether its worth pursuing.

Also some insurers and body shops do not report damage and repairs to the national databases. An appraiser might just notice that a bumper has been replaced (or repainted).

jbmitt
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by jbmitt » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:14 am

Georgia is the only state where DV is required, in other states it’s by negotiation. If your car is in otherwise good shape and no prior accidents, you may get more traction because it’s a M.B.

Typically you need an ‘expert’ to substantiate your number. In my experience as adjuster, the DV claims were sent to one of the field managers to handle and he used the Georgia formula across all states, but it was somewhat to his discretion.

If you don’t have an obsene number and you’re polite about it, it may work without an expert. Otherwise, be alert to people in a call center style environment not knowing what it is, ignoring it or deflecting conversation about it.

If it was me, and I had a dealer I had worked with several times, I’d ask them for something. The flip side is now they know the car is wrecked and they’ll use that against you if you trade it in with them.

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8foot7
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by 8foot7 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:24 am

I engaged the services of one of these “DV appraisers” when my pregnant (ex-)wife got rear ended stopped at a red light. He cost $350 I had to pay upfront. I told him at the outset what I wanted was his professional opinion of how much value the car had lost at that point in time simply because of its accident history. I was not interested in his evaluation of the repair and body work job because I had already insisted on an as-close-to-perfect job as possible as the car was only a year old at the time. I told him I had already insisted on OEM parts and the finest body shop, had been to inspect and adjust multiple times, and at that point the damage claim was settled. He essentially ignored me and commented that the repair was “better than new” (not sure how that works) and his report, which I had little choice but to submit to the insurance company, detailed every bit of the repair and how nice it was. Again, that wasn’t the point; the point is, we have a car that wasn’t in an accident and a car that was—how much less is the latter worth simply because of its history?

Ultimately we received $1,500 from the insurance company, and thus netted $1,150 on the claim after appraiser fee and a lot of wasted time. (This was on a 2008 CR-V worth about $25k at the time.) If this ever happens to me again, I’m just going to Carmax and having them to do the free appraisal and will use those figures. I have enough faith in anyone’s negotiation skills that they can improve a proposed payout by $350 with a little talking.

core4portfolio
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by core4portfolio » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:30 pm

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=247575

Here is my experience on geico claims...refer above link..


1. Created a demand letter and uploaded the documents along with the couple of dealers appraisal report along with carmax report, online car
sellers site advertisements. Carmax confirmed me there is no structural damage to my car.
2. Got the counter offer from insurance company close to 1/3 value of my claim amount
I havent used any 3rd party examiners to access the damage to give diminished value report.
3. One of the dealer advised me when KBB doesnt exists for current year model then use the previous year model with slight top off.
So 2017 KBB's excellent value instead.
(I can see the 2018 model came out now but not much difference between these 2 models since both are new design models in a row)
4. I did counter with 15% of KBB value of 2017 KBB model. Insurance company countered that offer for 12%
Closed the deal at 13% of 2017 KBB excellent private party value of car.
(if I used KBB of 2018 model then its still 12%).
5. It's is just few dollars above 50% of original claim amount in my step 1 demand letter.
6. Signed the release form. Entire process took 2 months approximately. Received cheque after 17 days of signed release form

I never been in hurry and been patience for about 2 weeks for step 3 and 4 to happen.
I felt if I might push harder to get little more but decided to end this... and done with that claim.

Invested the received money to see how it grows.... good part of this process :)
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

KyleAAA
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:38 pm

I’ve made several claims from several different insurance companies and it was never more difficult than just asking. If you disagree with the amount they offer it might be more trouble, but I’ve always gotten what I feel were fair offers. Most of these were in Georgia where this sort of thing is required but it’s pretty simple in other states as well.

t3xn
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by t3xn » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:58 pm

My mother-in-law in Texas was rear ended in her 2012 Dodge Journey worth approx $7500 max. The other party had Geico and I told her to make a diminished value claim with their adjuster. She simply asked them and they offered her $500. I told her to take it since the damage was minor (bumper, mufflers).

Just ask them for a diminished value settlement and see what they offer.. you have nothing to lose. With a newer Mercedes, I'd have to guess the DMV would need to be $3000-$5000 and they will likely low-ball you.

hmw
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by hmw » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:35 am

Thanks for all the advice. I will forward them to my wife and get the process started.

FireFool
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by FireFool » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:58 am

Within the past year I filed a DV claim with Geico. My takeaway was that they seem to purposefully make it a convoluted process to discourage paing out these claims. After being told by Geico's physical damage claims adjuster that I needed to discuss/file my claim with a whole separate Geico department - a needless hurdle, they directed me to hire an independent appraisal for my claim to be submitted. The reality is that few people know who to use and also have in the back of there heads that after paying our a few hundred dollars for the appraisal that the claim in the end may be denied. I suspect that in itself gets the few people that even know of DV to oftentimes be discouraged and to abandon collecting it. I actually think this is B.S. as Geico could easily assess the economic damage they owe 3rd party claimants. The DV is driven by the change in vehicle "condition" used in coming up with the estimated market values. I went onto KBB.Com, filled in all the options for my vehicle and in the "condition quiz" did two scenarios, one without any repaired damage and the other with. Note that you will not as easily qualify for DV if your vehicle had other prior accidents/repairs, or if the overall pre-accident condition of your vehicle was already beat-up e.g. other dents, paint scratches, window damage, etc. - my vehicle was pristine beforehand. I printed out screenshots to support my work and attached it to the below letter. I received payment for the amount I requested. I still think it's B.S. that the claimant needs to do this work and briefly thought about filing a Department of Insurance complaint, but after getting my money I decided to just move on with life. Anyway here's my letter I submitted - -

Having owned my vehicle since new I can attest that my vehicle was previously accident free prior to your insured damaging my vehicle. You can independently validate this condition by ordering your own vehicle history report for my specific VIN. It is common/wide spread practice for individual and dealer sales of vehicles to highlight via CarFax reports accident free vehicles, so as to substantiate more desirable vehicles and a higher used vehicle price. This valuation difference is substantiated within the questions Kelly Blue Book uses in ascertaining the vehicle condition. Prior to this claim my vehicles condition would have been evaluated at “Excellent” with a Private Party Valuation of $23,704. Solely because of this claim, and the resulting “significant amount of paint and/or body work” KBB downgrades my vehicles condition to good, which results in a Private Party Valuation of $22,419. It is upon this basis that I estimate my economic harm to be an additional $1,285 above and beyond the actual repairs to my vehicle (see attachments substantiating these estimates). I ask that you make timely payment of that amount so as to avoid the need and added expenses of this matter being judicially decided upon.

barnaclebob
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:10 am

I made a diminished value claim by just asking so I'd suggest negotiating yourself paying for an appraisal. Got $1500 on a car worth about 19k. They offered first, $1000. I just said I'd like to get closer to 10% of the value of the car which I said was 20k so $2,000. They came back with $1500, close enough. I was dealing with Nationwide.

Rupert
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by Rupert » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:40 am

After getting my damaged car repaired, I took it to Carmax for a written estimate (i.e., how much they would pay me for it). Then I successfully used that written estimate to negotiate a higher DV settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company. Perhaps you can get a better settlement with one of the commercial DV appraisers, but I imagine you have to pay that appraiser something, which may leave you in the same place in the end. So I'd try the Carmax estimate method first.

hmw
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by hmw » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:00 pm

OP here.

We ended up making the claim with our own insurance company, AMICA, and planned to make the dimished value claim with Geico separately. AMICA sent their damage appraiser and sent us a check for the repair. The repair is scheduled to be done next week. My wife called Geico today and asked about dimnished value claim, and also asked GEICO to cover our rental car expenses. We have rental coverage with AMICA as well, but it only covers $20/day. It is pretty hard to rent a car for $20 a day where we live. GEICO told my wife that if we are going to make diminished value claim or rental car claim, we must do the entire claim with them.


My wife is going to call AMICA tomorrow to ask what our options are.


Any BH has any expereince with this? Is it true that we must make all our claims with a single insurance company? From what I have read, I can only make the diminished value claim with the other party's insurance company. I think the diminished value claim is worth several thousands of dollars, and I don't want to give up so easily.


Thanks

Rupert
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by Rupert » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:49 am

I've never heard of that before, but insurance rules/regs do vary by state so check with your own insurance agent to verify. I have personally made DV claims in two accident cases and in both cases successfully made the DV claim with the other driver's insurance company while letting my insurance handle everything else under my collision coverage. In the first case, I was insured by Allstate and the other company was a company that represents rental car companies. In the second case, I was insured by USAA and the other company was Farmers. So what Geico has told you is certainly not a universal practice. It could be that the rental car claim is the problem. Or it could be that the Geico representative who spoke to your wife doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

topcatin
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by topcatin » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:48 am

I hope this is not too late. But you can look at getting the NADA value for your car.
This is what Dealerships use to price a used car. The value is ofcourse based on what the condition of the car was prior to the accident. If you have just installed new tires, I would point out that as well and get more. The NADA value is a good guideline. I used this to get a good value for my 10 year old car when it was totaled.(Not my fault). The other insurance company "upped" their initial offer after I mentioned the nada value for my car. They offered $150-$200 less than the NADA value but it was much better than their initial offer.

https://www.nadaguides.com/

barnaclebob
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:12 am

hmw wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:00 pm
GEICO told my wife that if we are going to make diminished value claim or rental car claim, we must do the entire claim with them.


My wife is going to call AMICA tomorrow to ask what our options are.


Any BH has any expereince with this? Is it true that we must make all our claims with a single insurance company? From what I have read, I can only make the diminished value claim with the other party's insurance company. I think the diminished value claim is worth several thousands of dollars, and I don't want to give up so easily.


Thanks
Sounds like BS to me. They are responsible for making you whole again and that would include rental car and diminished value. But if you don't follow their process it might be more difficult for you.

hmw
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Re: Car accident, diminished value claim?

Post by hmw » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:55 pm

OP here.

I think the first Geico agent who told DW that all claims must go through them either didn't know what he/she was doing, or was BSing.

DW called Geico again today and talked to another agent. DW explained our situation. DW was told that there is no need to make all our claims with Geico. Geico will have one of their adjuster call DW.


Thanks

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