NJ Diminished Value Claim

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htdrag11
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NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by htdrag11 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:27 pm

I just got hit last week, still waiting for the police report to show up at crashdocs.org. It was the other person's fault. The front bumper, hood, driver's side fender and driver's door had damages. Both airbags were deployed but there were no injuries fortunately. My car is a 2014 compact car with 38k miles. My insurance will work with the other to get my deductible of $1k back, after I paid for it. The car was towed to my insurance company's preferred collision shop (there are 7 in the states so it's not a small outfit). I've already read the only thread here:

viewtopic.php?t=144861

Since I'm in NJ, it appears that Diminished Value claim applies. My company is NJM. Anyone has any idea how to pursue such claim? TIA.

Rupert
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by Rupert » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:01 pm

Varies by state. I'm not in New Jersey, but I did just successfully settle a DV claim last week with Farmer's insurance. Are you filing on your own collision policy or directly on the other party's liability policy? In some states, DV claims are included in collision coverage, but in other states they are not. If in NJ DV is not included in collision coverage, you have no choice but to file the DV claim directly with the other party's insurer. Typically, they have a standard form they want you to fill out and submit. They'll ask about the condition of your car pre-accident, etc. They'll probably also want to inspect your car after it's repaired. Then they'll apply a formula -- maybe the 17c formula, maybe their own formula (they're all similar) -- to arrive at a number. Their first offer will not be their final offer. Remember that it is a negotiation. You should counter-offer at least once and definitely check their math using the 17c formula (there's a WikiHow on how to do it), even if they tell you they use a different formula. I rejected Farmer's first offer and submitted a Carmax estimate of the post-accident value of my car as proof that their number was too low. Ended up getting a couple of hundred dollars more out of them.

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htdrag11
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:01 am

Thanks, Rupert. Good to know about the 17c formula as a basis for calculating.

FRANKLINPROPERTY
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by FRANKLINPROPERTY » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:56 am

Rule 17-C was a formula devised by an insurance company to calculate the amount of diminished value a vehicle has suffered after accident repairs. Note that it was challenged and found to be an unfair and inequitable method by The Georgia Supreme Court who also ruled that it should only be used when no other methodology is available.

The best method for determining how much value your car has lost is to hire an independent appraiser that does not use a formula, algorithm, NADA comparison or simply provide an expert opinion. I can't mention the appraisal company we used as doing so would likely get me banned but the appraiser actually picked up the phone and contacted the sales managers at six Toyota dealerships in my area to obtain their unbiased expert opinions. The insurance company recognized that the report was something that would prevail in court so we were compensated in full. If the insurance company sees a report based on a formula they will deny or severely lo ball their settlement offer. As far as how much value your car has lost, start by figuring out the trade-in value at the time of the loss. If the damage was minor, your car will lose approximately 15% of that value. If any structural damage or air bag deployment, then up to 50% of the car's value is gone. Unfortunately, insurers typically don't accept a letter from your own dealer as they will counter that it is biased and favorable to the dealership's bottom line.

FYI, New Jersey has the same guidelines regarding diminished value claims as every other state - that is, the accident must have been caused by someone else's negligence. If you simply drive your car into a tree, you can't make a claim for diminished value against your own insurance company.

Rupert is correct that there is a negotiation process. If you've provided the insurance company with a diminished value report that contains the opinions of the sales managers at six new car dealerships the negotiations should be much quicker and be resolved with your obtaining a fair settlement. Ours came to more than 10K. :happy

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htdrag11
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:55 am

Franklin,

Thanks for the details. It's a compact car and I doubted that we're talking about a 5-figure damage. Sedans are not hot sellers these days. Sounds like 15% would be the top range that I should be shooting for.

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htdrag11
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by htdrag11 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:01 pm

Well, it was declared as a total loss, to my surprise. Both insurance companies are reputable. I'm OK with the estimated payment, plus sales tax.

Thanks for your contributions.

Cop51
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by Cop51 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:42 pm

I have NJM as well, I’m a NJ officer, and I was involved in a crash not my fault in February. My vehicle was my second vehicle. It was a 2002 with 160k on it which was paid off. I never paid any money for my deductible to get the claim going which I think is what you did. You paid deductible to get the process moving. Rental, towing or whatever else was needed. I have a second vehicle so I waited for AllState to approve everything. I was paid fair market value for my 2002 vehicle from AllState and didn’t have any issues. NJM paid my PIP injury I had on my hand. Other then that NJM worked for me in the background and just followed up with me. Was kind of hands off.

As far as the police report not showing up yet I can say we normally finished these in a few days but they then get reviewed by supervisor, then records has to enter them into that system. If it’s been over a week and 5 business days since the crash happened call down to that PD and ask for an update.

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htdrag11
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Re: NJ Diminished Value Claim

Post by htdrag11 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:53 pm

NJ Officer,

Everything is cool so far. I got the CarFax report from NJM for free. The accident was reported correctly. I would get reimbursed by NJM other than the $1k collision deductible once I sent in the title. NJM will contact Amica to get my $1k back. I would collect my belongs and the plates from the collision shop. Since the car was towed to NJM's preferred shop, I did not even pay the $100 tow (it would be covered by AAA anyway) since they sent the bill directly to NJM. It was almost seamless.

Since it's my 2nd car, I've time to shop for another (used) one. It's the Bogleheads' mantra. :happy

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