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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Diminished Value

Hey all, I was wondering if anyone has any experience getting a Diminished Value payment out of an insurance company.

I got rear-ended in my Trep two days ago and their insurance is going to pay for everything. The dealer quoted me 1400 for a new bumper/trunk so we are pretty close to the threshold for totalling it. (The ins. co totals at 75%)

If they do not decide to total it though, I believe I would be entitled to a diminished value payment in addition to the full repair bill. Anybody have any idea how much the Trep's value will decline due to being in an accident?

Here are the vitals on the car:
97 3.3L Intrepid, platinum
120k miles
Excellent mechanical condition
No prior accidents
No rust, good tires, all service records

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 10:45 AM
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Any good Dealership should be able to help you out.... I actually had mine write a letter of diminished value so the insurance co. could have it in their file.... You are lucky if your state lets you go after the insurance company for this value... States like Colorado do not let the normal car owner claim for these values.... FYI---Diminished value is the percieved amount of trade in or re selling value which may have been lost due to damages...IE- this car looks good but it was wrecked in the front- as a buyer I would expect to pay less for this car even if it appears to be fine now..... by the way saw the Deftones at Red Rocks Amp Theater they killed

Last edited by sxtfourme; 06-01-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by infoDrone View Post
Hey all, I was wondering if anyone has any experience getting a Diminished Value payment out of an insurance company.

I got rear-ended in my Trep two days ago and their insurance is going to pay for everything. The dealer quoted me 1400 for a new bumper/trunk so we are pretty close to the threshold for totalling it. (The ins. co totals at 75%)

If they do not decide to total it though, I believe I would be entitled to a diminished value payment in addition to the full repair bill. Anybody have any idea how much the Trep's value will decline due to being in an accident?

Here are the vitals on the car:
97 3.3L Intrepid, platinum
120k miles
Excellent mechanical condition
No prior accidents
No rust, good tires, all service records

Thanks in advance.
Diminished value payment allowances vary widely for state to state, but it is always worth a try...Be careful in the amount because most insurance companies will try to add the diminished value payment to the repair estimate and say your car is a total loss for a lesser amount...Your state law will determine how this is properly done..Also a 3rd party's insurance company usually does not have the legal standing to determine at what amount to total your car, state law or insurance regulations should dictate this..(You need to justify the highest value you can for your car as a starting point ) Get the dealer's new car dept. and used car dept. to do a diminished trade appraisal estimate for your car and use the one that is best if you go after diminished value..

In a not at fault accident The best way to get the most $ and/or get your car repaired correctly is to take it to a dealer body shop (you should be able to pick any repair shop you want) and get an complete estimate (including cost of any typical "hidden damage " allowances) using ONLY genuine Mopar parts (as recomended in your owner's manual to maintain the safety of your vehicle)..Be ready to justify a high RETAIL value for your car (you are a retail consumer and as such will have to pay retail prices for a replacement car, so retail value should be used )..Print several "book" values and actual prices of cars that are for sale, for a comparable car in your local market area... Kelly Blue Book retail value should be about $3500.00... Don't let them total your car unless you are sure it is not fixable or to your advantage to do so..Even include the value of fuel in the gas tank..Double check any comparable car estimates that they give you (insurance co. use their own proprietary database and software to determine car value in their favor ,usually using "recently sold" cars that you have no way of verifying)..

Keep in mind that you do not have a contract with the other parties ins. company so if it was not your fault you can do what you want...You also should not be out of pocket any money at all from the accident, (rental car, towing, storage fees, notary fees, apraisal fees if you prevail, state tax allowance for a partial year of use and allowance for sales tax on a replacement vehicle if it is totalled, etc. should all be paid by their insurance)

Good luck!

Last edited by lextrep; 06-02-2008 at 02:27 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the detailed responses!

What I'd like to do is have them total out the car for cash, but keep it and just not fix it. It's still totally driveable, just has a few paint marks on the bumper and the trunk lid is about a 1mm off center (still opens/closes fine).

I'm trying to save up for something a bit more fuel-efficient but I'm not quite ready for the monthly payments just yet.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:37 PM
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Thank you for the detailed responses!

What I'd like to do is have them total out the car for cash, but keep it and just not fix it. It's still totally driveable, just has a few paint marks on the bumper and the trunk lid is about a 1mm off center (still opens/closes fine).

I'm trying to save up for something a bit more fuel-efficient but I'm not quite ready for the monthly payments just yet.
In most states you can buy it back from the ins. co after they total it, but usually have to apply for a salvage or similar title within a certain peroid of time after doing it..Some states require you to repair the car and have it inspected before you can re-register it as a "rebuilt" car and put it on the road again...Also your own insurance company may not provide insurance on your car if it has been considered a total loss and not fully repaired, due to safety concerns..
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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So my plan is probably a bad idea then, huh?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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So my plan is probably a bad idea then, huh?
Not really...I received 2500 dollars from a diminished value claim. That was when my car was only a couple of months old though. I had to get a lawyer to get it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 10:16 PM
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So my plan is probably a bad idea then, huh?
Not neccessarily a bad idea..It really depends on your own situation as far as what is your best option..Diminished value claims on a 12 year old car is a tough fight usually, but always worth a try...I'm just saying make sure that you weigh all factors as you make the decision on what is your best option.. And most of all do not let another person's insurance company screw you over..Remember that an insurance adjuster's job description is : To try to maintain a good relationship with their customers and save the company all the money that is possible in the process...Another party's insurance company has no reason to care if you are actually taken care of, their goal in this case is to settle as cheap as possible and close the claim..

Last edited by lextrep; 06-02-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well at this point, State Farm has said "get some repair quotes and call us back."

So I'm trying to make sure that when I call them I know what the heck I'm talking about.

I got a lower estimate today, so I'm wondering how that might change things. It's about $600 and doesn't involve any parts replacement, just fixing scratches and light painting. The $1400 quoted above was from a Dodge dealer and allegedly included OEM parts.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by infoDrone View Post
Well at this point, State Farm has said "get some repair quotes and call us back."

So I'm trying to make sure that when I call them I know what the heck I'm talking about.

I got a lower estimate today, so I'm wondering how that might change things. It's about $600 and doesn't involve any parts replacement, just fixing scratches and light painting. The $1400 quoted above was from a Dodge dealer and allegedly included OEM parts.
Is this your ins. or their ins. co.?
If State Farm is the other person's insurance co. then you only need 1 estimate, use the highest one you can , preferably the dealer..It is best not to send them multiple estimates just the one from the one that you want to fix the car (the highest one)...If you are dealing with your insurance co. then you may need another estimate, but do not let the other co. run you around..
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 10:18 AM
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my dad totaled a car and we bought it back from the insurance for $200.
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