Diminished Value (DV) is the difference in value of your vehicle from the day before the accident to the day after. Every vehicle suffers some measure of diminished value in an accident. The underlying rationale for Diminished Value is the negative motor vehicle history report which results from the accident and the subsequent damage/repair. However, if the insurance company totals your vehicle, there is no diminished value as they are buying the vehicle for its Actual Cash Value (ACV). In some cases, once presented with a claim for Diminished Value, the insurer will total your vehicle.
How is Diminished value calculated? Typically, Diminished Value is expressed as percentage of the vehicle’s value. Frame damage results in a higher percentage than simply cosmetic damage. Frame damage repair is often detailed in your repair estimate. Some experts will work to identify similarly damaged vehicles and use actual similar vehicle sales to establish the Diminished Value of your vehicle.
It is important that there not be a prior negative event. If your vehicle has prior damage, it becomes more difficult to make a Diminished Value claim. Although there is a jury instruction, not all carriers acknowledge that they owe Diminished Value.
Finally, keep in mind that Diminished Value is minimal on older vehicles (except classic cars) and high mileage vehicles. Although you may want to establish your DV through a “trade-in” offer, these are often disputed because the dealership has a vested interest in the trade-in value.
If you have a new late model vehicle and have questions regarding Diminished Value, call us at 719-470-1441 to discuss your options.