The value of almost every car is diminished after it is involved in an accident, regardless of how well the resulting repairs are performed. This is because consumers are reluctant to buy a car that has been previously crashed. In fact, if they knew that the vehicle they were about to buy had previously been involved in an accident, some people would probably walk away from the deal, while most people would probably use that information to get as large a discount as they could.
Your Insurance Company Won't Tell You About Diminished Value
Another interesting point is that your insurance company won't tell you about the diminished value of your vehicle after it has been in an accident...At least not voluntarily. They will tell you (even boast) about their excellent claims service, about the quality of the repairs made to your vehicle, how these are "guaranteed for life" and, that's it.
Diminished Value Explained
Your car is damaged in an accident. Prior to the accident it was worth $40,000.00. As a result of the crash it suffered $5,000.00 in damages, but since you have full insurance coverage, your insurance company pays for the repairs which, as promised, are done professionally and the car is left looking as good as before the accident. Is the car still worth $40,000.00 after being repaired? No. Regardless of the outstanding quality of the repairs, your car can be worth as much as 18% less according to consumer organizations.
Should you decide to sell the car at this point, a potential buyer may check the CarFax report on your vehicle and find out about the accident. Please note that CarFax is not always accurate. To be sure that a vehicle you are thinking of buying has not been in a crash, you should have it inspected by a qualified mechanic and body shop professional. Let's say that you asked $40,000.00 for the car and that after finding out about this accident, this buyer is unwilling to meet your asking price, but comes back with a $32,000.00 offer. Your diminished value is $8,000.00.
Another Thing That Your Insurance Will Not Acknowledge
Another thing your insurance adjuster will not tell you about is your right to add a claim for the diminished value of your car to the accident claim you submitted after the accident. As stated before, while portraying themselves as your defenders, insurance companies will tell you about their wonderful claims services and that all you need to worry about is reporting the accident to them as soon as possible. In reality, many of these companies will reward their claims adjusters for settling claims as low as possible. Therefore, if no claim for diminished value is added to the claim for the repairs of your vehicle after the accident, your claim will be settled for less, which means more money for the insurance company.
We Can Help
At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience helping customers successfully fight the insurance industry. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and have questions about the possibility of recovering money for the diminished value of your vehicle, please contact the lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano and we will be happy to represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will not charge you any money unless we win the case. The Miami Dade County Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have throughout the years represented many clients involved in insurance disputes. Visit our website to learn more about us and contact us today for a free consultation.