Frequently Asked Questions
If you’d like answers to frequently asked questions about diminished value recovery, DVCHECK can help. We’ve helped thousands of consumers just like you, with DIMINISHED VALUE claims in all 50 states.
Do I have the right to get my own diminished value assessment report?
Yes. You have the right to hire your own impartial, licensed appraiser to help determine the loss of your diminished value. The at-fault insurance company is required to take your independent assessment into consideration.
Why are your reports better than other reports I can buy online?
Many reports you’ll see online are based on canned software that have not been reviewed on a line by line basis by a human being. Other reports will give you an appraiser opinion in the report without any supporting documentation. This opinion could be arrived at using questionable methods including
• Providing a high level “expert opinion” of your lost value with no supporting evidence.
• Using an arbitrary percentage (such as 20%) to estimate your loss based on the book value of your car with no backup to support why 20% was the correct percentage to use.
DVCHECK diminished value reports are professionally prepared to USPAP standards to support our estimate of your diminished value loss using the following:
• Industry respected guidebooks
• Market comparable vehicles
• Your vehicle class
• The nature of your damage
• Your vehicle history
When it comes to maximizing your claim, it’s important to select an industry expert that insurance companies will take seriously.
If you pick the wrong company and they underestimate your diminished value claim, you’ll lose the amount you thought you were saving by purchasing an inexpensive report many times over.
How much does a diminished value report cost and what will I receive?
Our reports cost $300 You’ll receive:
• A USPAP compliant appraisal report telling you the amount of your diminished value loss.
• Detailed instructions for presenting your claim and a sample demand letter.
• Phone and email support to help you maximize your settlement value.
You’ll have everything you need to file and maximize your diminished value claim.
DVCHECK satisfied customers tell us that their diminished value recoveries far exceeded the cost of our reports.
When will I receive my diminished value report?
You’ll receive your diminished value report within 2-3 business days.
What should I do with my diminished value report after I receive it?
Submit your appraisal and demand letter to the insurance company.
When should I present my diminished value claim?
You should present your diminished value claim to the at-fault insurance company once your repairs are completed. That way when you order your report, you’ll have a complete list of all the repairs that you can send us for review, prior to submitting your claim for diminished value to the insurance company.
What support do you offer after I purchase my diminished value report?
We offer phone and email support to help you present your demand and recover your diminished value. This support can include guidance on how to respond to insurance company offers and things you should consider if you are unable to reach an acceptable settlement. We’ll also suggest the appropriate communication channels to use when negotiating with an insurance company.
How do I recover my diminished value?
Follow our diminished value recovery process. We’ll walk you through the entire process and help you recover the lost value your vehicle has suffered.
How do I ensure that I recover the full amount of my diminished value?
To recover the full amount of your diminished value you’ll need to follow these steps:
1. Document the amount of your lost value by ordering your diminished value report.
2. Use our sample diminished value demand letter and submit it to the at-fault insurance company along with your documentation.
3. Negotiate the amount of diminished value with the insurance company.
4. Recover your diminished value.
The key to recovering the full amount of your diminished value loss is to present the insurance company with a comprehensive, professionally prepared estimate of your diminished value. You’ll dramatically increase your chances of maximizing your recovery from the insurance company by presenting them with a report prepared by a knowledgeable, experienced expert with the right qualifications and credentials.
Will you guarantee my results?
We offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE to ensure that you’ll recover at least the amount you paid for our report.
You’ll also be working with a company that has among the highest DIMINISHED VALUE SUCCESS RATES in the industry.
Do I need a lawyer to recover my diminished value?
In most cases no. If you hire a lawyer to present your diminished value claim, they will require you to pay them up to 33% of your settlement in order to represent you. Having a lawyer will not necessarily result in a higher settlement to you. In addition, insurance companies aren’t intimidated by lawyers because they are constantly involved with lawsuits and deal with them every day.
Our professionally prepared reports will give you the option of presenting your demand for lost value directly to the insurance company without using a lawyer. If the insurance company refuses to pay or won’t make a reasonable offer, you can still file a lawsuit in small claims court yourself.
If your claim goes to small claims court and is backed up with detailed report of your diminished value loss, it will usually force the insurance company to raise their offer. After all, no one likes insurance companies and judges and juries will be quick to support you as an average consumer simply trying to be made whole for your loss. These insurance companies will also be motivated to make a more reasonable settlement offer in order to avoid the costs of defending against your claim.
Can my diminished value be estimated without an in person inspection?
Yes. AN IN PERSON INSPECTION IS NOT NECESSARY to provide you with everything you need to present and recover your diminished value claim.
If I’ve already repaired my car can I still file a diminished value claim?
Yes, most insurance companies won’t accept a diminished value claim until the vehicle has been repaired.
If I sign an insurance company release, will that prevent me from recovering diminished value?
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you should consult with an attorney before signing any releases presented to you by the insurance company. You might be asked to sign a release for bodily injury and a separate release for property damage to your vehicle. If that happens, you’ll need to work with your attorney to ensure that you do not sign anything that prevents you from negotiating and receiving your diminished value settlement.
What if I was responsible for the car accident?
IF YOU WERE AT-FAULT AND CAUSED THE CAR ACCIDENT, you’ll be making a first party claim against your own insurance company provided your policy has coverage for diminished value. Some states such as Georgia will allow you to demand payment for diminished value even if you were at fault in the accident.
Who is responsible for paying for my diminished value?
If another party was at-fault and caused the car accident, you’ll be making a third party claim against the liability coverage provided by their insurance company.
Why should I care about diminished value?
Your car will lose value immediately after a reported car accident whether you repair it or not. If you fail to make a diminished value claim, you’ll be forced to absorb the loss in value when you sell your car. A diminished value claim will allow you to get a settlement between the pre and post-crash value of your vehicle.
What is diminished value?
Diminished value is the lost value of a vehicle with an accident history when compared to a vehicle with similar features that does not have an accident history. It is a loss in value that is above and beyond normal wear and tear and depreciation.
You can recover this loss in value by filing a claim for diminished value against the responsible parties insurance company.
Why don’t insurance companies tell you about diminished value?
They’re in business to make money, just like any other company.
It’s important for insurance companies to control costs and keep their claim payments low.
So as you’re working with them to repair your vehicle, don’t expect them to coach you through the process of filing a claim for your diminished value.
Here’s what you may experience from some insurance companies after your car accident:
- Silence. They’ll move quickly to help you repair your vehicle but they won’t be helpful if you ask them about diminished value.
- Some insurance adjusters who inspect your vehicle won’t be familiar with what diminished value is or how it works.
- Other adjusters or insurance company representatives might make false statements such as “your state doesn’t allow a diminished value claim” or “the insurance company won’t pay for diminished value”.
All of the above are due to a general lack of knowledge about diminished value in the insurance industry.
Do I have diminished value?
If you are driving a newer vehicle with no previous collision history and you’ve experienced damage in an accident, the answer is yes. If you have an older vehicle that has a previous accident history and very little damage in your most recent accident, the answer is no. However, there can be a wide range of situations within these guidelines and you should not assume from these guidelines that you don’t have diminished value because you may lose your opportunity to file a claim.
Don’t guess. Get Your Free Estimate to assess your present situation.
How much diminished value do I have?
Your diminished value is what your vehicle was worth before the accident less price adjustments requested by potential buyers based the fact that your vehicle was involved in an accident. The nature of the damage, the age of the vehicle, and the quality of the repairs performed are all factors when calculating diminished value.
Once your vehicle has a history of accident damage, likely buyers of your vehicle will not be willing to pay the same amount for your vehicle when compared to a similar vehicle they could buy with no accident history.
To maximize the amount of your diminished value recovery, you’ll need an independent professional to provide you with an expert assessment of your diminished value loss.
Will my vehicle’s age and mileage affect my diminished value claim?
Yes. You should expect to recover a larger amount of diminished value for a newer car with lower mileage and less diminished value for an older car with higher mileage.
As a general rule, the best candidates for recovering diminished value are vehicles that are 7 years old or newer. While older vehicles can still lose value after an accident, it is a lot harder to convince an insurance company or a court that you should be paid for the lost value of an older vehicle. That’s because the amount of your loss will be insignificant compared to a newer vehicle. While your diminished value claim might be successful, you could end up spending a lot of time to recover a small amount of money.
If I believe my accident will not be reported to CARFAX, should I still try to recover diminished value?
Yes. There is no guarantee that your car accident will not appear in a CARFAX report at some point. So while it might not be there today, it could be there tomorrow.
In addition, while not appearing in a report might prevent a private party buyer from offering you less for your vehicle, you may also live in a state that has damage disclosure laws that require you to report an accident history to a potential buyer.
Even if your accident is not reported to CARFAX, it still could affect the amount you are offered from a dealer for a trade in. Dealers have a trained eye and know how to spot a vehicle’s accident history. For example, they can detect paint work using gauges that compare the thickness of the paint on repaired panels to your original panels.
Do I have to sell my car to file a diminished value claim?
No. The decision on when to sell your car is always your choice. However, because the diminished value loss happens immediately after your car accident occurs, you should file your claim immediately.