How to calculate diminished value

Most insurance companies use a diminished value calculation known as “17c”. This diminished value calculation was developed by Infinity Insurance and first implemented in a court by State Farm in a Georgia lawsuit in which State Farm submitted this calculation method as a way to calculate diminished value. The court in that case (Mabry v. State Farm) approved its use–in that case–and as a result of the low value produced by the formula, most insurance companies have adopted it or a close variant. (The name 17c comes from the place where the formula was described by the court: paragraph 17 section c.) This formula has absolutely no control over Texas law. Even the Georgia Insurance Commissioner has rejected its authority over any other case than the one in which it was approved. However, it is extremely favorable to insurance companies so they all quickly adopted it. They may not tell you they are using it, but it’s out there. Here’s how the 17c formula works, even in Texas diminished value claims.

Step 1: Calculate the value of the car

The 17c formula begins with the NADA value of your car. It is a reasonable place to start and they will adjust the NADA number up for whatever upgrades you have on the base model of your car. Then they will adjust the number down for any prior damage and then adjust up or down based on the mileage (keep this is mind). That number produces a retail value or market value on your car. In other words, it produces the reasonable sales price for your car. So far, this part is almost reasonable. NADA is a widely used tool for pricing cars but it does not account for geographic adjustments in value. For example, a car almost always sells at a premium in a wealthier area than a less wealthy area.

So not the worst starting point, but not perfect, either.

Step 2: Apply an arbitrary cap for damages

17c takes the retail value of the car from step one and multiplies is by 0.10 to produce the “base loss of value”. What this translates to is an automatic 10% cap on the diminished value. There is no factual or logical basis for this cap. It was just made up somewhere in the offices of State Farm. I have never seen any insurance company provide a justification for this cap that is based in fact or reason. The insurance companies could survey car dealers to determine the commonly used formulas to discount the price of a vehicle due to prior damage on the sell-side of vehicle transactions. I’ve never seen even a flimsy attempt made to justify this number. Yet, it is commonly used.

Step 3: Apply a damage multiplier

Now that the insurance company has set an upper limit, it will begin reducing your claim. First it applies a damage multiplier. This multiplier reduces your amount of your claim based on how severe the damage was to your car. If you only have cosmetic damage then the multiplier is very small and severely reduces your claim. If there is substantial structural damage then the multiplier is large and your claim is reduced slightly or not at all.

You take the base loss of value and multiply it by this number based on the level of damage:

• 1: severe structural damage
• 0.75: major damage to structure and panels
• 0.50: moderate damage to structure and panels
• 0.25: minor damage to structure and panels
• 0.00: no structural damage or replaced panels

Of course, you may find missing from this calculation any mention of mechanical damage. That’s because the underlying premise of this multiplier is that they are really only paying for damage that could not be fixed by replacing parts. So damage to the structure is recoverable because all they can do is hammer the structure back to its original shape. But anything that can be replaced or is replaced is not recoverable. That goes back to the value of the repairs, not what the owner will lose in value when selling the vehicle.

This is another reason why this formula is inappropriate. It isn’t compensating you for lost sale value. Buyers don’t care whether a quarter panel was replaced instead of reshaped. They do care that the car was in an accident and had to undergo body work. That is the diminished value.

Step 4: Double dip on the mileage

Remember when I told you to keep in mind that we discounted the retail value of the car based on mileage? The insurance company is going to double dip with a second multiplier. The mileage multiplier discounts the diminished value claim based on mileage. It works the same as the damage multiplier in the last step but applies these figures:

• 1.0: 0-19,999 miles
• 0.80: 20,000-39,999 miles
• 0.60: 40,000-59,999 miles
• 0.40: 60,000-79,999 miles
• 0.20: 80,000-99.999 miles
• 0.00: 100,000+

That’s right. All of us with vehicles with over 100,000 miles have our claims automatically reduced to zero. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s bad faith. It’s bad enough that they are double dipping on mileage but they are cutting off an enormous number of vehicles with these arbitrary numbers.

Put it all together

Ok, so let’s see how this works out.

You have a car several years old with a retail value at \$15,000 (step 1).

Apply the 10% cap to determine base loss of value (step 2). 0.10 x \$15,000 = \$1,500.

Let’s say the damage to the car was moderate so apply a 0.50 damage multiplier (step 3). \$1,500 x 0.50 = \$750

Let’s say the car is four years old and has 12,000 miles driven per year so it has 48,000 miles. That’s a 0.60 mileage multiplier (step 4). \$750 x 0.60 = \$450

So \$450 in diminished value for moderate damage to the car. That is a little less than 4% of the value of the vehicle. It may sound like a fair number until you realize that if you take that car to a dealership as a trade in the dealership is likely to shave off several thousand dollars in diminished value due to the accident. So you take \$450 and you’ll lose several times that when you sell your car. Fair? No.

Insurance companies will tell you all kinds of nonsense about how they have to use the formula. They do not. However, they know they can ram it down your throat if you don’t have the expertise to litigate your claim. That’s why hiring a lawyer to prosecute your diminished value claim can assist settlement and, if necessary, litigation.

The primary reason an individual would need to calculate the diminished value of a car is to submit an insurance claim after an accident. Naturally, if a car can no longer run or has undergone significant cosmetic damage, it isn’t worth as much.

Regardless of who is at fault or if it is your insurance company or another’s who must reimburse you for the value of your vehicle, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to calculate the lowest value possible for your car.

Most insurance companies use a calculation known as “17c” to arrive at a monetary value for your car in post-wreck condition. This formula was first used in a Georgia claims case involving State Farm and derives its name from where it appeared in the court records for this case – paragraph 17, section c.

Formula 17c was approved for use in that particular case, and it didn’t take long for insurance companies in general to pick up on a tendency to arrive at a relatively low value using that calculation. As a result, the formula was widely adopted as an insurance standard despite the fact it only applied to that one Georgia claims case.

After an accident, however, you will benefit more from a higher diminished value number. That’s why it is important to know both how the insurance company paying your claim will arrive at your car’s current value and its actual value if you were to sell it in its current condition. If, after calculating diminished value for your car in both manners, there is a large discrepancy between the numbers, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal.

Method 1 of 2: Use formula 17c to learn how insurance companies calculate diminished value

Step 1: Determine the sales value of your car. The sales, or market, value of your car is the amount which NADA or Kelley Blue Book determines your vehicle is worth.

While this is the number most people would think is pertinent, it does not take into account how worth changes from state to state as well as other factors. The number arrived at in the manner is also not in the insurance company’s best interests.

To do this, visit the NADA or Kelley Blue Book website and use the calculator wizard. You will need to know the make and model of your car, its mileage, and a relatively good idea of the extent of damage to your vehicle.

Step 2: Apply a 10% cap to that value. Even in the State Farm claims case in Georgia that introduced the 17c formula, there is no explanation for why 10% of the starting value determined by NADA or Kelley Blue Book comes off automatically, but it is a cap that insurance companies continue to apply.

So, multiply the value at which you arrived through the NADA or Kelley Blue Book calculator by .10. This sets the maximum amount the insurance company can pay on a claim for your car.

Step 3: Apply a multiplier for the damage. This multiplier adjusts the amount you arrived at in the last step according to the structural damage to your car. It, interestingly, does not take into account mechanical damage.

This has to do with whether parts have to be replaced or repaired on the vehicle; the insurance company only covers what can’t be fixed with a new part.

If you think this is confusing, it is, and it doesn’t provide you compensation for lost sale value. Take the number you arrived at in step two, and multiply it by the following number that best describes the damage to your car:

• 1: severe structural damage
• 0.75: major damage to structure and panels
• 0.50: moderate damage to structure and panels
• 0.25: minor damage to structure and panels
• 0.00: no structural damage or replaced

Step 4: Deduct more value for the mileage on your car. While it makes sense that a car with more miles is worth less than the same car with fewer miles, the 17c formula has already taken the mileage into account in the initial value determined by NADA or Kelly Blue Book. Unfortunately, insurance companies deduct value for this twice, and that worth is \$0 if your car has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer.

Multiply the number you arrived at in step three by the appropriate number from the list below to arrive at the final diminished value of your car using the 17c formula:

• 1.0: 0-19,999 miles
• 0.80: 20,000-39,999 miles
• 0.60: 40,000-59,999 miles
• 0.40: 60,000-79,999 miles
• 0.20: 80,000-99.999 miles
• 0.00: 100,000+

Method 2 of 2: Calculate Actual Diminished Value

Step 1: Calculate the value of your car before it was damaged. Again, use the calculator on the NADA or Kelley Blue Book site to estimate the value of your car before it was damaged.

Step 2: Calculate the value of your car after it was damaged. Some law firms multiply the “Blue Book” value by .33, and subtract that amount to find the estimated post-accident value.

Compare this value with similar cars with accident histories to find an actual value of your car. Say, in this case, similar cars on the market were in a range of \$8,000 to \$10,000. You might want to even your estimated value after accident out to \$9,000

Step 3: Subtract the value of your car post-accident from the value of your car pre-accident. This will give you a good estimation of the actual diminished value of your vehicle.

If the diminished values determined by both methods are wildly different, you may wish to confront the insurance company responsible for reimbursing you for your car’s loss in value as a result of the accident. Bear in mind, however, this will likely slow the payment of your insurance claim and you may even need to hire a lawyer to be successful. Ultimately, you must decide if the extra time and hassle is worth it to you and make an appropriate decision.

A car that has never been in an accident may be worth thousands more at resale than one that has been in an accident and repaired, even if the repaired car appears to be as good as new and runs better than ever. This is the reality of diminished value, whether repairs did not restore the car to its pre-accident condition, or simply because the car’s history is now tarnished.

How is Diminished Value Calculated?

Most insurance companies use a calculation known as “17c” to arrive at a monetary value for your car in post-accident condition. This formula was first used in a Georgia claims case and derives its name from where it appeared in the court records for this case – paragraph 17, section c. Although formula 17c was approved for use in that one particular claims case, it can be used to arrive at a relatively low value so the formula has been widely adopted as a standard by the insurance industry.

Because you will benefit more from a higher diminished value number, it is important to know both how the insurance company paying your claim will arrive at your car’s current value and its actual value if you were to sell it in its current condition. If, after calculating diminished value for your car in both methods, there is a large discrepancy between the numbers, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal.

Method 1

Here is how formula 17c works:

• Step 1: Determine the sales value of your car, or the amount that NADA or Kelley Blue Book determines your vehicle is worth.
• Step 2: Apply a 10% cap to that value. Although there is no explanation for why 10% of the starting value determined by NADA or Kelley Blue Book comes off automatically, it is a cap that insurance companies apply.
• Step 3:Apply a multiplier for the damage that does not take into account mechanical damage, but instead whether parts have to be replaced or repaired on the vehicle. The insurance company only covers what cannot be fixed with a new part.
• Step 4: Deduct more value for the mileage of your car and multiply the number you arrived at in step three by the appropriate number from the list below to arrive at the final diminished value of your car using the 17c formula:
• 1.0: 0-19,999 miles
• 0.80: 20,000-39,999 miles
• 0.60: 40,000-59,999 miles
• 0.40: 60,000-79,999 miles
• 0.20: 80,000-99.999 miles
• 0.00: 100,000+

Method 2

Here’s how to calculate actual diminished value:

• Step 1: Determine the sales value of your car, or the amount that NADA or Kelley Blue Book determines your vehicle is worth.
• Step 2: Calculate the value of your car after it was damaged. Some law firms multiply the Blue Book value by .33, and subtract that amount to find the estimated post-accident value.
• Step 3: Subtract the value of your car post-accident from the value of your car pre-accident. This will give you a good estimation of the actual diminished value of your vehicle.

If the diminished values determined by both methods are outrageously different, you will need to make your request to the insurance company responsible for reimbursing you for your car’s loss in value as a result of the accident. In most cases, it is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to prove their loss.

The primary reason an individual would need to calculate the diminished value of a car is to submit an insurance claim after an accident. Naturally, if a car can no longer run or has undergone significant cosmetic damage, it isn’t worth as much.

Regardless of who is at fault or if it is your insurance company or another’s who must reimburse you for the value of your vehicle, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to calculate the lowest value possible for your car.

Most insurance companies use a calculation known as “17c” to arrive at a monetary value for your car in post-wreck condition. This formula was first used in a Georgia claims case involving State Farm and derives its name from where it appeared in the court records for this case – paragraph 17, section c.

Formula 17c was approved for use in that particular case, and it didn’t take long for insurance companies in general to pick up on a tendency to arrive at a relatively low value using that calculation. As a result, the formula was widely adopted as an insurance standard despite the fact it only applied to that one Georgia claims case.

After an accident, however, you will benefit more from a higher diminished value number. That’s why it is important to know both how the insurance company paying your claim will arrive at your car’s current value and its actual value if you were to sell it in its current condition. If, after calculating diminished value for your car in both manners, there is a large discrepancy between the numbers, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal.

Method 1 of 2: Use formula 17c to learn how insurance companies calculate diminished value

Step 1: Determine the sales value of your car. The sales, or market, value of your car is the amount which NADA or Kelley Blue Book determines your vehicle is worth.

While this is the number most people would think is pertinent, it does not take into account how worth changes from state to state as well as other factors. The number arrived at in the manner is also not in the insurance company’s best interests.

To do this, visit the NADA or Kelley Blue Book website and use the calculator wizard. You will need to know the make and model of your car, its mileage, and a relatively good idea of the extent of damage to your vehicle.

Step 2: Apply a 10% cap to that value. Even in the State Farm claims case in Georgia that introduced the 17c formula, there is no explanation for why 10% of the starting value determined by NADA or Kelley Blue Book comes off automatically, but it is a cap that insurance companies continue to apply.

So, multiply the value at which you arrived through the NADA or Kelley Blue Book calculator by .10. This sets the maximum amount the insurance company can pay on a claim for your car.

Step 3: Apply a multiplier for the damage. This multiplier adjusts the amount you arrived at in the last step according to the structural damage to your car. It, interestingly, does not take into account mechanical damage.

This has to do with whether parts have to be replaced or repaired on the vehicle; the insurance company only covers what can’t be fixed with a new part.

If you think this is confusing, it is, and it doesn’t provide you compensation for lost sale value. Take the number you arrived at in step two, and multiply it by the following number that best describes the damage to your car:

: severe structural damage
• 0.75: major damage to structure and panels
• 0.50: moderate damage to structure and panels
• 0.25: minor damage to structure and panels
• 0.00: no structural damage or replaced

Step 4: Deduct more value for the mileage on your car. While it makes sense that a car with more miles is worth less than the same car with fewer miles, the 17c formula has already taken the mileage into account in the initial value determined by NADA or Kelly Blue Book. Unfortunately, insurance companies deduct value for this twice, and that worth is \$0 if your car has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer.

Multiply the number you arrived at in step three by the appropriate number from the list below to arrive at the final diminished value of your car using the 17c formula:

• 1.0: 0-19,999 miles
• 0.80: 20,000-39,999 miles
• 0.60: 40,000-59,999 miles
• 0.40: 60,000-79,999 miles
• 0.20: 80,000-99.999 miles
• 0.00: 100,000+

Method 2 of 2: Calculate Actual Diminished Value

Step 1: Calculate the value of your car before it was damaged. Again, use the calculator on the NADA or Kelley Blue Book site to estimate the value of your car before it was damaged.

Step 2: Calculate the value of your car after it was damaged. Some law firms multiply the “Blue Book” value by .33, and subtract that amount to find the estimated post-accident value.

Compare this value with similar cars with accident histories to find an actual value of your car. Say, in this case, similar cars on the market were in a range of \$8,000 to \$10,000. You might want to even your estimated value after accident out to \$9,000

Step 3: Subtract the value of your car post-accident from the value of your car pre-accident. This will give you a good estimation of the actual diminished value of your vehicle.

If the diminished values determined by both methods are wildly different, you may wish to confront the insurance company responsible for reimbursing you for your car’s loss in value as a result of the accident. Bear in mind, however, this will likely slow the payment of your insurance claim and you may even need to hire a lawyer to be successful. Ultimately, you must decide if the extra time and hassle is worth it to you and make an appropriate decision.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Calculate the Diminished Value of Your Car.

Skip the Repair Shop

Our Mechanics Make House Calls

Autoblog is partnering with YourMechanic to bring many of the repair and maintenance services you need right to you.
Get service at your home or office 7 days a week with fair and transparent pricing.

Looking For A Free Diminished Value Claim Calculator?

Have you been searching for a Diminished Value calculator, a website that will give you at least a remotely accurate estimate of what you might be able to expect if you won a settlement? The question you need to ask yourself is whose interests do they have in mind? Are they going to spit out an estimate that represents the maximum you deserve or will it be much lower and more palatable for your insurance company?

Better Yet, Try Our Diminished Value Calculator!

Our diminished value calculator isn’t engineered to give the lowest possible amount. We make estimates based on our knowledge of the industry and successfully filed claims. This can be used to estimate potential diminished value that you are entitled to.

Contact The Real Diminished Value Experts

CALL US TODAY TOLL-FREE: 877-655-1661

Even if the site that is giving you a diminished value caculated estimate isn’t controlled by the insurance industry, it’s still likely you are getting an inaccurate figure derived from a simple formula based on Kelley Blue Book adjusted for rough damage estimates. Good for the insurance company, but not so much for you.

The trick is to have a diminished value expert who finds that “sweet spot” that doesn’t creep into the realm of unrealistic expectations. If you’re gunning for too much, you will either delay your settlement or not get one at all.

Autoloss will review your vehicle repair expenses and what kind of damage has been done. We determine the appropriate diminished value figure to present to you and your insurance company, but not until additional details are considered.

Much more goes into calculating the diminished value of your vehicle. What is the vehicle market like in your area? What kinds of vehicles are in demand and what are not? We will present market data to support your case and the argument for why you deserve the amount we have come up with.

Don’t be fooled by a computer-generated formula that either gives too high or too low of an estimate, without the supporting documentation needed for a successful diminished value claim. Your insurance adjuster will want you to produce the methodology that was used in determining the figure you are seeking.

The difference between a diminished value claim settlement won by Autoloss and what you see on a random diminished value calculator can very well be in the thousands of dollars. That’s a mistake you can’t afford.

Texas is known as a diminished value state, meaning that you might be entitled to the diminished value of your car after an accident. As a result, it’s important to know the facts regarding a diminishing value claim in Texas.

What is Diminished Value?

What, specifically, is auto accident diminished value? Car accident diminished value refers to the difference in your car’s market value from before to after the car accident. The market value of your car decreases after a car accident, even if it is restored to perfect condition. This is because the vehicle’s history report will now have an accident listed.

Types of Diminished Value

There are a few different types of diminished value Texas:

• Repair-related Texas diminished value. Repair-related Texas diminished value refers to the loss of value due to the inability to perfectly repair the car, meaning that the car is currently worth less following repairs than before the car accident.
• Immediate Texas diminished value. Immediate Texas diminished value refers to the difference in the resale value of a car before damage happened and the resale value after damage has happened before being repaired. The immediate diminished value also refers to the loss of value caused by the insurer’s direct involvement in the claim adjustment. The insurer then gains control over the repairs, resulting in repairs incomplete, insufficient, or leaving the car in substandard condition.
• Inherent Texas diminished value. Inherent Texas diminished value is the most widely recognized and accepted form of diminished value. This ensures that the best repair quality has been achieved and is defined as the amount by which the resale value of a repaired car has been reduced due to a car accident.

Can I File a Diminished Value Claim in Texas?

Wondering if you can file a diminished value car accident claim in Texas? The short answer is yes. Texas is a diminished value state. Here’s what you need to know about how to file a diminished value claim in Texas, how to qualify, and the statute of limitations.

Qualifications

According to Texas diminished value laws, the statute of limitations on diminishing value claims in Texas is two years, and Texas has uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value. You can’t submit a loss of value claim if you were the at-fault party in a car accident or if the car damage was caused by something other than a collision. You also must prove that your vehicle lost value.

Calculating Your Diminished Value

A professional can help you calculate your diminished value, but it’s also possible for you to calculate this on your own, using a diminished value calculator for Texas. Diminished value is calculated by considering the type and extent of damage on the vehicle, the cost to repair the vehicle, the repair quality, the cost of similar vehicles never involved in an accident, and market trends. We recommend working with a car accident attorney who can present an accurate valuation of your vehicle rather than relying on your insurance company to value your car fairly.

Factors that Impact Value

There are a number of factors that affect the diminished value of the car, including:

• Age of vehicle
• Mileage of vehicle
• Make and model of vehicle
• History of accidents

Using the 17c Formula

Insurers typically use the 17c formula to calculate a car’s diminished value. However, this has some limitations that can lower diminished value appraisals than a car’s actual worth. Here is how to calculate diminished value using the 17c formula:

• Check your car’s value
• Calculate the base loss of value by multiplying by 10%
• Apply a damage multiplier
• Apply a mileage multiplier

Submitting a Diminished Value Claim

When you file a personal injury claim, property damage is only one portion of your losses. You need to state that you want to make a diminished value claim. In order to qualify to make that claim, you need to show that your car lost value due to the car accident, that there is a particular dollar amount of value lost on the car, and that the insurance company policy covers diminished value.

We recommend keeping all receipts and estimates you have received related to your diminished value claim. Present these receipts and estimates to your lawyer, who will give them to the insurance agent along with a demand for a diminished value claim. Once the at-fault driver’s insurance company receives a demand for diminished value, they will probably attempt to negotiate the final amount of compensation. They might attempt to include diminished value in a settlement along with other losses for the entirety of your claim.

If you want to learn more about diminishing value claim Texas, contact the Texas car accident lawyers at Thomas J Henry Law. With our experienced lawyers on your side, you’ll be able to navigate the complexities of a Texas diminished value claim.

The Instant, Online Diminished Value Assessment System

Now powered by BlackBook, a leading vehicle valuation provider, to provide instant VIN # decoding and starting Trade-in values.

Diminished Value Assessments From \$17.95

To make a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle that was damaged in an accident, you need to submit an independent assessment that calculates your vehicle’s loss in value. The DV ASSESS Vehicle Diminished Value System provides an instant, online, Low-cost diminished value assessment. Option #3 also provides claim instructions, a sample claim demand letter, negotiating points and other helpful information.

Read each option below, then make your selection

3 Easy Options to Determine Your Vehicle Diminished Value

Option #1 – Basic

This basic, instant assessment will show you how much value your vehicle has lost. Your diminished value amount will be displayed on screen instantly. Then you will see your upgrade options.

Option #2 – Plus

This is our printable DV ASSESS Diminished Value Assessment Report. This report can be printed for submission to the at-fault party for payment.

Option #3 – Complete

This option includes the DV ASSESS report as in option #2, PLUS you get instructions, a sample claim demand letter and negotiating points.

Facts At A Glance

Fact 1 – If your vehicle has been wrecked and repaired, it has lost value. This loss in value is called Diminished Value.

Fact 2 – If you were not at fault for the damage, you are entitled to recover your vehicle’s lost value from the at fault party or their insurance company, in all 50 states.

Fact 3 – If you live in the state of Georgia, you can also collect your diminished value from your own insurance company even if you were at fault.

Get Your Report

You may be eligible to collect thousands of dollars in Diminished Value for your vehicle.

AutoLoss has recovered over \$17,000,000 for our clients this past year. Don’t walk away from a settlement with less money than you deserve. Understand your rights with a diminished value claim to ensure that you are receiving the amount for your car that you are entitled to.

Start Your Free Quote

Call Now For Help With Diminished Value

Alabama Diminished Value Claim

You may be entitled to a diminished value claim in the state of Alabama if you have been in an auto accident. If you are a victim of an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, make sure your car doesn’t lose value. Contact the diminished value experts at AutoLoss today!

Diminished Value in Alabama

You may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle after an auto accident in the state of Alabama. In order to submit a diminished value claim in Alabama, you must file within 6 years of the accident. If you were the at-fault party in the accident, if the damage to your vehicle was caused by something other than an accident, or if you are an uninsured motorist, you are not eligible for a diminished value claim. Insurance agencies will often offer you less than the car’s true value, which is why you need to hire an independent appraiser such as AutoLoss.

I settled the Diminished Value Claim. I traded my Jeep and got something else. The dealership gave me 23,000.00 for my 2007 Jeep towards a different vehicle, and State Farm gave me 4,000.00 for Diminished Value. Initially, State Farm only offered me \$1,500 for Diminished Value. So I was happy! (Jeep Claim From Alabama)

In the state of Alabama, diminished value is recognized as a measure of damages when action is brought by a third party. Key cases in Alabama Diminished Value include:

King Motor Co. v. Wilson, 612 So.2d 1153 (Ala.1992)

Coffee County Comm’n v. Smith, 480 So.2d 1194 (Ala.1985)

Robbins v. Voigt, 280 Ala. 207, 191 So.2d 212 (1966)

In each of these cases, the court ruled that the damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle was to be valued as the difference in the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before and after the accident. These cases are driven by the tort principle that damages should compensate the injured part for their loss.

About Diminished Value Claims

Diminished Value refers to the reduced value of a vehicle simply because it has a significant damage history. Even after the vehicle has been repaired to it’s optimal value, the market value of the vehicle may still be reduced. There are three types of diminished value that your case may fall under:

1. Inherent Diminished Value: This type of diminished value refers to the loss of value of a vehicle simply because it has been in accident. Even after the vehicle has been fully repaired, it may still be considered less valuable than a car that has no accident history. This type of diminished value is the most common and most highly accepted.

2. Repair-Related Diminished Value: A vehicle that experienced an accident and was not repaired properly may experience repair-related diminished value. Whether the car still has cosmetic damages or structural damages, it may experience loss in value due to incomplete repairs.

3. Immediate Diminished Value: Right after a vehicle has experienced an accident, it may lose value even before the owner has the chance to make repairs. Immediate diminished value can be calculated as the difference in resale value of a vehicle before the damage occurred and the resale value before repairs have been made after damage has occurred.

Auto Appraisals

When you need to know the true value of your vehicle, an auto appraisal by a professional at AutoLoss can help to make sure that you receive the best value for your unique vehicle. An auto appraisal takes into account the full history of the vehicle and provides you with an expert opinion on the vehicle’s value that you can then present to the bank, credit union, potential buyers, and insurance companies. There are many reasons as to why an individual may need an auto appraisal, which is why company’s such as AutoLoss provide a variety of Auto Appraisals.

A Stated Value Appraisal can help to establish the true market value of a vehicle that may be required from a bank, credit union, or insurance company. A Loss of Use Appraisal helps to value a business’ vehicle that has been involved in an accident but was necessary for business operations. This type of auto loss appraisal can help recover the value of the vehicle’s service to business. A Lease Termination Appraisal is best for individuals looking to get out of a lease early, and are determined by the vehicle, the market, and miles on the vehicle. Luxury Automobile Appraisals are another type of Auto Appraisal that help protect an individual’s investment. This type of appraisal ensures that the full value of the luxury vehicle is realized and proven. Auto Appraisals are also valuable for individuals looking to donate their car for tax write off purposes.

Total Loss Appraisals

When your vehicle is considered a “total loss”, the insurance company may make you an offer that is less than your desired amount. “Total Loss” of a vehicle refers to when the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds the cost of the vehicle’s worth. After damages occur, an insurance company may make you an offer for the cash value of the totaled vehicle minus your deductible on your comprehensive or collision coverage. A Total Loss Appraisal will ensure that this offer from the insurance company is accurate and provides you with the best value for your damaged vehicle.

Do I have a right to get my own appraisal on an insurance claim?

YES! Both you, and your insurance company have a right to an appraisal. It is always wise to hire your own impartial, licensed appraiser to determine the value of your loss. Your insurance company may not protect your best interests with their in-house or computerized appraisals. When you protect yourself with an independent appraisal, your insurance company is obligated to negotiate a loss settlement using both.

Do I have to sell my vehicle to make a diminished value claim?

No! Whether you want to sell your repaired vehicle right away, or 10 years after the claim is your business. The drop in value occurs immediately, and you are entitled to be compensated immediately.

What if I’ve already settled? Can I still file a diminished value claim?

Yes. If the settlement has occurred within four years, we can still help you negotiate a settlement for Diminished Value, depending on the state in which you live.

In order to recover the losses you must have a diminished value appraisal completed by a Professional Automobile Appraisal Company, such as Autoloss. Also, if the other party does not have insurance and you carry uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage you may be able to claim diminished value under your policy. Autoloss can help the Washington Consumer in many ways. Call 877-655-1661 so Autoloss can help you recover your losses today. The statue of limitations for filing a diminished value claim in Washington is 3 years from the date of loss.