Diminished value is the amount of loss you incur when a vehicle is involved in an accident. The figure is determined by identifying the value after the accident versus the value before the accident took place. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file what’s known as a car diminished value claim. If so, here are three tips that will help with the process.
Identifying Where to Submit the Claim
Before you can do anything, it helps to know where it must be submitted. The most likely scenario is that it will be submitted to the responsible party’s insurance provider. This is because the person who is at fault will also be responsible for all of the damage to your vehicle.
If the responsible party doesn’t have auto insurance, you will turn to your own provider. Assuming you have benefits related to uninsured motorists, they can accept and possibly approve your claim. Keep in mind that if you caused the accident, it’s not possible to be approved for diminished value compensation.
Collect the Forms Required
There are forms that must be filled out in full in order to apply for diminished value. You can request the forms from the insurance provider. In many cases today, the forms are made available in electronic form. You can go to a secure site online and download the ones that the provider requires.
You’ll also find that many providers accept completed forms that are submitted electronically. This may mean emailing them once they are completed. Alternatively, you may be able to upload them to a secure site controlled by the provider, and receive immediate confirmation of receipt.
Have the Vehicle Appraised by a Certified Appraiser
You need solid evidence to back up your claim for car diminished value. The most practical approach is to take the vehicle to a certified appraiser and have it checked out thoroughly. Be sure to tell the appraiser what you plan on doing with the appraisal results. The appraiser will be sure to point out the sections that will be the most helpful in filing the claim information.
Keep in mind that you will learn quite a bit about the vale of the vehicle prior to the accident as well as the value in the car’s current state. That’s good, since you will need that information for purposes other than just the diminished value claim.
Submit the Finished Claim
After gathering all the relevant data, fill out the forms. Make sure you double-check them and ensure each field is filled out completely and concisely. This will help minimize the potential for the forms to be returned for revisions, or for the claim to be rejected due to a lack of information.
Once you’re done, submit using one of the methods provided by the insurance company. Keep a set of everything that you prepare and submit. You also want to retain copies of any emails, texts, or records of phone calls related to the claim. If you do speak with anyone by phone, make sure you get contact names as well as making notes about the conversation.
In the best case scenario, the claim will be reviewed quickly and the compensation will be on the way without any delays. Once it’s in hand, you can start thinking about what type of vehicle you want to own next.