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.
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 an unexpected 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 insurance company who provided a policy to the “at fault” driver. Get your diminished value report today!
Who are the leading companies publishing a vehicle’s accident history?
The two leading national providers of these reports are CARFAX and AutoCheck. These vehicle history reports can include notes about your vehicle’s accident history that are gathered from police reports, other accident data sources, insurance company event data, repair shops and salvage yards. Because of advances in information technology, it is highly unlikely that your vehicle can be involved in a major accident without being reported to one or both of these services.
You should also know that when your vehicle has an accident history and appears in one of these reports, it is not buried on page 5 of the report. It is front and center on the very first page at the top of the report for everyone to see.
If your car’s accident history has been reported to CARFAX or AutoCheck, there is a very good chance that you have a diminished value loss. Get your diminished value report today!
What kind of information is included in a vehicle history report about my car accident?
This will depend on the source and quality of the information reported. It will typically include the date of the accident and indicate whether there was minor or more significant structural damage. Both of these comments could cause potential buyers and dealers to reduce the amount they will pay you for your car.
Do all vehicles damaged in a car accident appear in CARFAX reports?
No. CARFAX reports are based on information they receive from police reports, repair shops, and insurance companies. While most vehicle damage does get reported, if there was no police response to your accident and the collision shop doesn’t report to CARFAX, your accident history might not appear in a CARFAX report.
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, 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.
Don’t take the risk on this. Order your diminished value report today!
Is it possible to have a car accident but not have diminished value?
Yes. If you’re involved in a minor accident and it was possible to repair your vehicle by replacing broken headlamps and other non-painted plastic parts, your diminished value could be very small. If you keep good records of the damage including a copy of the collision shop repair estimate and photos, you might be able to convince a potential buyer of your vehicle that there is no need to lower the selling price of your vehicle because of this minor accident.
Don’t guess about whether you have diminished value. Order your diminished value report today!
How much car accident damage does it take to have diminished value?
In general, your diminished value loss from your car accident damage begins when your car needs paint work and increases from there depending on other forms of significant damage you may have. This could include things like whether there was airbag deployment along other things such as frame, structural, and suspension damage.
Don’t accept a diminished value loss. Get your diminished value report today!
Will my damaged vehicle ever be the same as it was before the accident?
Minor damage such as a broken tail light or a bumper scratch can usually be repaired with factory replacement parts in a way that may not be noticeable to potential buyers of your car.
However, with major damage, no one can guarantee that you’ve received a perfect repair. There could be hidden damage that was never detected, poor quality welds that could make the vehicle not as safe as it was before the accident, or poor quality repairs. That means your car may continue to show signs of damage that can be easily detected by an experienced professional and it is highly likely that your accident will appear in a CARFAX report. Both will cause potential buyers of your vehicle to significantly discount the amount that they are willing to pay for your car when compared to a vehicle with no accident history.
How long will the damage history of my vehicle affect its value?
Once the damage history of your vehicle is published in a CARFAX or other publicly available report, it will remain visible to potential buyers and car dealers for its remaining life. You’ll continue to receive private sale and trade-in offers that are reduced to reflect estimates of this diminished value.
The longer you own your vehicle, the less your vehicle’s accident history will affect its value. By maximizing your diminished value claim as soon as possible after the accident, you’ll have the option to:
• Sell your vehicle now if you are concerned about its safety and history and apply your recovery to the purchase price of a replacement vehicle.
• Hold onto your car for as long as you can and use the proceeds from your diminished value claim for something else.
Regardless of whether you plan to keep or sell your vehicle, it’s essential that you recover this lost value as soon as possible.
Does the quality of vehicle I’m driving affect whether or not I have diminished value?
Yes. If you are driving an average, typical vehicle, you may not suffer as much diminished value as you would with a high end, more expensive vehicle. If have a high-end, luxury vehicle, you will have more diminished value. That’s because the value of a luxury vehicle is higher and you’re going to be dealing with a more demanding buyer who has the option to buy a similar vehicle to avoid the uncertainty of your vehicle’s accident history.
Get a fair settlement for the lost value of your vehicle. Order your diminished value report today!
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 5 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.
Use an expert to make your diminished value claim. Order your diminished value report today!
What is inherent diminished value?
Inherent diminished value is the lost value resale value of a vehicle with an accident history. In most cases, your accident history will show up in a CARFAX report and it will be visible to both dealers and private parties. Both will offer you less for your car when compared to what they would be willing to pay for a similar car without an accident history. If you’ve been in an accident with an at-fault driver, you need to recover this lost value regardless of whether you intend to sell or keep your car.
What is repair related diminished value?
Repair related diminished value is the lost resale value of a vehicle that has been in an accident and lost value because of poor quality repairs. This can be a combination of poor quality workmanship and sub-standard replacement parts that can result from a combination of repairs that were inadvertently or intentionally missed by the repair shop as well as situations when the insurance company declines coverage and limits reimbursements to inferior parts that don’t fit properly. It can include anything from improper welds, misaligned panels, improperly repaired frames, mismatched paint, overspray, or improperly applied corrosion protection.
If you have repair related diminished value, you’ll need to address this by returning to the repair shop that performed the work on your vehicle and insisting that the missing or incorrect repairs be addressed to your satisfaction.
Our reports do not cover repair related diminished value but will show your car’s inherent diminished value.
If my car is repaired at a high end body shop, can I avoid diminished value?
Sometimes. If your repairs don’t involve any paint work, you might be among the lucky few who could replace a headlight or other unpainted parts that are bolted on such as bumpers, grills or mirrors. However, if your damage requires paint work, such as repairing panels with filler, refinishing parts, or fixing a damaged frame even the best repair shops may find it impossible to duplicate the original factory workmanship.
While most repair shops do a great job and can fix your car so that the accident damage is no longer visible to the untrained eye, you’ll still have diminished value if your accident history appears in a CARFAX report. The loss of value you’ll experience will come from concerns that potential buyers will raise about your car because it has been in an accident.
Buyers are already nervous about buying a used car, so why make the problem worse?
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.
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. Contact us 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 severity of the damage, the age of the vehicle, and the quality of the repairs performed are all factors when determining the extent of your lost 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.
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.
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 coverage. Some states such as Georgia will allow you to demand payment for diminished value even if you were at fault in the accident regardless of whether your policy has diminished value coverage or not.
Can I recover diminished value from the at-fault insurance company if I live in a no-fault state?
Yes. In general, even if the at-fault party avoids liability for injury claims you may still be able to recover your diminished value.
Can I recover North Carolina diminished value?
Yes. You can recover North Carolina diminished value to restore your car to its pre-accident value. This can be done by presenting our diminished value report to the insurance company of the driver who was at fault in your accident.
Is it possible to file a claim for Georgia diminished value?
Yes. You can make a claim for Georgia diminished value against the insurance company of the driver who was at fault in your accident and against your own policy even if the accident was your fault. Even if the repairs on your car have been completed, you can still file a claim for diminished value by ordering our report to prove the amount of your loss.
Can I file a Texas diminished value claim?
Yes. You are permitted to file a Texas diminished value claim against the insurance company of the driver who was at fault in your accident. Our diminished value report will help you recover the full amount of your vehicle’s lost value.
Can I submit a Florida diminished value claim for my vehicle’s loss in value?
Yes. You can file a Florida diminished value claim and recover your vehicle’s lost value against the insurance company of the driver who was at fault in your accident. You’ll need to provide the insurance company with our professionally prepared diminished value report to support your claim.
Can I recover Oregon diminished value from an at fault insurance company?
Yes. Our Oregon diminished value reports will allow you to present the at fault insurance company with an unbiased estimate of the amount of loss you have suffered as a result of your car accident. Oregon has some of the most favorable laws in the country when it comes to demanding payment for your diminished value claim in Oregon.
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 as suffered even after it has been repaired.
What is the deadline for recovering my diminished value?
In most states, you will have at least 2 years from the date of your car accident to file a diminished value claim. Wait until your car has been repaired to your satisfaction. Then follow our diminished value recovery process. We’ll help you recover the lost value sustained by your vehicle that still needs to be recovered, even after it has been repaired.
If I’ve already settled my property damage claim can I still file a diminished value claim?
Yes, however each state has different laws regarding how much time can elapse from the settlement date to file your diminished value claim. Contact us for additional information.
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.
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. Learn more about DVCHECK and the diminished value recovery process.
Will the adjuster sent by the at-fault insurance company attempt to estimate my diminished value?
No. The adjuster will focus on the repairs needed to fix your car. However, you can still present a diminished value claim.
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.
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.
Can I disagree with the insurance company on the amount of my diminished value loss?
Yes. You have the right to disagree with the insurance company on the amount of diminished value loss. However, this disagreement should be based on a professionally prepared estimate of your loss to ensure your best chance of success.
How hard will the insurance companies fight to limit the amount of my diminished value?
You should expect them to prevent you from recovering diminished value for minor, insignificant damage. However, with the help of an experienced industry professional, it is still possible to maximize your settlement.
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 your diminished value reports help me avoid the expense of hiring a lawyer?
Yes. Our professionally prepared reports are so thorough that in most cases you’ll be able to maximize your diminished value claim without hiring a lawyer. In the rare instance where a claim has to go to court, our customers are more than able to present and win their case using our professionally prepared reports and can avoid giving up to 33% of their diminished value recovery to a lawyer.
You should also know that lawyers that have been hired by car owners routinely purchase our reports to help their clients maximize their recovery.
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.
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.
How much does a diminished value report cost and what will I receive?
Our reports cost $250 You’ll receive:
• A USPAP compliant appraisal report telling you the likely amount of your diminished value loss.
• Detailed instructions for presenting your claim and a sample diminished value 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. Learn more about our diminished value success rates.
What is a USPAP compliant appraisal report?
USPAP stands for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. This organization sets quality control standards for car appraisals to protect the general public. Your USPAP compliant appraisal report will be prepared according to these standards. This helps to ensure that your appraisal report will be taken seriously when presented to an insurance company or in a court of law.
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 reports are professionally prepared to USPAP standards to support our estimate of your diminished value loss using the following:
• Industry respected guidebooks
• Dealership interviews
• Our proprietary database of recent dealer quotes
• Your vehicle class
• The severity of your damage
• Your prior accident 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.
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.
What forms of payments do you accept?
We use Stripe to securely process your payment so you can use the credit or debit card of your choice.
When will I receive my diminished value report?
You’ll receive your diminished value report within 2-3 business days.
Don’t waste time filing your claim. Order your diminished value report today!
What should I do with my diminished value report after I receive it?
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. Use our contact us form to obtain assistance.
Learn more about DVCHECK.