Diminished Value or a Total Loss, what are my options?

Diminished Value or a Total Loss, what are my options? IMG_0033 3.11.32 PM copy

What’s your best option after an accident, a total loss or a repaired vehicle plus a diminished value settlement?  Well it’s really not your decision, the insurance carrier of the “at fault” party will get to pick their “proverbial poison”, but you can assist them with their decision by making diminished value part of the discussion early on.  If the insurance adjuster understands that you are savvy and will be looking for a diminished value settlement, that will become a factor in his decision to “repair” or “total” your vehicle.  When it comes to diminished value, most insurance companies will tell you openly that they do not pay for diminished value loss.  Excuses will run the gamut, but if they expect a lot of resistance from you, they will give serious consideration to totaling your car which usually is your best option.  

Consider the following example:

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If you have a vehicle with a Actual Cash Value (ACV) of $10,000 and $4,850 in repairs the insurance adjuster will look at the total loss threshold in your state and most likely opt to repair the vehicle.  The lowest published total loss threshold is 60% and a list of all total loss thresholds can be found click here.  The value of your damaged vehicle will come into play as the repair estimate, get’s closer to the ACV and the total loss threshold because the insurance carrier will take possession of your vehicle and sell it after they settle your total loss claim.  In today’s world, most people never bring up diminished value because the american consumer has no access to an effective diminished value loss calculator, until now.  Crash calculator.com will change the landscape for the insurance industry and make the claims settlement process fair for the consumer. 

The figure highlighted in orange is what we refer to as your “recoverable loss” which includes a check for the repairs on your vehicle, the value of your damaged “as-is” and diminished value compensation.  Most people are not aware that you do not have to repair your vehicle, you can keep the repair check and sell the damaged vehicle “as-is”.  As this number approaches the number in yellow (ACV) the insurance carrier will look at the total cost of settling the claim, the total loss threshold and weigh the liability/cost associated with the settlement.  In the above example, Insurance Company X might quickly posture by denying to pay any diminished value loss compensation.  However, if the claimant is adamant, obtains legal representation and renders a demand letter the insurance company could be liable for costs and attorney’s fees plus damages.  In this scenario, Insurance Company X will most likely fold and give in to either paying the Recoverable Loss Total or the Actual Cash value and total the vehicle.

Either way, it makes sense for every consumer to know how accident claims are settled by insurance companies and have a firm handle on these two figures:

  1. Diminished Value Loss 
  2. Damaged Vehicle Value

You can visit www.crashcalculator.com and get access to both of these figures in under a minute.

For more information on diminished value or questions on your accident, please call (888) 674-1068 to speak to a live agent.