What The Insurance Company Doesn’t Tell You After You’ve Been In A Car Wreck
What The Insurance Company Doesn’t Tell You After You’ve Been In A Car Wreck
October 18, 2019
We all like to think that our insurance company has our best interests in mind, especially after a car accident. But the truth is that no matter how nice, helpful and friendly the agent on the phone is, their goal is to give you the absolute minimum amount for your vehicle that they possibly can.
After you’ve been in a car accident, you naturally contact the insurance company, they send out an adjuster and may even cut you a check on the spot. While that all seems super easy and might be the fastest route to getting back on the road, it isn’t necessarily in your best interest to accept the amount the adjuster determines your car is worth. If you were not the at-fault driver, before accepting a check from the insurance company, you may want to consider contacting an independent car appraiser who isn’t tied to the insurance company.
Most auto policies have a “diminished value” clause, though insurance companies aren’t likely to mention this to you. An independent appraiser will calculate something called the “diminished value” of your vehicle. Diminished value is the difference between the fair market value of your vehicle before the accident and the fair market value of it after repairs have been completed. (https://wallacepierce.com)
From the Insurance Information Institute website, “In all states except Michigan, if an accident is the fault of another driver, you would receive compensation for diminished value. This is because legally the third party has an obligation to make the victim of the accident “whole” again; in this case, to restore the victim’s car to its pre-accident fair market value.
In other words, the at-fault driver's insurer is responsible for repairing your car and for paying you the difference between the car’s resale value before the accident and after the repair. This cost is usually covered by the liability portion of his or her insurance policy.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured and cannot pay for repairs, receipt of payment will depend on whether you have purchased uninsured motorist’s coverage. About half of the states allow recovery for diminished value under this coverage.” Check your states’ laws to find out if you’re covered in this event.
The burden of proof falls to you. The insurance company will require you to pay for an appraisal from an independent auto appraiser.
Auto Appraisal Network is a nationwide franchise that can help you with these types of situations. If you’ve been in a car wreck and were not at-fault, visit us at autoappraisalnetwork.com and find an appraiser near you. In many cases, our appraisers have helped individuals get thousands more for their vehicle than was originally offered by the insurance company.
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Diminished value and depreciation are two separate and distinct issues. Diminished value is the difference between your vehicle’s market value before an accident and its value after an accident, once repaired. Depreciation is your vehicle’s loss in value over time, which is caused by normal wear and tear. Your car’s depreciation is determined based on its mileage, age, make, model, and general condition.
This 15 year old BMW 650 was in an accident caused by another, resulting in over $10k in damage repairs. Following a Diminished Value appraisal, the owner is now making a $5,000 claim against the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
If your vehicle was damaged during the recent historic rainfall and floods in and around Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, South Florida, it is highly likely your car will be declared a total loss by your insurance company. Be aware of the 'Appraisal Clause' in your policy, and/or do an internet search. Do not accept your insurance company's first offer. Invoke your 'Appraisal Clause.' Big $$$ at stake!
Almost everything you need to know about Diminished Value to your vehicle is in this article: https://classicmotorsports.com/articles/crash-course-diminished-value/ If you have been in an automobile accident, contact us and we'll walk you through step-by-step what you need to do to receive compensation for your loss.
As a follow-up to this post: https://southfloridacarappraisers.com/classic-car-news-and-tips/how-do-you-get-financing-on-your-branded-or-rebuilt-title-1657747143488.html? several have asked what effect a rebuilt title has on the value of a vehicle. As attorneys are known to respond – “it depends!” Comparing two identical vehicles, same year, make, model, options, mileage, and condition, the one with the rebuilt title can be worth anywhere from 20% to 40% less than the one with a clean, no accident history.
With just 200 miles on the odometer, this 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat was stolen out of the owner’s driveway at 2:30 AM, never to be seen again! Fortunately, he had comprehensive insurance with the “Good Hands” folk! Unfortunately, they wanted to reimburse him just $83,036 for his loss! Luckily, he was familiar with, and decided to invoke, the ‘Appraisal Clause’ in his policy and hired Auto Appraisal Network of South Florida to provide a prior-to-loss fair market value appraisal.
You have just been in an automobile accident and now you are wondering if your vehicle is repairable or if it’s totaled. Your body shop manager says that they are certain they can repair it, but the insurance company says they want to total it! What to do? Who do you believe? What are your options?
The two secrets the auto insurance industry doesn't want you to know are "Appraisal Clause" and "Diminished Value." Almost every auto insurance policy has an Appraisal Clause, giving the policyholder, in the event their vehicle is declared a total loss, the right to an independent appraisal of the prior-to-loss fair market value. Diminished Value is the sudden loss of value because of an accident. If you were not at-fault in the accident, you can make a Diminished Value claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company. Call/text 786-853-0711 with any questions.
Whether it's life, travel or automobile, insurance is the one item we purchase which we hope we never use. But, **** happens! Recently we handled total loss claims on a '90s Land Rover Defender and a 2021 Honda Civic Type R, both with over $10k in recent options and upgrades of which the owners never advised their insurance companies. We were able to settle for more $$$ than the insurance company initially offered, but the >$10k in upgrades was not covered! Yes, they saved a few $$ on the insurance premium, but lost thousands in the settlement. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish! If you have invested in upgrades on your vehicle, advise your insurance company in writing!
If your Porsche has been in an accident, whether it has been declared a total loss, or is repairable, by having a Prior-to-total loss Fair Market Value, or a Diminished Value appraisal, you will almost certainly have a higher cash settlement than the insurance company is initially willing to pay. Applies to all vehicles, not just Porsches!