IACP Certified Diminished Value Claims – Know your rights!
By: Roy Theophilus Bent, Jr. of Houston Auto Appraisers – Bureau of Certified Auto Appraisers
Did your auto lose its value in an auto ACCIDENT due to another person’s negligence?
If so, please pay very close attention to what you are about to read because the insurance companies who are at fault are extremely tight lipped on this matter. Also, shame on you to all those auto collision shops out there who actively participate in poor quality repairs and by giving your customers a hard time when they are not satisfied with your work; while you play the “don’t ask don’t tell” games – being well aware about Diminished Value but choose not to say anything because they do not want to “jeopardize” their “dear relationships” with their paying insurance companies.
Diminished Value is the market related loss of monetary worth your vehicle has suffered as a result of its recorded involvement in a major accident. This methodology often refers to cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, heavy equipment, and other tangible property with a monetary value. With autos, the amount of diminished value depends on whether inherent diminished value or repair-related diminished value has occurred. Inherent diminished value means that since your vehicle has been involved in a major accident, you have inherited the fair market value losses associated with the resale value of your auto. Repair-related diminished value refers to substandard repair “attempts” such as poor bodywork, bondo shows, paint runs, color doesn’t match, used or aftermarket parts, lines don’t match, runs awful, etcetera.
The Federal Tort Claims Act and each State has disclosure laws that make it mandatory that previous damage be disclosed, (made known), to a prospective buyer. In every city throughout the United States, we agree that our citizens are certain that a prospective buyer wouldn’t be willing to pay the same price for two vehicles if they were exactly the same except for the governing fact that the one they were going to purchase was documented to have been involved in a major accident.
A 2008 BMW owner’s car with no accident history, worth $35,000 one second before the accident, may only be worth $26,000 after all the required repairs were made. That would mean that the vehicles owner is owed $9,000 in Diminished Value by the At-Fault Parties Insurance Provider. The amount of which the value is determined to be diminished also depends on the extent of damages that the vehicle has sustained. Keep in mind that Frame and Structural damage is weighted more heavily as a form of damage than only replacing a bumper, a fender, glass, simple touch ups or repairs less than $1,500 on the final repair bill. The diminished value amount on a classic car could be significantly higher. Be sure and hire an IACP Certified Auto Appraiser to assist you with your claim.
Diminution of value claims are normally recognized when another person was at fault. First-party claims are those in which the victim who is making the claim is at fault. Diminished value will typically not be recognized in these cases, and insurance agencies are quick to point that out. However, insurance agencies will not always reveal that third-party diminution of value claims are almost always recognized, and the damages in the form of compensation can be collected by the victim from the other person’s insurance provider. This is governed by law, which states that the victim’s circumstances must be restored as much as possible by the person who was responsible for the accident.
Due to the negligence of another party, your vehicle has lost market value. A tort has been committed against you and you are due compensation for all damages suffered.
The Texas Department of Insurance has issued a bulletin on this matter. The Texas Department of Insurance bulletin# B-0027-00 states; …“An insurer also may be obligated to pay a third party claimant for any loss of market value of the claimant’s automobile, regardless of the completeness of the repair, in a liability claim that the third party claimant may have against a policyholder. Further, an insurer may be obligated to pay a first party claimant under the Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provisions of the policy, for any loss of market value of the first party claimant’s automobile, regardless of the completeness of the repair”. Reviews of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges – General Negligence and Intentional Torts are written by legislature to protect the victim and to address any compulsory legalities of the tortfeasor.
Just learned something new? To learn more, please visit our website at www.HoustonAutoAppraisers.com
or give us a call toll-free at 1-877-845-2368 for more information on our IACP certified appraisal services. Remember, be informed now or lose out due to the lack of knowledge! Copied with permission from the Bureau of Certified Auto Appraisers www.BOCAA.org
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