A Little About Making A Diminished Value Demand

If you’ve found this information, then you’ve probably been involved in an auto accident of some sort and you are seeking recovery for property damages you have incurred.  It is not uncommon to have a dispute with the insurance company over your claim.  Disputes most commonly occur over the dollar value a claim is worth.  Fill out the form to the right to get our sample demand and make your diminished value demand today!  We’ll even give you a free consultation to tell you how much it’s worth – it only takes a few minutes!

Justin wrote a blog post recently and below are the tips he gave for making your own diminished value demand:

This is a difficult topic to quickly and sufficiently cover, but we’ll give it a shot by focusing on general guidelines and common tactics for most insurance claims.  We’ll assume that you have sufficient language and grammatical skills to compose a demand letter that doesn’t contain glaring mistakes.

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So let’s get right to it using a simple car accident scenario…

Example Diminished Value Claim Dispute:  

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Jack and Jill went up the hill (in their car) to fetch a gallon of purified water.  Jack got a dang ol’ spider on him right before they reached the top of the hill and swerved into oncoming traffic, side-swiping a new car.  The owners of the new vehicle make a claim against Jack’s insurance policy (they are not injured) and once the vehicle damages have been estimated, the insurance company tells the owner of the new vehicle that the insurance will pay such and such amount.

This is not sufficient to cover all the damages that the owners of the new vehicle claim they have suffered so they now have a dispute.  This kind of dispute is the most common that I deal with on a daily basis.  The owners of the vehicle believe the value of their insurance claim (diminished value or total loss) is more than the insurance company does.

I have to point out that this scenario is a third-party tort claim (civil negligence).

The insurance for Jack promises to pay for damages (to a third party) for which Jack is legally liable / negligent.  This means anybody claiming that Jack owes them money must prove to his insurance company that Jack is legally liable for all their damages, and the exact amount (which can be pretty difficult).

Tips for writing a demand

Let’s say the insurance company says your car will need $5000.00 in repairs, but the best quote you have is for $7500.00 and you also aren’t even counting your diminished value.  You know that to get it fixed right it will cost more than $5K, and even after it is perfectly repaired, it now has a marred history, further reducing its marketability. You figure you’ve got at least $10,000 in real damages, but the insurance company is sticking by their number.  So here are some tips for putting your dispute in writing:

  1. Demand more than you think you will get, but not so much that you seem greedy.
  2. Be humble, but firm.
  3. Be specific.
  4. Show willingness to negotiate.
  5. Do not bluff.
  6. Research your legal options and evaluate your cost before you make a threat.

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