Where can I get a diminished value appraisal? 7 tips!

If you are doing research on how to get paid for your vehicle’s diminished value, then you know that the advice on the street is to get a diminished value appraisal from a qualified expert.  Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed in the process?  You aren’t alone!

How To Pick A Qualified Diminished Value Expert

You should have no problem finding a diminished value company on the internet (including mine), and my advice is to call the company and ask to speak to the owner. If you can’t speak to the owner, how will you make a complaint if you are not satisfied with your product?  Print this article and use it when you are on the phone with your diminished value company. See if they answer correctly, and if they don’t, move on!

Questions To Ask To Qualify Your Expert

1. Ask the company if they use a formula.

Diminished value cannot be calculated using a formula because the used automobile market is variable, and a formula cannot incorporate all the variables. Don’t fall for the ol’ fill in the blank formula report, it will never hold up under scrutiny.

2. Ask the company who obtains data for their reports.

There must be actual data to support a diminished value appraisal; the opinion of a used car salesman will not cut it. There is no salesman out there that is an expert on every make and model of used vehicle and the current market for each and every vehicle.  One has to research and document the market.

3. Ask the company if they have anyone with adjusting experience on staff.

Make sure your appraiser is familiar with tort law and adjusting procedures. There are a lot of insider rules that only a smart professional with adjusting experience can overcome. The appraisal must be presented in the correct format.

4. Ask the company to define tort.

Keep in mind that just because someone is an adjuster or has experience as an appraiser, this doesn’t mean they are smart and can write a credible diminished value appraisal.

5. Ask the company if they can write an appraisal without an inspection.

If your expert does not inspect your vehicle physically or by reviewing photos, how in the heck can he/she determine the condition of your vehicle and document it?

6. Simply ask them how they determine the diminished value.

Will your expert answer your questions candidly, or do they give you ambiguous answers to your questions. A real expert is just that: an expert.  They should be willing to tell you exactly how they are arriving at any specific conclusion.

7. Just ask them flat out if they are conforming with the USPAP.

Is your appraisal presented in the format required by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice?

You get the idea, I hope.

Ask questions!  Make sure your appraisal is not just the opinion of a car salesman. Will your report be self explanatory, or will it simply have a bunch of prices listed for similar vehicles and then the opinion of an expert that says your vehicle has lost so and so amount of value?

Insurance companies don’t normally have a diminished value expert at their disposal and will normally just come up with a figure based on some “formula” that has not been evaluated and try to make you believe they are experts and their value is the correct value. Some companies will actually hire an outside “expert”.

Your expert should be able to tell you if the insurance company is providing a valid appraisal or not and help you pick out the parts that don’t hold water so as to help you successfully recover a fair amount on your claim. A good appraisal will be easy to understand and will incorporate actual facts and sales data to reflect the true diminished value of any particular vehicle.

Don’t get roped into purchasing a $400.00 opinion.

Get yourself a real diminished value appraisal that the insurance company can’t call out.  

We can help you with this – all you have to do is fill out the short form below and get a FREE claim consultation!

Sometimes its just in the petty details…..Good luck!