Secrets To Success In Finding Your Vehicle’s Loss Of Value

Loss of market value, diminished value, and diminution of value are the most common terms used to describe the difference in resale value your vehicle is likely to incur due to a collision.

Determining the loss of value that vehicle has incurred is a complex job and requires quite a bit of data. Since our company specializes in determining this type of lost value, I thought I would share some secrets that help our customers succeed in recovering diminished value.

1.   Don’t believe for one minute that a free diminished value report will convince an insurance company to pay you any money.

Think about it….if it’s free then where is the company getting money to stay in business? These companies utilize marketing tactics to draw you to their free (and worthless) product and then bombard you with advertisements or try to sneak in a place where you provide your e-mail so that they can advertise to you later.

The worst of them simply get you to fill out their form, then instead of providing you with a report, they just tell you how much you might expect – if you want an official report then pay so and so amount and call so and so number. This is where they make money, on advertising.

They offer what seems to be the best deal in the world and get a lot of visitors to their website, and in turn they use those traffic numbers to convince other companies to advertise on their site for a fee or try and get you to buy a diminished value report from them. They make money, and you get a free report or diminished value range that is generated by a computer with no knowledge of your specific vehicle’s condition, damage amount, or market.

 2.   Be willing to, and expect to negotiate a little bit.

There is no way to determine the exact amount of diminished value a vehicle will realize when it is sold. There are too many factors (the seller’s need to sell, the buyer’s need to buy, the availability of maintenance records or actual damage estimates / repair invoices from previous damages). If you go into the fight with the determination to settle instead of with the determination to get every penny you are owed, then that attitude will spill over to the adjuster and you will likely get an adjuster who is also willing to negotiate a little bit.

 3.   Negotiate only in writing!

Adjusters get practice verbally arguing all day everyday.

Don’t play on the home court, you know?

Most adjusters are much more apprehensive about writing something derogatory or illegal than they are about saying something derogatory or illegal. Additionally, utilizing written correspondence will keep you from hearing the tone of the adjuster’s voice and may keep you from blowing your top because of the perceived arrogance of some adjusters. Ask for an e-mail or fax number to speed things up, and if they refuse that information, just use the mail and follow-up religiously with phone calls asking if they have received your correspondence. Don’t engage in a conversation regarding the correspondence if they attempt to start discussing it, rather, nicely ask them to put their response in writing so you can review.

 4.   Purchase an expert report only after speaking directly with the expert and confirming with your adjuster that an expert report is needed!

If you can’t get your expert on the phone, then RUN AWAY!!

If your insurance adjuster says that an expert report will not change their mind, then you will likely need to file a suit or hire an attorney. If you get this kind of adjuster / company, decide if your suing first, then get your report. Good insurance adjusters will simply pick up the phone and call the diminished value expert to try and get a feel for their real expertise. If you have a good expert, then you will likely get at least an offer from the company. If your expert isn’t so great, they probably can’t convince you that they are an expert, will not give you straight answers to your questions, and they will not be able to explain themselves to an adjuster, judge or jury.

Even the best experts should not charge more than a total of $350.00 for their continued help, their inspection of your vehicle, and their official report.

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Posted in: Diminished Value