Asking yourself “What should I look for in a diminished value report?”


7 Things To Look For In A Diminished Value Report To Prove Your Diminished Value

What Do I Need To Prove Diminished Value?

In almost every successful recovery, an expert report on diminished value is required. As an expert in diminished value, my research indicates that diminished value exists in almost every case where a vehicle has been wrecked and then repaired.

Generally speaking, the lesser the value of the car is before the wreck, the lesser the diminished value is after repairs, but not always. There are many factors that should be evaluated in order to properly determine the amount of diminished value suffered by a vehicle. So here are seven things you can look for to see if the report from your diminished value expert is based in fact, or if it is faked!

 1.   Does the expert inspect the vehicle that has allegedly suffered diminished value?

If the expert (or expert’s staff) does not physically inspect the vehicle, then how can they be sure of the value? What if the repairs were terrible, or what if the insurance company or shop missed something? Clearly, the condition of the vehicle and quality of the repair work is important in determining the value of a vehicle.

 2.   Will the expert explain the scope and methodology used in determining your diminished value, and is the scope and methodology generally accepted as a way of credibly appraising damages and values?

 3.   Does the report evaluate the level of damages that the vehicle had sustained prior to collision repairs and rate the damage for the likelihood of future problems?

 4.   Does the report include photos of the vehicle?

 5.   Did your expert include data from dealers or individual consumers during the research process?

 6.   Did the expert calculate the pre-accident value of your vehicle properly, accounting for whether the vehicle is a specialty model or collectible, and all of its options?

A proper method uses more than one source and takes an average (we use five or more sources where available)

 7.   Did your expert inquire about warranties or previous accidents / repairs / maintenance?

 A good expert will run a CarFax or AutoCheck for you (at no cost), and they will make sure they account for and disclose in their report any previous accident and will support the pre-accident value of the vehicle with maintenance information obtained from the owner (a well maintained vehicle is worth more than one that is not well maintained, right?).

 I hope this helps you in your quest to decode diminished value. It takes knowledge of insurance processes and regulations and a lot of research. Successfully recovering on a third party diminished value claim heavily relies on how thoroughly your expert has documented your lost value and whether the methods the expert used are generally accepted methods, and not just a “guess”.

Sometimes it’s just in the Petty Details!

Posted in: Diminished Value