Diminished Value claims in TexasIn the state of Texas, if you are in a wreck and the accident was not your fault you are entitled to file a claim for Diminished Value. The statue of limitations on filing a Diminished Value claim in Texas is two years from the date of loss. In order to recover the losses you must have a diminished value appraisal completed by a professional automobile appraisal company, such as Appraisal Group of America. Also, if the other party does not have insurance and you carry uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage you may be able to claim diminished value under your policy.
You can also file a claim in small claims court in Texas for as much as $10,000. Appraisal Group of America can help the Texas consumer in many ways. We also have local Texas appraisers standing by to complete an inspection on your vehicle as well. Call 877-655-1661 so Appraisal Group of America can help you recover your losses today.
"The goal of insurance is to put you back to where you were before your loss," explains Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of public affairs at the Insurance Information Institute (III).
But insurer’s interpretation of “where I was before my loss” is not a universal view amount the scores of insurance companies.
Your insurance company pays for the repairs on your car (minus your deductible). But if you decide to sell your car afterward, you probably will discover that it’s not worth as much as it was before the accident. In fact, you will likely receive less money for your vehicle -- whether you sell it the day after repairs or next year. This could happen even if the repairs were top notch.
What happened? Your car has experienced diminished value, also referred to as diminution in value.
Your car + accident = diminished value
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) explains it this way: "A late-model car with a market value of $15,000 is involved in a collision and incurs substantial damage. Repairs cost $6,000, and the owner's insurer pays the $6,000, minus a deductible of $500. The owner decides shortly after making the repairs to sell the auto and finds out that he will only be able to obtain a price of $12,500 for the car, or $2,500 less than he would have been able to receive had he sold the car the day before the accident. The $2,500 difference in the market value of the auto because of the collision is commonly referred to as diminution in value."
Can you get that $2,500 back from your car insurance company?
Not likely, unless you live in a few select states, there is little recourse. ISO creates and files auto insurance policies with all states that insurance companies can then use for coverage – although some insurers create and file their own policies. ISO has authored language that exempts insurance companies in nearly every state for making diminished value payments to policyholders for auto accident claims.
"ISO's diminution in value exclusion endorsement, which has been approved by insurance regulators and is available for use in 45 states, Washington D.C and Puerto Rico, applies to first-party physical damage claims. This endorsement has not been approved in Georgia, Kansas and Maryland. Hawaii and North Carolina are under the jurisdiction of an independent bureau," states ISO.
Consumer advocates believe policyholders should be entitled to a check for the difference in car value after a wreck.
There are three schools of thought as to why a vehicle experiences diminished/diminution value after a wreck:
- Diminution in value is "inherent." This means that every car loses value after an accident (even if the auto shop did a great job repairing it).
- Diminished value is "claim-related." This means that a car loses value because the insurance company pays for inferior aftermarket parts or refuses to pay for specific repair procedures recommended by the body shop.
- Diminished value is "repair-related." This means that the vehicle loses value because of subpar repair techniques, such as poor welding or refinishing.
Whether car insurance companies will reimburse you for diminished value depends on the company and its policy language.
In most states, first-party claims (meaning you crashed your car) for diminished value are not recoverable.
If someone else crashes into you (a third-party claim), shouldn’t they, and their insurance company, be responsible for reimbursing you for your car’s drop in value?
"Third-party claims may be payable on a case-by-case basis under liability coverages. That’s based on state law and is not a part of the insurance contract. In the case for third-party claim, the insurer may require proof of the alleged loss of market value. A third-party claim against someone else is your best shot at getting diminished value paid – but not in all states.
In the past decade, a number of courts have squarely addressed the issue of diminished value claims under comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverages. The majority of these courts have ruled that comprehensive and collision coverage limit liability to payments for proper repairs and do not provide for payments for losses in value, he says. State supreme courts that have set this precedent include those in Delaware, Indiana, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. A few appellate courts have made similar rulings, including those in Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Diminished value payments or not, auto insurance companies have a vested interest (and contractual obligation) to repair your car so that it’s in good working order. The last thing an auto insurance company wants is to have a car that is not quite safe on the road again.