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      11-28-2022, 03:22 PM   #1
fmzip
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Accident: Success with diminished value claim?

My car got into a minor accident, had $6600 worth of damage and has since been repaired. The car is a 2019 with only 3700 miles on it at the time of the accident. I since hired an appraisal firm and they assessed the diminished value to be $6250 with the car's non-accident value to be at $81K.

The insurance company came back and offered $4000 out of the gate. I realize this will be a back and forth cat and mouse game and was wondering I was wondering if anyone here has had sucess with a diminished value claim with an insurance company? Any thoughts on what I should settle on? I highly doubt I'd get $75K for it now based on how slowly these cars sell. Not planning to sell it but the blemish on the Carfax will certainly be a detterent for most.
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      11-28-2022, 03:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post
My car got into a minor accident, had $6600 worth of damage and has since been repaired. The car is a 2019 with only 3700 miles on it at the time of the accident. I since hired an appraisal firm and they assessed the diminished value to be $6250 with the car's non-accident value to be at $81K.

The insurance company came back and offered $4000 out of the gate. I realize this will be a back and forth cat and mouse game and was wondering I was wondering if anyone here has had sucess with a diminished value claim with an insurance company? Any thoughts on what I should settle on? I highly doubt I'd get $75K for it now based on how slowly these cars sell. Not planning to sell it but the blemish on the Carfax will certainly be a detterent for most.
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Future diminished value will be a smaller sum than present diminished value. If you keep the car for 5 more years, actual hit to resale value may only be $3-4K. If you know you are keeping the car, you don't *need* $6250 because it's unlikely to actually hit you that much. Put the $4K in a stock and watch it grow till you sell (or pay down your loan).

Ask for more of course, but you may be fine in the long run even at $4k.
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      11-28-2022, 07:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad86tsi View Post
Future diminished value will be a smaller sum than present diminished value. If you keep the car for 5 more years, actual hit to resale value may only be $3-4K. If you know you are keeping the car, you don't *need* $6250 because it's unlikely to actually hit you that much. Put the $4K in a stock and watch it grow till you sell (or pay down your loan).

Ask for more of course, but you may be fine in the long run even at $4k.
I'm not planning to sell, even after 5 years. The car has been paid for as well.

Makes sense except the part about putting the $4K in stocks
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      11-28-2022, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post
I'm not planning to sell, even after 5 years. The car has been paid for as well.

Makes sense except the part about putting the $4K in stocks
In that case anything you get is bonus money (and still fully deserved). It's to offset the lost present value, which is depreciating anyway. It's like advanced depreciation, and it eventually hits a bottom where it no longer depreciates regardless. When shopping for 20 year old cars, carfax (and some minor accident history) has little or value.

On the stocks: buy low, sell high
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      11-28-2022, 08:20 PM   #5
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Agreed it's bonus money but I'd like to get some feedback from anyone who has ventured down this path before. The insurance company is playing hardball at their first offer of $4K, just trying to strategize accordingly
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      11-29-2022, 04:48 PM   #6
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Chad is misinformed. Diminished value is based on the car's pre-accident and post-accident values at the time of the crash, not some future date.
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      11-29-2022, 08:17 PM   #7
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I ran a Carfax value report the day I got into the accident. The Carfax value at the time was $84K.

I ran a Carfax value report today and the accident has posted. The value today is $72K.

I submitted both reports to the insurance company and they will not move off their $4K offer. Can anyone recommend an attorney in NJ with experience in diminished value claims?
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      11-29-2022, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYRICHFROMMIAMI View Post
Chad is misinformed. Diminished value is based on the car's pre-accident and post-accident values at the time of the crash, not some future date.
I said what you said. It's based on "now" value, pre and post accident.

If you pocket $6K for a "now" loss, but don't sell for 5 years, and the 5-years-later reduced value due to accident is only 3K loss, you net 3K because you were compensated for a loss today that you won't actually experience for another 5 years, and the 5 years later cost is 3K less than what you were compensated for.

I was only explaining this later/actual loss because it's a factor in rationalizing taking the offer vs fighting for full "now" value. Knowing full well that the plan is to keep the car shields the owner for some of the loss.

If it's worth the fight, go for it. If not, you may not even experience any meaningful loss. All depends on future circumstances none of us knows.

If he sells it today, we can discuss actual "now" numbers, but that's apparently not the plan.
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      11-29-2022, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad86tsi View Post
I said what you said. It's based on "now" value, pre and post accident.

If you pocket $6K for a "now" loss, but don't sell for 5 years, and the 5-years-later reduced value due to accident is only 3K loss, you net 3K because you were compensated for a loss today that you won't actually experience for another 5 years, and the 5 years later cost is 3K less than what you were compensated for.

I was only explaining this later/actual loss because it' a factor in rationalizing taking the offer vs fighting for vull "now" value. If it's worth the fight, go for it. If not, you may not even experience any meaningful loss. All depends on future circumstances none of us knows.

If he sells it today, we can discuss actual "now" numbers, but that's apparently not the plan.
I hear you Chad but the issue is the value of an assest has changed dramatically in 60 days because of this accident.


BTW, I also took the car to Carmax just to see what they'd give me on a trade in for a 2021 S7. Their offer....

$61K because of the accident
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      11-29-2022, 08:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post
I also took the car to Carmax just to see what they'd give me on a trade in for a 2021 S7. Their offer....

$61K because of the accident
Is that as-fixed or does it still have that visible damage?

I know with some class of cars, this matters more than others. When I was shopping for the M760 earlier this year, cars with an "accident history" not only sold for $7-10K less for same options/miles, they also took longer to sell. It's a real problem on high end luxury cars.

When I sold my well used high miles Altima, the $6K accident it had didn't change the value or final sale price at all. It's almost expected in a car/class like that.
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      11-29-2022, 09:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad86tsi View Post
Is that as-fixed or does it still have that visible damage?

I know with some class of cars, this matters more than others. When I was shopping for the M760 earlier this year, cars with an "accident history" not only sold for $7-10K less for same options/miles, they also took longer to sell. It's a real problem on high end luxury cars.

When I sold my well used high miles Altima, the $6K accident it had didn't change the value or final sale price at all. It's almost expected in a car/class like that.
The car is fixed. You nailed it, the car will be extremely difficult to sell now which is why it's important to get the diminished value returned to my pocket now. Who knows, if I needed to sell the car for some reason, I am really getting the short end of the stick.
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      11-30-2022, 07:42 AM   #12
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You need a good independent diminished value appraiser, not a lawyer.
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      11-30-2022, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYRICHFROMMIAMI View Post
You need a good independent diminished value appraiser, not a lawyer.
I already did that....

My car got into a minor accident, had $6600 worth of damage and has since been repaired. The car is a 2019 with only 3700 miles on it at the time of the accident. I since hired an appraisal firm and they assessed the diminished value to be $6250 with the car's non-accident value to be at $81K.
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      11-30-2022, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post
The car is fixed. You nailed it, the car will be extremely difficult to sell now which is why it's important to get the diminished value returned to my pocket now. Who knows, if I needed to sell the car for some reason, I am really getting the short end of the stick.
Was the lower valance an attempt at paint matching with the car? Or did you ask for it to be a different shade of white? It doesn't match at all. Looked better when it was grey. If you wanted that paint matched, i'd definitely have the body shop re do it.
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      11-30-2022, 12:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa2033 View Post
Was the lower valance an attempt at paint matching with the car? Or did you ask for it to be a different shade of white? It doesn't match at all. Looked better when it was grey. If you wanted that paint matched, i'd definitely have the body shop re do it.
Both the bumper and the valance were painted on the exact same day with the same paint. The texture of the valance is different than the bumper which creates as shadowing affect based on the lighting. Photo in previous post was taken at dusk with the setting sun. Photos below are on different days. IMO, grey does not look better. It doesn't match a single thing on this vehicle

Back to the topic at hand.... diminished value attorney? Anyone?
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Last edited by fmzip; 11-30-2022 at 01:00 PM..
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      11-30-2022, 01:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post

My advice is try to get the $6,250 and call it a day. Once you buy a car it's your risk on how the value diminishes. A fancy expensive car just has a higher risk. Being financially able to buy an expensive car should mean you have a higher risk tolerance. You're never going to get a $20K diminished value claim.

Your best defense at time of resell, is to sell it privately. Have all the documents regarding the accident and repair, including pics. The damage to your car was cosmetic. If the repair was done correctly to BMW standards, a reasonable buyer (enthusiast) will not care that much.

My 2 cents.
Appreciate your input but I totally disagree. I am an enthusiast and every car that had an accident listed on it, I skipped right over when shopping for the one I bought. I paid $79,990 for this car less than 90 days ago with 3700 miles on it. Why would anyone buy a car with an accident when you can find plenty without unless it's HEAVILY discounted?

In regards to requesting $20K for diminished value, where did that come from? The appraisal came in at $6250. The car fax value difference pre accident and post accident differs by $12K... $20K was never even mentioned.
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      11-30-2022, 01:12 PM   #17
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Can't help you with a lawyer, particularly not in Florida. I did have to do this a few years ago on one of our vehicles - my daughter was hit so we asked for diminished value. They lowballed on the first offer, so I went online and found about a dozen equivalent vehicles for sale with the same/similar mileage and features and sent that to the insurance company. They came back with an offer within $500 of what I wanted so we accepted that.

The second offer after I did the legwork was $2000 higher than the original offer, and this was a $40k car, not an $80k one... Finding comparable cars for sale may be harder though... Good luck!
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      11-30-2022, 01:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

In regards to requesting $20K for diminished value, where did that come from? The appraisal came in at $6250. The car fax value difference pre accident and post accident differs by $12K... $20K was never even mentioned.

In post 1 you list the pre accident appraisal at 81k . In post 9 you say you were quoted 61k repaired trade-in value post accident at 61k. That’s a difference of 20k.
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      11-30-2022, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad86tsi View Post
In post 1 you list the pre accident appraisal at 81k . In post 9 you say you were quoted 61k repaired trade-in value post accident at 61k. That’s a difference of 20k.
Ah, $81K is what the car may be worth without an accident according the apprisal firm. To summarize, appraiser feels the car lost $6250 in retail value of $81K. Insurance company feels it lost only $4000 in value

$61K is what CarMax would take it on on trade now that it has been hit. The real comp IMO is that CarFax showed the vehicle value at $78,450 for a trade prior to the accident. Post accident trade in according to CarFax is $65,330.

CarFax says it lost $13,120 in trade in value. CarMax trade in offer of $61K differs from CarFax by an additional $4330.

Long and short, would anyone here buy the exact same car I have for $80K unblemished, or would you buy the exact same car with an accident for $76K or even $73,750? I might take a chance at $73,750 but most likely not. Reason being, when I was shopping for my M850i, I saw so many car sitting for hundreds of days without any movement. Anything with an accident? Cars are still sitting there at heavily discounted prices and still not moving

Last edited by fmzip; 11-30-2022 at 02:08 PM..
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      11-30-2022, 01:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uber Commuter View Post
Can't help you with a lawyer, particularly not in Florida.
The second offer after I did the legwork was $2000 higher than the original offer, and this was a $40k car, not an $80k one... Finding comparable cars for sale may be harder though... Good luck!
In regards to the Florida plate.... After searching for may months, I found this car in Florida and had it shipped to me. I live in CT. The accident happened in NJ which is why I need a NJ attorney.
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      11-30-2022, 02:17 PM   #21
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If you already shared the appraisal, I can't imagine a lawyer is going to have any success in getting you more than the $6250. If they're offering $4k off the bat, I'd say just try to counter with something like $6250 plus whatever amount you paid for the appraisal, and accept whatever they come back with, it's just not worth the time and aggravation over a couple grand. Their argument would likely be that your pre-accident appraisal was $81k when you only paid $79,990, and you drove the car for 90 days while the market has been falling, so the $4k is more than fair.

It's not like we're talking about a rare car here, where if you were truly worried about diminished value of your investment, you should be reducing your risk and not allowing your car to be in a situation where it could get in such an accident. If you stay away from areas with traffic and use your HP wisely, nobody could hit you from behind
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      11-30-2022, 03:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
The existence of CarFax is no guarantee the car is accident free. .... If you've presented the $6,250 number to the ins. co. then that's the best number you'll get.

You can afford a $80K used car but are concerned over $2,250 between the appraiser's number and the Insurance company's number? Or are you trying to get compensated for $20K or $13K?

... Diminished value is at best, just a state of perception.
The insurance company said the apraisal report was invalid as a tatic not to pay the $6250. Since they already stated in writing that the appraisal I submitted had no merit and is invalid, the $6250 would then also be invalid as well if they want to play that game. The insurance company's offer of $4000 was stated as an "amicable resolution" without any data as to how they arrived at their number. Again, a game to minimize their outlay.

In regards to your comment on what I can afford, it's irrelevant. In situations such as this, it's a matter of principal. The more they want to screw around, I'll happily take them to court based simply on principal. Insurance tatics like these give the consumer the short of the stick every single day. Particularly, uninformed consumers and people that do not have the means to go toe to toe with them.

In regards to your last comment, I disagree. There are laws in place for diminished value for this very reason. Negligance or not, the difference in asset value is real, not percceived as you say. If it were simply perception, the hit on the carfax report would be meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The car would sell for the same price, accident or not.

As a foot note, the driver told me while waiting for the police to arrive "I hope I don't spend the night in jail". I asked why, he said he was drinking on his boat all day. I could have been a real prick and told the police but I cut the guy a break since he was honest enough to knock on my door and tell me about the accident. He was staying in the same condo complex as we were while on vacation.

Either way it was an accident, one in which required by law in the state of NJ, the insurance company is required to make the other party whole. The law states this. Frankly, $4K doesn't make me whole. Sinced they balked at $6250 and wanted to waste my time and play games, I doubt I'll reconsider that offer if it presents itself. I'd possibly consider it if they present it today but more than likely they will waste more of my time with the cat and mouse game.
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