While all cars depreciate as they get older, they depreciate even more immediately after an accident. This depreciation is an unfair hit to your vehicle's potential future resale value. However, you may be able to recover some of the lost value from the other person's insurance company.
To make the best case, though, you should get a diminished value car appraisal. Keep reading to learn more about diminished car values after an accident and how a report can help when you file a claim.
What Is Diminished Car Value?
Diminished car value is the drop in your car's value after an accident. All cars depreciate as soon as they leave the lot. They also depreciate depending on the number of owners, as well as maintenance and previous accident history.
However, when your vehicle is in an accident, it gets a sudden drop in value. Even if you have your vehicle repaired perfectly by the manufacturer, it will never be worth the same as it would be if it was never in an accident.
What Does Getting an Appraisal Do?
When you get an appraisal from a qualified appraiser, you get a detailed report of your car's value. An experienced appraiser knows what to look for after an accident, including any hidden damages. While you and the insurer can do your own appraisal, an official report from an expert adds legitimacy to your claim.
What Is in an Appraisal Report?
Reports vary based on the company, but most give a detailed history of your car. The report should include an inspection and any history information. Your appraiser will also report on the quality of your repairs. You will receive a pre-accident, post-repair, and diminished value amounts. Some appraisers can also help you file a claim.
What Does One Need to Do to File a Claim?
If your appraiser does not assist with the claim, you will need to work with the insurance companies. If you were at fault for the accident, the other person's insurance company will deny your diminished value claim. You must also file your claim within a short time. The earlier you file your claim, the better. Your state may have additional requirements for filing a claim.
Even if your car is repaired perfectly, you will never get the same resale value as a car that has never had an accident. Many insurance companies resist paying a diminished car value claim, especially without an appraisal.
Getting a thorough appraisal will help solidify your claim and increase your chance of payment. If you need your vehicle appraised, contact a certified appraiser for assistance. Reach out to a local service, such as Tolliver Appraisal Service, to learn more.