Getting into an auto accident can be devastating. Although an experienced body shop might be able to repair your vehicle, it's not likely that the car will be worth as much as it was prior to the accident. Vehicles with an accident history tend to sell for less than vehicles with a clean title.
Since the purpose of an insurance policy is to make you whole, it can be helpful to file a diminished value claim. These claims are designed to make up the difference between your vehicle's pre-accident value and its restored value.
Before you can consider filing a diminished value claim with your auto insurance company, you must establish who was at fault for causing your accident.
If you were the driver at fault, then your auto insurance policy will likely preclude you from filing a claim for the diminished value of your post-accident vehicle. If another driver was at fault, you should have the option to seek reimbursement for the lost value of your vehicle as a result of its involvement in an accident.
Secure an Appraisal
Once you have determined that you are eligible to file a diminished value claim, you will need to get an appraisal outlining the value of your vehicle.
Private appraisers can evaluate any repairs made to your vehicle to determine how they have affected the value of your car. Mismatched paint or inadequate repairs can contribute to diminished value.
Most used cars that have been in accidents will be worth less to dealers and consumers, so the private sale value of your vehicle will also be determined by an experienced appraiser. The post-accident appraisal, coupled with an estimated value of your vehicle prior to the accident, will determine the total value of your claim.
Work with a Professional
Getting an insurance company to pay out a diminished value claim can be a long and arduous process. You may have to negotiate with the insurance company or work with a public adjuster as the value of your vehicle is called into question.
If you aren't prepared to handle the labor-intensive process of dealing with a diminished value claim, you can opt to hire a third-party professional to handle the claim on your behalf. Companies that specialize in following up on diminished value claims can help their clients get the financial compensation needed to truly make the clients whole following a serious car accident.
To learn more, talk to companies like Chicago Auto Appraisers today.