Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 12/29/09 3:57 pm PST

    The value is probably diminished regardless of who did the work. Since you were at fault in the accident, I believe there is a clause in your insurance policy (this varies by state, so don't quote me!!) that prohibits you from making claims on "diminution of value" upon your own insurance company.

    Unless you could prove that the work was not done properly, I think you are out of luck.

    As your car ages, the diminution of value will not be so great as it might be now. The best thing you can do is keep good records of what was done to the car, and show that no serious frame damage occurred, and this may help to alleviate the fears of whomever you sell the car to at a future date.

    But the short answer is, yes, on the face of it and without providing info to the new buyer, your car's value is probably 25% less now. In reality and in time, it might not be so much.

    You should also check if you can make a diminution of value claim against your own insurance company. I rather doubt it (you could if someone hit you, however, since you would make the claim against THEIR insurance company). So check that out.

    If you CAN make such a claim, get a professional appraiser to appraise your car and estimate the diminution.

  • morin2 12/29/09 4:48 pm PST

    Not only will the car be worth less, but the pool of prospective buyers will be smaller. Many people would not consider it. The best bet when you want to sell would be to trade it in. The best strategy is to keep it and run it till the wheels fall off.

    I had about this much damage twice - both were the fault of the other driver. And I won small (under $1K) diminished value claims against the other insurance company. I probably would have done better had I gone through with my threat to go to small claims court - but then I would have lost a day's pay, had appraisal and expert expenses, and taken a chance of losing. I wound up trading them in with full disclosure, receipts, photos, etc. and only took a small hit for the repaired damage - about the same as the amount I received in DV from the other insurance company. I had the impression both times that the dealership appreciated my honesty.

    I would not pursue a DV claim against my own insurance company. My claims history for my own insurance is more important to me than getting something for diminished value.


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