Steps for Filing and Settling a Diminished Value Claim

Follow Proper Steps for Diminished Value Claim Filing

In order to file a diminished value claim, there is a course of action that you should expect to follow:

  • Confirming your Claim and Establishing the Amount of Your Diminished Value
    • Complete our Contact Information form for a free consultation to confirm if you have a diminished value claim. If you prefer to reach us by phone, please have on hand the year, make and model of the vehicle, the location of the damage, the total cost of repairs and the name of the at fault party’s insurance company.
    • If it is determined through our free consultation that diminution in value of your vehicle has occurred and you have agreed to move forward with a formal diminished value claim, establishing the amount of diminished value loss is the next step that needs to occur in the claim process.
    • In most cases, it is not necessary for your vehicle to be inspected.
    • If your vehicle has already been sold, documentation of the repairs & sale price of your vehicle will be needed.
    • Hiring an expert such as MMI is strongly recommended to provide the unbiased, independent diminished value appraisal that will be needed to support your claim to the at fault party’s insurer.
  • Obtaining and Submitting A Diminished Value Report
    • We will provide you with a Diminished Value Appraisal Report and explain why your vehicle has lost value. This documentation would then be forwarded by you to the at fault party’s insurance company using e-mail or certified mail with confirmation of receipt requested. Maintaining a copy of the return receipt for tracking purposes would be suggested.
    • It is important to always keep a copy of all documentation submitted to any insurance company on file for future reference.
  • Negotiation With the At Fault Party’s Insurer
    • You would expect the next step in this process to be the review and acceptance of your diminished value claim by the at fault’s insurer, but this will not happen without some delay by the insurance company to pay on this claim.
    • Initially, do not be surprised if it becomes necessary for you to make the first contact with the insurer after confirming their receipt of your Diminished Value claim.
    • Once contact is made, do not be deterred if their first response is negative. The insurer may possibly offer a very low settlement, or indicate that your car does not have diminished value as it has been expertly repaired, possibly denying the claim all together. This is where your preparation on what to expect prior to claim submission will be most helpful.
    • It is vital that you track all phone conversations and document all calls including who you spoke with and what was discussed.
    • Do not be discouraged as the process may be slower than you might expect. Remember, while the insurer will not be eager to make this payment, you have a right to be made “whole” again after an accident that was caused by someone else. This includes not only the payment for the repairs to your vehicle, but for your vehicle’s loss in value.
    • If you would prefer not to directly handle the diminished value claim with the insurer MMI can provide referrals to attorneys experienced with diminished value claims.
  • Legal Action to Obtain Your Settlement
    • While this step may not be required, legal action to settle a claim may be necessary. While the thought of legal action is sometimes unsettling and causes some to re-consider filing a claim at all, keep in mind that you have the right to a diminished value settlement from the at fault party’s insurer.
    • Please consult with a licensed, practicing attorney to assist you. MMI Consulting, LLC are not attorneys and we do not offer legal advice or interpretation of the law. But, as part of our Diminished Value Consulting Services, MMI will present as an expert witness in support of our diminished value consulting report if/when needed for an additional fee.
    • Again, MMI will gladly be able to recommend an attorney with experience in settling diminished value claims.