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Diminished Value

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2001 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Black, 6 sp


Excellent condition

Recently, I was in a car accident--rear ended and pushed into car in front of me-front and rear damage generally limited to the bumper covers and everything underneath, Minor engine damage-knocked out a few sensors that caused CEL to come on. Rollover bars deployed necessitating a brand new convertible top since you cannot simply replace the window. No airbag deployment. At any rate, the other driver was 100% at fault. Repairs were a little over $15K. I asked for diminished value and was told no because there was no structural damage. According to insurance company, structural damage means frame damage. This to me is crazy since the repairs totaled about half of what the car was worth pre-accident.

So, I am thinking of filing a claim in small claims and was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. also, would be interested in hearing from anyone in the know as to what they think would be a reasonable diminsihed value claim based on the above. By the way, I had bought the car about a month earlier and like most people would not have bought this car if a major wreck showed up on CARFAX. So, I think there is significant diminshed value.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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First of all, in many states, more and more insurance companies are denying all diminished value claims; some are even requiring the insured party (you) to sign a waiver for any future claims as a pre requirement before issuing or renewing your policy. Their stance is that insurance is there to “make you whole”, and when the car is repaired, you are “whole” again, and diminished value claims are “enriching” you, not making you whole.

As for taking the other party to court, that is always your right, but be very prepared for a fight as I'm sure they will defer the claim to their insurance carrier, who has an entire building full of lawyers that are just waiting for this to happen..............

No one really likes the way insurance works, but these cases are rapidly becoming “test cases” for state insurance regulators.

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My wife's Mercedes wagon was rear ended to the tune of $3800 of damage -- enough to activate the active head restraints. The car was 2 years old and in pristine condition at the time. After it was repaired, I sent a letter to State Farm (the at-fault driver's insurer) claiming DV. I did some research and found a place that would do a full appraisal for around $300 and another place online that would do a DV report based on inputs on the car's mileage, model, year etc. I went with the latter (sorry, but I don't remember the name -- something like www.dvreport.com) and got a DV report showing around $2k of DV. State Farm haggled with me a bit but we settled on $1750, which I thought was pretty reasonable. Note that State Farm lost a case in Georgia against its own insured for a DV claim.

There is no state where the at-fault insured's insurance company can deny a claim for DV to the other party -- that is just part of compensating you for the damage that their insured caused to your car. The toughest part is demonstrating the value by which your car declined without paying hundreds of $$ for an expert appraiser.

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