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Diminished  Value  Claims
Collectable  ~  Deductible
by:  J.D.Howard
Insurance Consumer Advocate Network, LLC, Schools - Business & Vocational, Springfield, MO

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Diminished Value Tips ... from a Retired Adjuster
with 30 Years Diminished Value Experience

• What is Diminished Value   • Do I Have Diminished Value
• Can I Collect Diminished Value   • How Do I Collect Diminished Value
• Will I Need Help to Settle My Claim   • Will I Need an Attorney
• Diminished Value Formulas   • Compare DV Services and BBB Ratings
ask J. D. Howard

What is Diminished Value ?
Diminished Value is defined as that portion of a damaged vehicle's pre-Loss Value that has Not been restored through the repair process. There are actually three (3) basic types of Diminished Value . . .

  1. Immediate Diminished Value is the difference in resale value of a vehicle immediately before damage has occurred and immediately after damage has occurred (prior to repair). Most jurisdictions (courts) will use this standard as the primary measure of damage when courts are employed to seek reimbursement for damage from a negligent party. As courts are rarely the chosen venue for recovery of property damage, the standard of “Immediate Diminished Value” is rarely employed in resolving Property Damage claims ...
  2. Inherent Diminished Value assumes optimal repair quality has been achieved and is defined as the amount by which the resale value of a repaired vehicle has been reduced simply because the subject vehicle now has a significant damage history. “Inherent Diminished Value” is the most widely recognized and accepted form of Diminished Value. It is also the basis upon which any supplemental form of Diminished Value would be added. A common “Supplemental” form of Diminished Value is “Repair Related Diminished Value” ...
  3. Repair Related Diminished Value includes any additional amounts by which the resale value of a subject vehicle may be further reduced because of less-than-optimal repairs. This could include anything from minor cosmetic imperfections to major structural defects.
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Do I Have Diminished Value ?
Probably, if your vehicle has No Prior Significant Damage History. To find out for sure, request a FREE Inherent Diminished Value “Estimate to help you decide whether you should pursue a Diminished Value claim.

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Can I Collect Diminished Value (state-by-state) ?

From the at-Fault Party's Insurance Company ...
YES; in Every State except Michigan.
If the at-Fault Party has No Insurance ...
YES; under your own policy's Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but only in the following states: • Alaska • Arkansas • California • Delaware • District of Columbia • Georgia • Hawaii • Illinois • Indiana • Louisiana • Maryland • Mississippi • New Jersey • New Mexico • North Carolina • Ohio • Oregon • Rhode Island • South Carolina • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia.
From My Own Policy's Collision Coverage ...
YES; in Georgia or Kansas .. (Kansas may be subject to policy limitations).
UPDATE (12/22/2011) .. YES; in Washington, per Supreme Court decision (No. 84500-0) in the matter of Moeller v Farmers Insurance Company.

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How Do I Collect Diminished Value ?
By providing the insurance company with a professionally prepared Diminished Value Report that documents the extent of your Diminished Value, explains the methodology by which the extent of Diminished Value was determined and includes independent recognized authority that supports the assessment expressed in the report. If there is ANY question as to the Quality of Repairs to your vehicle, we suggest you check our list of D/V Professionals. They can inspect your vehicle and address any potential "Repair Related Diminished Value" issues in conjunction with your vehicle's basic "Inherent Diminished Value".

If there are no Repair Related issues ... [or] ... If there are no D/V Professionals located near you, you can secure and "Inherent Diminished Value" report directly through this web site by clicking on order direct from iCan and following that thread.

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Will I Need Help to Settle My Diminished Value Claim ?
YES ... The insurance industry keeps coming up with new excuses to not pay what they owe on Diminished Value Claims. To the uninitiated, some of their arguments actually seem to make sense. But, to the trained professional, we've heard all their arguments before and we know how to deal with each-and-every one of them. Over the past few years, the pool of diminished value “Appraisers” has mushroomed. There are now "Discount" Diminished Value appraisers that will pick-your-pocket for whatever they can get, in exchange for useless reports that are of No Value. The insurance industry even seems to be underwriting some of these Late Entries in an effort to Minimize their Payments on Diminished Value Claims.

WARNING ...
• Beware of "Instant" Diminished Value Reports ... Insurance companies ignore them ...
• Beware of "We Do It All" [or] "Contingency Fee" Diminished Value appraisal services ...
• Most get their Values from an insurance company's Preferred DV appraisal service ...
• Those appraisal services still use the banned 17c Formula (or a version thereof) ...
• Insurance Companies Pay the "Low-Ball" Diminished Value settlement ...
• Their "Contingency Fee" and "Appraisal Fee" is then Deducted from Your Settlement !

→ You Do The Math ←

J. D. Howard founded the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network and helped pioneer the specialized field of Diminished Value in 1987. Over the years we have helped establish, train and/or create lines of communication with, other legitimate Diminished Value professionals. Those Diminished Value professionals, whom we respect, are listed here for your consideration.

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Will I Need an Attorney ?
Probably NO ... Over 93% of our clients are able to negotiate (with our Free follow-up assistance) a satisfactory settlement without having to litigate the issue.

Of the remaining 7% who had filed suit in Small Claims Court (a non -attorney environment) , more than half of those never went forward. The simple act of filing suit brought the at-Fault insurance company to the "Table" and a settlement was reached.

Of the rest of our clients who filed suit and did go forward, 98% WON their case. In those cases, the insurance company had to pay the Diminished Value + Court Costs + Our Fees.

If the amount of your Diminished Value exceeds Small Claims Court authority, you may wish to consider hiring an attorney. We will then be available to help your attorney prosecute your case.

NOTE: If your claim involves both Personal Injury and Diminished Value, your interests could best be served with the help of a Personal Injury Attorney.

Diminished Value in Kansas & Oregon ...
In the States of Kansas and Oregon, if you Do retain an attorney and the insurance company fails to pay your Diminished Value claim within 30 days, the insurance company can be ordered to pay ALL your attorney's fees and expenses. That way, you get to keep 100% of your settlement .

If that is the path you choose to follow, we can refer you to attorneys in Kansas and Oregon.

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Diminished Value Formulas ...
When the Georgia Supreme Court, in the case of Mabry v State Farm Insurance, affirmed the Right of the Policyholder to recover Diminished Value, that court instructed State Farm to develop a methodology by which Diminished Value could be measured. State Farm came back with their ultra-conservative Formula "17c". That court gave Limited approval for the use of that formula to be applied "In the absence of other good and verifiable documentation" Formula 17c was the geneses of the Diminished Value Formula concept.

Since then, insurance companies have embraced the "17c" Formula and have morphed it into a tool to suppress their pay-outs on Diminished Value claims. Now there are Consumer Advocate pretenders that use the Diminished Value "Formula" concept to their own advantage.

Some Discount Diminished Value "Pretenders" charge very little for their Overly Inflated Formula Based Appraisals which are rejected by insurance companies (and Courts) . Those "Instant" Formula Based Appraisals are useless and they know it. The fact that each useless report costs less than $100.00 allows them to avoid prosecution for fraud.

There are also Diminished Value (non-attorney) "Pretenders" out there that promote their service on a "Contingency Fee" (no money down) basis. They use an Under Valued Formula they know will be accepted by insurance companies. They negotiate directly with insurers, accept a low-ball settlement on your behalf, then deduct their Contingency Fee and their Appraisal Fee.

You would have fared better just accepting the insurance company's Formula 17c low-ball offer up-front. See "WARNING" notice (above) .

You can read more about the 17c Formula by clicking the blue "17c" box at the top of this page.

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Compare DV Services and BBB Ratings ...
Following is a chart depicting what Our Diminished Value Reports include compared to what you get from other service providers ...

Compare Documentation & Support THEIRS OURS
Formula Based Values  
NADA Values ?
Kelley Blue Book ?
J.D.POWER & Assoc. Data  
Diminished Value Survey Data  
Dealer Guidelines  
NIADA Dealer Quote  
Diminished Value basis in LAW  
Admissible in Court  
One-on-One Negotiating Assistance  
Compare "BBB" Diminished Value Web Site Ratings
ican2000.com A+
AutoLoss.com D-
AutoDamageExperts.com • “iCan” Affiliate A
CollisionClaims.com • “iCan” Affiliate A+
DiminishedValue.com Untraceable
DiminishedValueOfTexas.com • “iCan” Affiliate A+
DiminishedValueReport.net Untraceable
DVAssess.com Untraceable
DiminishedValueAssessment.com Untraceable
WreckCheckOfHouston.com • “iCan” Affiliate A+
CAUTION: A New Web Site offers Instant Loss-Leader DV Reports for $39.00
... Their Eventual Target Fee is $599.00 - $999.00 !


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ask J. D. Howard ... What Should I Do Now ?
We hope this text has provided some clarity for you as you consider pursuing a Diminished Value claim. Now you can ...

* The values expressed in our FREE Diminished Value "Estimates" are accepted
by the IRS as a basis for an "un-Compensated Casualty Loss" tax deduction !

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Still Have Questions ? ? ?
Call 417 -831-6133 for Honest Answers and Good Advice direct from J.D.Howard !

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