What You Should Know About Diminished Value Claims

What You Should Know About
Diminished Value Claims

Getting into an accident can be expensive, in more ways than one. Beyond the damage to your car, you may also need to pay for medical care or take time off work. In addition, collision damage also impacts your vehicle’s value, even after it’s been repaired. 

The good news is that auto insurance providers offer a variety of policies designed to cover the different types of losses you might encounter after an accident, including diminished value claims. These claims specifically address the decline in market value your car can suffer after being involved in an accident. 

What Are Diminished Value Claims?

With vehicle collisions, one driver will typically be considered at fault. In California, drivers are allowed to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to compensate for the diminished market value caused by the car accident.

Instead of covering the total value of the vehicle, diminished value claims cover a percentage of the car’s value. Typically, insurance companies limit such claims to 10% of the vehicle’s pre-accident appraised value. Therefore, the maximum payout you can expect to receive from this type of claim is 10% of your car’s value. However, insurers will adjust this percentage based on your vehicle’s mileage before the accident and how much damage it sustained. That means that even if your car has decreased in value by thousands of dollars, you may only receive a few hundred dollars. 

Essentially, these claims are a means of providing additional compensation to drivers who weren’t responsible for an accident but whose vehicles sustained damage. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will usually pay for the repair or make an offer to fix the not-at-fault driver’s damaged vehicle. 

If the not-at-fault driver believes the vehicle’s value will significantly depreciate after it’s repaired, they can file a diminished value claim to offset the cost of the loss. 

Understanding the 3 Types of Diminished Value Claims

In general, a car loses value in two ways after an accident. First, simply having a record of an accident on the car’s history decreases its value, regardless of the extent of the damage. Secondly, the quality of the repairs and replacement parts can decrease the value. 

Diminished value claims can be categorized into three types, depending on the timing and value of the collision repairs:

  • Immediate diminished value claim: applies to cars that haven’t been repaired yet. This type of claim considers the loss of value from the accident and the need for repairs. 
  • Inherent diminished value claim: made after repairs have been completed and focuses on the decrease in value due to the accident alone. Even if a car appears to be in better condition after the repairs, this type of claim can still award compensation for its inherent diminished value. 
  • Repair-related diminished value claim: compensates for the decrease in value resulting from the parts and repair methods used. For example, a car that’s repaired using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts is more valuable than one repaired using aftermarket parts. 

When Can You File a Diminished Value Claim? 

Certain conditions must be met to file a diminished value claim:

  • You must be deemed not at fault for the accident.
  • The other driver involved in the accident must have insurance. 
  • Your car must have had value before the accident. 
  • You must reside in a state that recognizes diminished value claims.

When insurance companies assign value to a car, they take several factors into account, including:

  • Mileage
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Special features
  • Pre-accident condition

A 20-year-old car with 300,000 miles and missing parts before the accident is unlikely to qualify for a diminished value claim. In contrast, a car with only 8,000 miles in like-new condition before the accident is more likely to receive compensation through a diminished value claim.

Get a free estimate for the diminished value of your vehicle here

Filing a Claim

To file a diminished value claim, you’ll need to submit it to the at-fault driver’s insurance company; check their policies for submitting a claim. The insurance company will ask for specific information, such as a police report determining fault, pictures of the damage, and bills or estimates for repair. You may also need to get an appraisal to determine your car’s value.

If an insurance claim has already compensated you for necessary repairs, filing a diminished value claim can be cost-prohibitive, as the expense of gathering evidence may exceed the final payout. Nevertheless, diminished value claims can provide a safety net if you stand to lose a significant amount of your car’s value, even after repairs.

After an accident, it’s important to understand all of your options for recouping your losses, including diminished value claims. At Cline Collision Center, we understand the importance of OEM repairs and how they can impact the value of your vehicle. Our experienced team has completed training on OEM repair procedures and uses OEM parts to protect your car’s value and ensure its fully restored to its pre-accident condition. If you need repairs or have questions about filing a diminished value claim, contact us today at (707) 591-9909. 

Why Are Auto Parts So Scarce These Days?

Accidents happen. But these days, it’s taking a lot longer to get repairs.

Car parts and auto spare in shopping basket isolated on white. 3d illustration

From dealerships to collision repair, supply chain issues continue to affect the automotive industry. In some cases, it can take months to get parts, forcing many repair shops and parts distributors to find creative ways around the issue.

There are a few factors for this frustrating problem. First, there continues to be a labor shortage at both the plants and ports, leading to delays in production, as well as shipping. A significant amount of collision repair parts are manufactured in Taiwan, where many of the docks and ports are backed up. A larger issue is that auto suppliers have prioritized manufacturing parts for newer vehicles while slowing down production on aftermarket parts for older vehicles.

Since automakers’ focus is on getting production for new vehicles back up and running, it’s likely the issue won’t be getting better anytime soon. Over the past year, automakers have struggled to keep up with the demand for these parts because of the global shortage of microchips that are used in vehicles. These microchips are used to power everything from heated seats to infotainment systems.

Some collision repair shops have found ways around the supply chain issues by finding rebuilt and re-manufactured parts to help their customers back on the road quicker. Unfortunately, even these parts have started to become more difficult to find. Cline Collision Center remains committed to using only OEM parts, which in some cases may be even more scarce.

Another thing to keep in mind is that supply chain issues have led to price increases. The Consumer Price Index on motor vehicle parts rose 10% from November 2020 to November 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

It’s not clear exactly when these issues will be resolved. Some experts predict the microchip shortage should start to recover mid-2022; others say the parts shortage issue as a whole may last into 2023.

What Should You Do if You Need Collision Repair?

Understandably, this isn’t great news if you need repairs. However, depending on your make and model, you may still be able to get repairs for your car. The best thing to do is to contact us and see if we’re able to get in the parts you need before you schedule your repairs. If you haven’t been in a collision, stay alert and practice safe driving. No one ever wants to get into an accident, but with supply chain issues, repairs could take longer—especially if you have an older vehicle.

At Cline Collision Center, we realize how inconvenient it is to have to wait for your repairs. If you have questions or concerns about your auto body repairs or supply chain issues, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (707) 591-9909 or send us a message online.

Less Cars, Safer Streets?

Sonoma County roads just keep getting more crowded. And more crowded means more accidents.

Until, suddenly, it all stopped. Or at least slowed way down.

Stay-at-home orders have reduced California traffic by about 60% and have created about a 50% drop in accidents.

With only workers in fields deemed critical and those going out for food and other essential goods and services on the road, it is predictable that there are fewer collisions. With restaurants and bars closed, there are also fewer drunk drivers.

Less Than Half the Accidents

Less Car Safer Streets

The average number of collisions each day in California before shelter-in-place was 1,116. Since then, there have been about 500 per day. Similarly, accidents with fatalities and injuries dropped from 562 to 274.

There may be an interesting reason why accidents have not declined by 60%, the amount equal to the reduction in road usage. Many drivers, with roads wide open, are speeding up. New York’s speed cameras have been issuing the same number of tickets each day despite the plunge. Minnesota’s state police have reported an increase in speeding, especially extreme speeding—drivers exceeding 100 mph.

Unknown Outcomes

We just don’t know the economic and health impacts of this global pandemic. We also don’t yet know the outcomes for society, and this includes traffic accidents.

The National Center for Sustainable Transportation and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis have requested funding to support research aimed at looking more deeply into the negative and positive societal impacts of the Novel Coronavirus.

“As the shelter in place order extends over months,” said Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis in a recent Press Democrat article, “we hope to answer pressing questions such as this one: What are the cost-savings and other social benefits from reduced injuries and deaths on state highways due to COVID-19?”

Unfortunately, fewer cars and decreased traffic do not translate into zero accidents. If you find yourself in need of autobody repair, we are considered an essential service and are here for you. As always, we’ll give you top-quality workmanship and customer service and help you navigate insurance challenges. Contact Cline Collision Center online or call 707-591-9909 today!

General Motors Will Stop Production at Five Plants in North America, Eliminate Some Car Models

General Motors has announced that it is “un-allocating” production at three vehicle assembly plants and two propulsion plants in North America.

Assembly plants that will be unallocated vehicles in 2019 include:

·       Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

·       Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit.

·       Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio.

Propulsion plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include:

·       Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland.

·       Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan.

They will be laying off up to 14,000 workers, however some could be moved to truck and SUV plants. This move is due to declining car sales as consumers are more interested in crossovers, electric vehicles, and autonomous cars. GM is interested in hiring those that are experts in software and electric and autonomous vehicles, letting go those who are now working on conventional cars that are equipped with internal combustion engines.

Wondering which models are on their way out the door? We’ve compiled a list of what we know so far.

1.     Chevrolet Volt

This surprises us the most. Weren’t plug in cars supposed to be the future?

2.     Cadillac CT6

Sad to see it go. Did you know that its semi-autonomous super cruise system still hasn’t been surpassed by any other company’s technology, not even the Tesla’s autopilot? Exciting news though is that the last of these Cadillac’s to be sold will be twin-turbo V8 V-Series models. They’ve got to at least go out with a bang!

3.     Chevrolet Impala

This one is headed out the door due to consumers preferring a traverse or equinox these days.

4.     Chevrolet Cruze

If you were looking for a small and affordable American vehicle, it was either this or the focus. We wish they would have at least tried out a Cruze SS before pulling the plug on its production.

5.     Buick LaCrosse

This was a luxury car for a Buick but was pulled simply because there was nothing there that stood out to excite people to purchase it.

6.     Cadillac XTS

It was announced 3 years ago that Cadillac would not continue the XTS past 2019, so we’re not too shocked to hear this. There’re just too many similarly sized Cadillac sedans around for this one to stand out in a crowd (think ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6).

Cline Collision Center is an OEM certified repair shop located in Santa Rosa, CA. We offer auto body collision repair, auto body refinishing, frame straightening, bumper repair, car painting, dent removal, dent repair, and are excited to offer a free detail with every repair. Choose Cline Collision Center to get back that new car look and feel!