What is Diminished Value? In Layman’s terms, Diminished Value is the immediate loss of value your vehicle suffers due to an accident even when your vehicle has been repaired.  This loss of value is created by Stigmas and damage that can not be restored to pre-loss condition. Inherent Value is due to Stigmas of collision history, perception of quality of repairs, concerns of future problems related to unseen kinetic damage. Repair Related Diminished Value occurs when the damages are not returned to pre-loss condition. Poor repairs, missing labels, inability to replicate factory processes, incorrect estimates, etc.

Do I Have Diminished Value? If your vehicle has been in an accident, you’ve suffered some form of Diminished Value. The Question you’ll want to ask is next.

Do I Have a Diminished Value Claim Worth Pursuing?

  1. If you are buying  or own your vehicle. ( Not Leasing)
  2. Your Vehicle has a estimated Retail Value of More than $7500.
  3. Someone Else Was at fault in the Accident. (Unless you live in Georgia or Kansas)
  4. The At Fault Party Has Insurance. (Unless You Live in: 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, then you may possibly file it under your Uninsured Motorist Coverage if you have it.)
  5. If you have more than $500. in Damages and there was an actual collision. ($700 in damages from someone scratching your paint normally won’t be worth pursuing.)
  6. Your Car is a 2001 or newer.
  7. It is still within your state’s statute of limitations to file a claim.
  8. You haven’t signed any paperwork that prevents you for filing a claim.
  9. Your vehicle has not been in a previous accident where the damage was more or worse than the latest damage.
  10. Your vehicle has never been declared a Total Loss or has a Branded Title.

What Do I need in order to file a claim for Diminished Value?
You can actually just ask for diminished value and sometimes the insurance company will make you an offer. It will be based on their numbers and their appraisal and you’ll probably receive pennies on the dollar (if anything) of what your actual loss is. The best way is to have a licensed appraiser (Like Ken Nix) prepare a Diminished Value Report showing the loss of value to your vehicle.

Is there anything I need to know when considering an Qualified Appraiser?
Yes… There are a lot of pitfalls when considering who to trust. Here’s a few things to watch out for.

  • Don’t waste your money on an “Instant Diminished Value Report”. Either the Insurance company won’t see it as a valid report, or it will be designed to be so low that they will immediately say yes to the amount.
  • Beware of the Attorneys and “DV Companies”  out to take care of the complete process for you. Some are attorneys that will charge you a huge contingency fee and may tack on “incidentals” such as appraisals, inspections and expert consultation fees that may add up to more than what your claim was. I’ve heard several horror stories from clients of these companies charging as much as $1200. for an appraisal, and billing it as an “incidental” after the claim was settled.
  •   Many appraisers, including the insurance company’s appraisers, may use a formula such as the Formula 17c, or a close version of it. This Formula has been proven to not be correct and has been banned for use in some areas.
  • Low-Ball Appraisals. These are normally written by appraisers who may be working both sides of the fence. They may do as many as 100 appraisals to insurance companies, and another 50 from private individuals per month. Guess where their loyalties lie? They have motive to keep the insurance company happy, whether they are working for them or you. I’ve found only a few of these type of appraisers to give an honest, ethical and unbiased appraisal.
  • Many of these companies actually get their valuations from the insurance companies appraisal service, or use a form letter where each appraisal is basically the same except they plug in different values that are automatically inserted by a computer program.

Why Should I Hire Ken Nix?

  1. Ken works for Consumers Only. (Although he will do one appraisal per year for each insurance company, Although he hasn’t had an appraisal request from an insurance company in years. )
  2. Insurance Company personnel seek him out for his services for their personal cars. (Ken has prepared reports for insurance employees such as: A major insurance company’s Senior Claims Attorney, Insurance Agents, Insurance Adjusters, and governement Employees several District Attorney’s office and Police Agencies.
  3. Ken takes the time to build a case. Most reports are prepared in approximately 5 business days, but sometimes it takes more time to obtain evidence from manufactures, the body shop, insurance companies, etc. If you’re speaking with another appraiser and they have a 24 hour turn around,  they’re probably using a formula or even randomly assigning values (it happens). It takes time to build a good solid appraisal; obtaining 3rd party documentation, auditing the final bill, valuation preparation, merging the documents and proofreading. Ken spends an average of 2.5 hours on each appraisal after all research is completed (research normally takes 2-4 business days to complete).
  4. Ken’s methodology includes a pre-loss valuation and a post repair valuation in order to come to  an accurate conclusion with solid 3rd party evidence to the question of the diminution in value.
  5. Ken will give you tips on negotiation and he’s heard most of the arguments and has verbiage included in the report to overcome most of the objections a claim specialist may come up with. If not, you get personal support by email, phone and even skype and ooVoo.

Will I need an Attorney to settle my claim? Over 90% of our clients are able to settle their claims through negotiation or with my help. Normally the clients who retain Attorneys have huge claims that are over $10,000 dollars or more.  The average claim is approximately $6400 dollars and is normally settled within a couple of weeks.