5 Questions To Ask When Getting Your Diminished Value Appraisal and Filing Your Claim

When someone hits your car and damages it in a crash, their insurance company is responsible for paying for your repairs. But what most people don’t know is that you can also file a diminished value claim to compensate you for the depreciation value of your car after the accident.

Here’s how it works: when you’re in an accident (even when it’s not your fault), a Carfax report is automatically generated that states your vehicle has been involved in a crash. That report is available to the public, and if you go to sell your car sometime in the future, it can make your vehicle less attractive to potential buyers and cause you to lose money on the sale.

That gap between what your car is worth before the crash and what it’s worth after is what’s known as diminished value. And you have the right to file a claim to recoup the diminished value of your vehicle so you don’t have to take the financial hit yourself.

Part of the process of filing a diminished value claim is getting a diminished value appraisal. This will assess how much your car is worth after the accident and subsequent repairs (you can find the pre-accident value for your vehicle online at using resources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com). The goal of the appraisal is to get an accurate picture of the depreciation of value in your car to put in your diminished value report that you’ll include in your claim.

Getting your appraisal and filing your claim can be a complicated process, and you want to make sure you ask the right question. Here are 5 questions to ask when getting your diminished value appraisal and filing your claim to make sure you get the highest settlement possible:

During The Appraisal

What factors will you be appraising?

During the appraisal, you want to make sure the appraiser checks out every last nook and cranny of your vehicle to get an accurate assessment of the damage. Everything from major repairs (like replacing a crushed bumper) to relatively minor repairs (like painting over scratches) can affect the value of your car, and you want to make sure that your appraiser takes each into consideration to get you the highest settlement possible.

What’s your experience in appraising post-accident vehicles?

Ideally, you want to work with an appraiser who has extensive experience appraising cars after they’ve been in accidents. If you work with someone who doesn’t have a wide range of experience and knowledge, you run the risk of them missing key damage to the car and giving you an inaccurate assessment – which will ultimately cost you money.

When Filing The Claim

What formula do you use to calculate depreciated value?

There are two ways to calculate the diminished value of a car. The first is what’s known as the “17c formula” which was named for the State farm diminished value claim where it was first used and refers to the paragraph where it appears in the official court records; paragraph 17, section C. The 17c formula is the Base Loss of Value (which is 10% of the vehicle’s current Kelley Blue Book value) X Damage Modifier X Mileage Modifier (the damage modified is determined by the amount of damage to the vehicle and the mileage modifier is determined by the amount of miles on the vehicle). The 17c formula is widely used in the insurance industry to determine diminished value.

However, that formula doesn’t determine the REAL diminished value of the car. That’s determined by subtracting the post-accident value of your car (which you’ll have from your appraisal) from the pre-accident value of your car (which again, you can find on Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com). Most often, this second method for determining diminished value will yield a higher payout than the first, so make sure whoever you work with to file your claim is basing the diminished value on the ACTUAL depreciation of your vehicle, not the 17c formula. An insurance claim adjuster can help.

Two cars involved in a collision or crash

What’s your success rate?

When choosing a partner to help you file your diminished value claim, you want to make sure you work with a company who is not only experienced but who has a high success rate. Often times, insurance companies will try to deny your claim and insist they don’t owe you anything for the diminished value of your car. You want to be sure you work with a company who knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies and will secure you the highest payout possible – even if the insurance company’s first instinct is to try to withhold your payout.

What happens if my claim is denied?

As mentioned, you want to work with a company that has a high success rate in securing diminished value payouts. But no one’s perfect, and no matter who you work with, there’s a chance that the insurance company will deny your claim.

Before deciding on a company, make sure you’re clear on what happens if your claim is denied. A reputable company will only collect a fee if your claim is approved; if your potential partner wants to get paid even if you don’t, take it as a sign to run in the other direction.


Ready To File A Claim?

If you’re ready to move forward with a diminished value claim, you need what you need is work with a partner who will work to get you the highest settlement from the insurance company. And that’s where Loss Value Recovery Specialists steps in.

Our team of experts will work with you on your claims and walk you through exactly how to get a payout that benefits you, not the insurance giants. We’ll be with you every step of the way, from showing you how to file and to delivering your diminished value claim letter straight to the insurance company. And all you have to do is kick back and wait for the cash to roll in.

Have questions on how to get started with your claim? Get in touch with Loss Value Recovery Specialists today for your free diminished value claim assessment.

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