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When your car is in an accident

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What happens when you are in an accident and you’re not hurt but your car is?
Someone hits you from behind or goes through a light and side swipes your car ?

The person’s insurance company pays for the damage. They give you a loaner and you are really happy to see your car whole again. Everything worked out to be perfect. But wait…

What happens two years later when you want to trade-in this really nice low mileage car?
“A car that has never been in a crash may be worth $15,000 at resale but thousands less if it has been in an accident and repaired. Diminished value insurance claims allow car owners to recover the difference between a car’s pre-accident value and its value after repairs. ”

This kind of scenario happens quite often.

What to do when you find yourself in this predicament?

Here is what you should do.
Find out if the accident is on your Car-fax.

Get an appraiser to check what the true value of your car is.

Find the market value of your car to see what the loss value is going to be.

Go back to the insurance company of the person that damaged your car and ask to file a diminished value claim. (Pennsylvania has a two year time frame to file a claim.)

Insurance companies don’t always pay for a vehicle’s diminished value but many consumers feel that it is the insurance company’s responsibility to pay for a diminished value claim. Insurance companies in most states will consider who is responsible for the accident to decide if they will pay a diminished value. Consumers have at times tried to sue insurance companies into compensating them for diminished value. If you have your own collision and comprehensive coverage your own insurance company won’t pay for your diminished value claim.

If you sue the at-fault party’s insurance company, though, you could have a valid claim.

*Mike Solito from Auto Buyers Consultants, is a car buyer that assists our clients to purchase quality vehicles at the best possible rates even for buyers with credit issues.

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