After your vehicle gets damaged, you must get a diminished value claim to understand what compensation, if any, should come your way. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t know where or how to obtain one.
Here are some useful tips for securing your diminished value claim. They may mean the difference between expecting a payout and getting disappointed.
Review Local Laws
Not every state has the same requirements, and some areas remain more difficult to get a claim at all. By reviewing your local laws and regulations, you can know before you put in the work whether or not filing claims is possible.
While you want to complete the paperwork quickly, you may discover it’s not even something you can do in your area. Otherwise, you may need to go through a small claims court for compensation.
Know Which Insurance Company to Call
When something outside of your control damages your vehicle, like a tree falling over, you call your insurance company. If someone else hit you in traffic, or you were at fault, you go through the other driver’s policyholders.
Rely on Police Reports
You may think that because you have a witness that saw the accident take place that you’re a shoo-in for a small claims trial. However, because attorneys can quickly tear down any eyewitness testimony, a police report explaining the damage is more reliable.
Police receive training to determine who remains at fault. It’s much harder to argue the validity of their reports over a pedestrian.
Have Reasonable Expectations
Insurance companies will continue to do their best to avoid paying you more than they must. However, you must maintain a reasonable expectation, primarily if you operate an older car.
Your check is not going to cover the entire vehicle’s expenses, but only what value got lost. When you drive a sedan from the late 90s, you’re not beginning with a lot of value.
Know What a Claim Covers
A diminished value claim is not going to give you a lottery-sized payout. These compensations only cover the valuation lost due to accidents and repair services, which likely won’t be more than a few thousand dollars if you’re lucky.
Use a Certified Appraiser
Hiring an experienced appraiser, like CK Appraisal, is the best way to protect your assets. When they stay as thorough as your insurance company’s inspector, it improves your odds.