Soon after purchasing her first new car, Mary was involved in an automobile accident with another drive who was found at fault and who was insured. At the time of the accident, Mary’s vehicle had a market value of $25,000. Rather than declaring the car a total loss and paying Mary $25,000 to replace the vehicle, Mercury elected to repair the car as the initial restoration estimates were approximately $8,000. During the repair process, additional damages were revealed and Mercury paid a total of $18,774 to repair the vehicle.
Now Mary’s car is repaired and her question is now, when I go to sell my car I’m not going to be able to sell is for as much had I not been in an accident and the accident damage repaired. Regardless of the repairs, this car now has an accident in its history and can never be repaired. Mary contends she has not been made whole and she indeed has additional loses in the form of Diminished Value.
Mary’s automobile insurance coverage excludes Depreciation and Diminished Value, but he the at fault party is liable for the associated property damages of her vehicle.
Mary definitely has a Claim for Diminished Value, but her Insurance company won’t handle the claim because it’s not within her coverage, Mary must file her Diminished Value claim directly with the person at fault or their Insurance company. While it’s always better to file a claim with your own insurance, in this case you can easily file the claim with the at fault party and recover the Diminished Value. Upon settlement of the property damage claim always reserve the right to seek out Diminished value in addition to the vehicle repairs within the “Property Damage” release form. Once you have signed the release form, you have excluded your right to further damages, Diminished Value is property damage.
In conclusion, just because your insurance doesn't cover diminished value, doesn't mean you don’t have a claim and you can collect your damages.