Diminished Value – Your Insurance Company’s Best Kept Secret

 “Diminished Value” is the loss in market value a vehicle suffers as a result of an accident. It is a loss based on the belief that once something has been damaged, it will never be as valuable as it would have been, had it not been damaged in the first place.


How Diminished Value Affects You

Diminished Value is the amount of money you're not going to get when you sell your car because it's been in an accident. If your vehicle suffered significant damage in an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to file a claim for the diminished value. If the other driver was uninsured, you may also file a diminished value claim as long as you carry uninsured motorists coverage.  The total diminished value amount is determined by several factors:

- A reasonable buyer will not pay the same price for a vehicle with an accident history.

- By law you are required to disclose the accident history of a car when you sell it. 

- No matter how good the repairs are, no one can "fix" the Carfax report. 

- Your repaired car cannot legally qualify as a certified pre-owned vehicle.




How to File a claim

 It is up to you to prove the total amount of the loss as a result of the accident to the insurance company.  The best way to do this is by obtaining a professional appraisal report from Auto Appraisal Network.

Any portion of a Diminished Value or Prior to Loss claim that is not paid by the insurance company can usually be written off on your itemized income taxes, including the fee for the appraisal.

Use IRS Form 4684 for itemizing Diminished Value and appraisal fees on your taxes.

Enter your zip code in the locator to find an appraiser near you.



If you find that you are in need of an attorney for your diminished value claim, we recommend you contact one of these firms:

Orange & San Diego County - Jonathan Dwork (949) 445-6999

Los Angeles - Alex Gilberg (818) 780-7373

Miami - Sam Coffey (954) 371-2145