What to do if your car was damaged in a wreck


What is Prior to Loss?

The Prior to Loss value is what your car was worth prior to the accident and is also referred to as a Diminished Value claim. 

If you have been in an accident and it was determined that your car is a total loss, the insurance company will need to pay to replace your car. Chances are they will not offer you enough to actually buy a similar car with the same miles and options. A prior to loss claim can generally make up the difference.

As long as you weren't the at-fault driver, you are entitled to the Actual Cash Value of your automobile, less your deductible, plus tax, title and license fees.  Chances are the insurance company has not offered you what you are entitled to, which is why you need an appraisal done.

An appraisal from Auto Appraisal Network will determine the Prior to Loss value of your car using local market data and make allowances for mileage, options and condition.  

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

In some cases if you are unable purchase a comparable car within 30 days of your settlement, you can re-open your claim and the insurer can either locate a comparable vehicle or pay you the difference.

Use IRS Form 4684 for itemizing Prior to Loss and appraisal fees on your taxes.