Auto insurance and diminished value

Scenario: Your car is struck by another driver, who is at fault. His insurer pays for the repairs, but you believe that your vehicle -- since it has been in a wreck -- is worth less than it was before the crash.

Can you demand that the insurer compensates you for that diminished value?

Yes, but it can be difficult to prove. Diminished value can be part of a claim, but it is up to the claimant -- that's you, in the scenario above -- to prove that the value of the vehicle is diminished after the repairs have been completed.

Doing that may mean getting dealer testimony or an appraisal showing the value of the vehicle before the accident and after the repairs.

Our office, unfortunately, cannot force insurers to pay diminished value claims. You may need to seek legal advice to negotiate a settlement.

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