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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience, suggestions or has had any success negotiating a diminished value claim in Florida ?

If you search the internet you come up with two companies that are marketing themselves as DV specialists.

Collision Claim Associates, Inc.
http://www.collisionclaims.com/index.asp

Appraisal Group of America Incorporated

http://www.autoloss.com/expert.htm

I found this info on Appraisal Group of America Incorporated

http://www.bbb.org/oregon/business-reviews/auto-appraisers/appraisal-group-of-america-llc-in-happy-valley-or-22026487#complaint

http://www.ripoffreport.com/searchresults.asp?q5=appraisal+group+of+america&Search=Search&q1=ALL&q4=&q6=&q3=&q2=&q7=&searchtype=0&submit2=Search!

So far I can't find that much negative info on Collision Claim Associates, Inc.

Does anyone have any stories to share on DV ? We just got a new 2008 RTL back in March, it has only 2400 miles on it when my wife got rear ended at a stop light by a driver who was drinking underage. (see attached photos of accident scene)

I want to submit a claim to the insurance company for diminished value. Everyone I've spoken with insurance agency, repair shop, and the dealership I bought the Ridgeline at all say that yes, there is a carfax record now and there is diminished value. The insurance company just wants proof for loss of value. So who do I trust to help get me this info ?

Thanks in advance,
B
 

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While I can't speak for Florida law or the DV companies you listed, I am currently in the process of seeking a diminished value claim for 2006 Ridgeline which was involved in an accident last November. I was not at fault and the the other drivers insurance company has admitted full responsibility, but when I mentioned diminished value, I was told by the insurance company that they don't pay for that. That's why I got a lawyer (local to Arizona, but he also does business in other states) who has a lot of experience in seeking restitution.

As I understand it, there are a couple of states that require a DV adjustment when settling an insurance claim. At least in Arizona, however, DV is a subjective concept. The law doesn't require it be paid, but it also doesn't prevent you from seeking it.

The way it has gone here is after my truck was repaired, my lawyer had me get three different vehilce worth appraisals from three different dealerships. Mostly what they would give me for my truck if I were to trade it in for a new truck or just sell it to them outright. I informed the dealerships of the accident and the damages, including a bent engine subframe, which totaled over $12,0000 in repairs. My truck BTW is a customized 2006 RTL, which at the time of the accident in November of 2008 only had 18,000 miles on it.

My lawyer also paid a professional auto appraiser to figure out what my vehicle was worth after the accident.

Bottom line, before the accident my truck was worth anywhere between 20 to $22,0000. After the accident and subsequent repairs, the value was estimated around $12,000. Adjusting for several factors, my lawyer has come up with a DV value of around $9700, which has been submitted to the insurance company and we are no waiting for their reply.

Considering the size of the document my lawyer had to produce (about 100 pages, including pictures, estimates, appriasals, ect...I would highly recommend going with which ever company you feel will represent your interests.

According to my lawyer (and the reaction from the insurance company when I first voiced the idea of collecting the DV of my truck) the more recognized information you have the better chance you have to collect. You have to convince the insurance company it's better to settle than to go to court, where a jury may award you even more money.

Understand.....my truck was hit November 6. Because it's a custom truck, the repairs took nearly six months and for all intents and purposes, five different shops, including three body and paint, one suspension and one stereo, to complete the repairs to my satisfaction. Here it is June and I'm just now getting my DV claim to the insurance company. While I have to pay my lawyer 30 percent (40 percent if we have to go to court) I feel, especially in my case, 70 or 60 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing.

Bottom line is, you truck has suffered a loss of value. An insurance company will ignore you by yourself, or have you chasing your tail collecting information, that they then will say is either not complete or incorrect, but they have a hard time ignoring a law firm.

Good luck
 

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PS....It looks like your truck came out ahead in the accident. I can't really tell from the photos, but it looks like your truck was driveable after the accident, with bumper and exhaust damage. Hopefully there was no frame damage.
 

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I can't speak for Florida either, but I negotiated a DV claim on my own about 5 years ago. I probably didn't get as much as I could have, but I was satisfied.

I was turning left in my Accord when a guy on a motorcycle decided to try to pass on the left. Clearly his fault, and I had to have both drivers side door panels replaced, about $10k worth of damage.

I got a similar spiel at first from the insurance, "we don't pay that". Then I got "what do you want, we replaced all the damage and it's as good as new". But I pressed that I now had a 1 year old car which had been in an accident w/ $10k damage. Eventually, they caved. I don't remember what I got, but it was a few thousand.

My advice: decide what you want and be persistent. Do not in any circumstances sign off on any insurance claim until you are satisfied. Get a lawyer if you have to, but it may not be necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is CarFax's response to an inquiry I made on their website 'ask us a question' form.

Below is CARFAX's response to your recent inquiry.

Subject
RE: Diminished Value

Discussion Thread
Response (Kevin) 06/30/2009 02:18 PM


Thank you for your email.

We do not produce a report detailing diminished value aspects and suggest that you consult your insurance company regarding your request. They are in a better position to assess and provide you with such information with any alternatives that exist accordingly.

Respectfully,

Kevin
Consumer Affairs Analyst
Customer 06/29/2009 04:11 PM
Hello, we purchased an 08 RTL Ridgeline new in March that got rearended with ~ 2700 mile on the OD.
Do you sell a report that shows diminished value ?

I'd like to file a claim for diminished value for the accicent since it was a new vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks like I'm going to hire http://www.collisionclaims.com

Spoke with Richard, ran the BBB checks, rated at an A by BBB.

No one wants to help offer DV value info for free (surrounding dealers, etc). So it looks like I'm going to have to hire a lawyer or appraiser to assess the DV and give me the paperwork I need to submit to the insurance company. Insurance company plays the angle they want data from someone with credentials to show DV. No worries. I'll spend the $295 on getting the appraisal and charge that to them also !

B
 

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Good luck!
 

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Hrm...could you take it to CarMax and see what they say the DV is?

Just a thought...
Carmax is one of the places I went too. It's free and takes about an hour, but since you're going with a service, let them handle everything.
 

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I know this is an old thread but I'd like to know how you made out with your Diminished Value claim in Florida, gnvdude. DV is a big part of our business and you can never have enough reference material. Great comment by Rusty H. Make sure that your appraiser is licensed.
 

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I can tell you what happened with mine....after nearly 18 months of delays and depositions, I finally got my day in court, so to speak. I agreed to an arbitration judge, who heard testimony from my adjuster/estimator and from the insurance companies guy. I was allowed to give my testimony and the judge found in my favor for somewhere around $9800.00. It was estimated I had lost over $12,500 in value from the accident so I guess I fared pretty well. My lawyer got his 40% plus expenses, so I wound up with a little over $5000.00 when it was all said and done.

Was it worth it. Well, since the insurance company orginally denied my DV claim at first, then only offered $1,100 after my lawyer got involved, I definitely got more than if I would have handled it myself. I figure 60% of something is better than 100% of nothing any day.

If anyone finds themselves looking at a diminished value claim, I recommend getting a good local lawyer to handle it. Anyone experienced will be able to deal with the insurance company's B S, which would be near impossible for the average driver!
 

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The attorney fee took a big bite out of your settlement. I am surprised the insuror allowed your claim to reach arbitration though. Our customers have had pretty good success going it on their own, mainly because the claims supervisors end up telling the adjusters to settle before litigation begins. Our average DV appraisal is $5,000 but I'm not usually privy to settlement amounts.

Pretty soon, and I don't know if tort reform affects this, insurors are going to be facing punitive damages for their poor handling of Diminished Value claims. They continue to delay but, at least here in Florida, they aren't able to deny.
 

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I work as an insurance adjuster and have done quite few diminished value claims and to be honest with you, it is rare to get a large settlement. The way most companies (and it varies from state to state) is a formula using the amount of the repairs, market values, and a reinspection of the quality of the body shops repair. I did one a few weeks ago on a 2010 Tundra. Hit in the rear, about $5,000 worth of damage, and the shop did a beautiful job on the truck, great paint match, all oem parts, and every last clip replaced. The DV amount we settled with the owner on, and he was pleased, was $500. A good rule of thumb is about 10-20% of the final estimate. With that said I looked at a Prius last year that had been so poorly repaired by the shop, I opened the claim back up AFTER repairs were complete and had the owner take it to a good shop and paid them to go back and put the car back together the right way, where it would be safe for the family if they ever had another accident. Not all insurance companies are out to save a buck at the safety of their customers, regardless of what the lawyer on TV would like you to think. If you need some advice on this matter, I'll be happy to help any way I can!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know this is an old thread but I'd like to know how you made out with your Diminished Value claim in Florida, gnvdude. DV is a big part of our business and you can never have enough reference material. Great comment by Rusty H. Make sure that your appraiser is licensed.
Well I didn't get very far.

I hired Advocate Auto Claims www.AdvocateAutoClaims.com

Long story short after months of them not contacting me or paying attention to my account I received a sloppily written letter from AAC saying sign here and the other insurance company agrees to pay $1000. The language in the letter totally removed the other company from any future liability or claims. Decided not to sign it, and just took the hit, and moved on.

What I need to say here for Florida readers is I would absolutely not hire Advocate Auto Claims. Awful company to work with with. They are no lawyers, and after talking with them have no legal training. They are merely just arbitrators.

Sorry for the late reply.

If anyone knows of a good Florida DV contact please me let know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know this is an old thread but I'd like to know how you made out with your Diminished Value claim in Florida, gnvdude. DV is a big part of our business and you can never have enough reference material. Great comment by Rusty H. Make sure that your appraiser is licensed.
I know this is an old reply. Better late than never.

My wife got in another accident. Same Ridgeline (poor truck). Not her fault again, 16 yo driver pulled out in front of her. Photo attached.

Here's the quick run down. One the first DV post from 2009 I canceled my case with:

Lauren Yunker
Advocate Auto Claims, LLC.
1075 West Morse Blvd.
Winter Park, FL 32789
407.392.1983 Phone
1.866.596.5615 Fax
[email protected]s.com
www.AdvocateAutoClaims.com

Advocate Auto Claims did an awful job of representing me. I've attached the DV settlement agreement they wanted me to sign. I had another lawyer review it, and it basically settle everything including DV with the insurance company. IE even bodily injury. So I canceled my case with them and left it unsettled.

For this accident here's the quick run down. $19000 in damage. Got a offer letter in the mail for $4400 DV settlement. Sounds good, but I've been told that DV could be more like $10,000. Not sure if or how I'm going to counter.

More to come as I know it.
 

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Man if just ask them to buy the truck from me at fair market value for the condition and mileage before the accident. Kbb.com private party value or something seems reasonable. I'd argue for the check and give the insurance company the title and the keys and let them fix it and sell it. With Carfax and the number of cars for sale with a clean report, it's gotta be worth a lot less with a "bad" Carfax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Trust me I tried to get them to write it off but they wouldn't.

Also just bought in Jan 2012 the 120K Genuine Honda extended warranty for the RL. Since it had frame damage, I'm going to send them the receipts for that and ask for reimbursement. Honda won't warranty the frame post fix thus my warranty is worthless. They put genuine OEM parts in. But before we got the RL back the repair shop mentioned it was at the Honda dealership tracing a ground issue. Driving this weeekend hit a speed bump and the engine light went on, engine started to sputter. So needless to say the vehicle will never be the same. The repair shop did a great job cosmetically, and the RL has been driving good. But after this weekend engine light issue we don't feel comfortable taking a long road trip in the RL now. Probably will trade in, but still have to deal with the insurance stuff first.
 

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Man that's awful! I'm sorry to hear it. Things just don't go back together the way they ought to and that second accident looks like a pretty hard hit. At least your wife was okay - and the RL safety cage did its job.
 

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Does anyone have any experience, suggestions or has had any success negotiating a diminished value claim in Florida ?
If only it were as simple as hiring a licensed appraiser and submitting their automobile diminished value report to the insurance company. When prospective clients call us with questions, after they hear the answers, most of them disappear - never to be heard from again. St Lucie Appraisal prepares the best auto diminished value appraisal that can be obtained in any of the 50states. We hate to turn away business but the cold hard truth is, regardless of the fact that you'll be submitting irrefutable evidence of how much value your car has lost after collision repairs, companies like Allstate, American Family, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers and USAA will still offer settlements representing a fraction the actual diminished value. Where do these people vanish to? Perhaps other independent appraisal companies promise huge settlements or maybe people become frustrated and meekly accept these lowball payouts but being dishonest about our customers' prospects is no way to do business. A more reasonable reality is that you'll need to make a formal complaint to your state's insurance department for unfair claims practices and, perhaps, go so far as hiring an attorney. But in the event your complaint escalates into a courtroom battle, you'll be asking for compensation for appraisal and attorney fees on top of your diminished value and there's a good chance you'll win! Why? Read on.

The automobile diminished value report you receive from St. Lucie Appraisal is based entirely on the opinions of used car managers at automobile dealerships. Was your Honda wrecked and repaired? Our report provides six quotes from Honda dealerships that specifically address your actual vehicle and the exact amount and severity of damage that was repaired. When people trade their cars in, those are the guys who buy them so their opinions are valid. Other appraisal companies providing diminished value reports may use formulas such as the inappropriate (as ruled by The Georgia Supreme Court) Rule 17-C or collect data from auto auctions to formulate their figures. I'm not guaranteeing success if you march into court with this type of appraisal. Insurers can successfully argue that they do not address your specific car or the damages it incurred.

The Georgia Supreme Court's ruling on the inequity of Rule 17-C laid the foundation for fair automobile diminished value settlements in all 50 states. Formulas such as State Farm's Rule 17-C severely shortchanged vehicle owners and, in doing so, provided themselves and other insurers using formulas to determine diminished value with unjust enrichment.

Subsequent to your accident, the adjuster from the responsible driver's insurance company will offer you a settlement for diminished value. If you ask them how they came up with the figure they will either point to a formula, a "certified" appraiser's report or simply refuse to explain their process altogether. I have seen the diminished value reports prepared by independent appraisers hired by insurers and they are a joke. They contain no reasonable facts to back up their assumptions. Most of them are not licensed in any state. Note that "certified" appraisers belong to pay-to-be-certified organizations, not unlike the Better Business Bureau and should not be confused with "licensed" appraisers. A number of insurance company attorneys have contacted St. Lucie Appraisal in the past to inquire about hiring us. Once they learned about our process of using dealer quotes, however, their interest faded quickly as they realized that our reports would result in higher (translation: fair) diminished value settlements. In front of a magistrate or mediator, these types of reports provide actual evidence of how much less your car is worth in the real world. Appraisals based on formulas or auction results can not compare. And insurance company diminished value estimates made up out of thin air (yes, they do exist) will certainly be looked upon as unfair at best and possibly fraudulent in the eyes of a judge.

Face it, even your own insurance agent or broker hasn't informed you of your right to collect diminished value from the insurer of the responsible driver. Regardless of the fact that the settlement isn't even costing your own insurer a dime, agents are mum on the subject altogether. Automobile diminished value is the newest thorn in the insurance companies' side. Their mission is to keep it a secret and their hope is that it will go away.
 
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