If you read our article about the Diminished Value then you’ve learned a bit about what it is and how it affects your insurance claim.  You now know that no matter how well a car is restored and repaired after a car accident, it won’t be valued as much as before it was in the accident. Some insurance companies offer what is called a Diminished Value claim and some do not. In this blog, we’ll break down the different types of diminished value and how to calculate the diminished value of your own car after an accident.

Types of Diminished Value

We’ve discussed the overall definition of diminished value, but there are different kinds of diminished value.

Repair Related Diminished Value: this type of diminished value refers to the loss in value due to imperfect repairs. This happens when the fixes made on the car do not help restore the car to its manufacturer quality. An example of this is when there is repair done on the paint of the car, but it is not an exact match. Because there is an aesthetic difference in the car now, it is not worth the same amount as it was before. Another example is if the parts used in a repair are not the same quality as those used initially from the manufacturer.

Immediate Diminished Value: this refers to the decrease in value when you try to trade in your car after an accident. You won’t receive the same amount of money upon trade in that you would have gotten with no accident in the car’s history. This is the more general type of diminished value and the kind that people are usually referring to.

Inherent Diminished Value: this type of diminished value refers to the inherent perception of a car after an accident. Simply put, even if the car is restored to manufacturer quality, the knowledge that the car was in an accident, reduces the value of it in a buyer’s mind.

How to Calculate the Diminished Value of Your Car

Now that you know the different types of diminished value, you are probably wondering if there is a way to calculate the diminished value of a car after a car accident. The simplest way to do this is to check the current value of the make and model of your vehicle using the Kelley Blue Book to determine the pre accident value. Then you should get an evaluation of your car (see article discussing Diminished Value further) from a company that deals with diminished value insurance claims. The difference in the two values will be your diminished value.

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