Several years ago, ZB Negotiations began providing diminished value claim services. We originally spent more time with educating and alerting the consumer, body shops and dealerships then we did in processing diminished value claims.
Those efforts to educate are now showing positive results. It has always been our opinion that not every damaged vehicle qualifies for diminished value claim services. However, the information we have distributed, as well as the results obtained on behalf of clients appears to be getting attention and recognition by those impacted.
In 2017, we processed 50 diminished value claims with a 90% success rate. In 2018 that number jumped to 175 claims with an 85% success rate. In 2019 we filed 315 diminished value claims with an 80% success rate.
As you can see awareness has helped us grow year after year. Clients understand that they are entitled to a recovery.
We have also seen a decline in success rate of the diminished value claims presented to the carriers.
Insurance carriers see the increase in diminished value claims as an invasion of their profits. These claims are supported by legal precedents that many claimants were unaware of. The fact that an insurance carrier tries to deny these claims is not hard to understand. Carriers see diminished value claims as a speculative recovery attempt. Market trends and results from previously damaged but sold and unsold vehicles are seen as suspect. Therefore, non-visible evidence or not easily measurable is seen as speculative.
We caution vehicle owners to not be dismayed by the actions of carriers. Including verbal responses to inquiries about diminished value that can be misleading. Those actions or comments can include “we already paid to fix your vehicle to its previous condition” “you need to wait until you sell it and then contact us to discuss diminished value” or “we are not responsible to pay for both the repair and diminished value.”
First-party claimants cannot pursue a diminished value claim against their carrier or when they are at fault. Third-party carriers are responsible for the diminished value portion of a claim even after paying for repairs. Stating that you should wait to sell a vehicle to definitively determine the loss is deceptive, as they fail to mention the statute of limitations on claims.
The highest results with positive outcomes can be seen with newer vehicles regardless of their respective MSRP. The same type of results can be seen with the more exclusive high priced vehicle where age is often not a factor.
It is our policy to evaluate each request for diminished value claim services on its own merit. Our approach to every claim we undertake for this purpose, is the preparation of a report by a certified appraiser. These reports are vehicle specific, non-generic in nature, and result in the best possible outcome.
As always, our services are provided on a contingency basis. There is no out of pocket cost to the client as were earn our fee based on results.
We help bridge the gap