I’m going to go a little out of the normal topic range today just to share a little known fact with you. I am first and foremost not a lawyer, so no part of this blog is giving legal advice. Further, I live in the State of Texas so I can only speak to what my understanding is of the law in Texas regarding diminished value.
If you are the person seeking to get repairs to your vehicle from the other driver’s insurance, you are also entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle. That is the value of your car being sold in the condition it was prior to the wreck, and what the value is now that it has been wrecked. My car is currently being repaired for a wreck and I have requested diminished value. A good reference for setting that value is Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and it can be several thousand dollars. I believe this coverage only applies if the vehicle is just a few years old at the time of the collision.
When I first heard of diminished value it made perfect sense, I mean you DO lose money on a trade-in or private sale of your vehicle because it has been involved in a wreck. But I never knew the other driver had to pay for that. Well folks, they do. And the funny thing is – THE INSURANCE COMPANY NEVER TELLS YOU THIS. So, as I said before I am no lawyer, but you can check with your own insurance agent for clarification regarding this issue. You should also check to see if you have this coverage in a scenario where you were hit by another driver who did not have insurance or was underinsured, and you have UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) on your policy, because your insurance may be liable for the diminished value.
I hope this helps someone because once you sign that release there’s no going back and trying to claim it later.