How to file a diminished value claim after an accident

Diminished value is the difference (if any) between the market value of your undamaged car before an accident and its market value after you have it repaired.

Who to file the claim against

Typically you’ll file a diminished value claim against the insurer of the at-fault party and not your own insurer.

What you need to do

If you decide to file a diminished value claim, you’ll need to prove your claim with supportive documentation. Some car owners file a claim on their own or hire a private company to document the lower value. Even then, an insurer may argue against it. You could end up needing legal advice.

The insurer doesn't automatically pay you for diminished value. It's subject to proof that your car's market value decreased even after repairing it. If you plan to file a claim for diminished value, we recommend you talk to your claims adjuster.

Updated 03/27/2014

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