Vehicle Depreciation after an Accident
How an Accident Affects Your Resale Value
It’s not hard to figure out that an accident will lower the value of your vehicle. But it’s not always straight forward on how much your car’s value will decrease as the result of the accident. Fortunately, with our access to the world’s technology at our fingertips, we can make sure we know the history of the car before buying.
So how exactly will the vehicle depreciate as the result of an accident? It all depends on the severity of the accident, the vehicle itself, and how the repairs were completed. But you do have a bit of recourse if you act in a timely manner.
There are a number of factors that determine the value of your vehicle. The biggest are how old it is, how many miles are on it, and what kind of condition it is in. You can’t do anything about the first one, you can reduce the number of miles that you drive your vehicle, but what’s the point of having a car and not driving it? The condition can be altered with repairs. But those same repairs can diminish the value of your vehicle.
Let’s suppose you have a vehicle that’s worth $22,000. You’re involved in an accident where the other driver is deemed at fault, so his or her insurance company pays for the repairs. Naturally you take your vehicle to Big Sky Collision Center, the best auto body shop in Billings. The repairs restore your vehicle to factory safety standards.
It seems that everything is fine, and most people won’t realize that they are on the losing end until it’s time to sell. Suppose the vehicle is still worth $22,000 (if it had never been in an accident). But now that the vehicle history report shows the accident, the most you are able to get is $18,000. That’s $4,000 in diminished value because another driver was careless. The vehicle looks great, but it’s worth significantly less.
Before the claim is closed out, you can recoup some of that loss.
Diminished Value Claims
Using a third party appraisal, you can have your vehicle appraised as though it had never been involved in an accident, and appraised as though it was involved in one and repaired. Submitting your data to the insurance company may result in them paying out more for the claim. But you’re going to have to work for it. Insurance companies aren’t in the business of paying money, so they’re going to fight back when you’re demanding more money. Keep in mind: you don’t have to accept their settlement.
Most likely they will either deny your request, or they will low-ball the offer. Suppose you request $4,000, they may offer $1,200. You can accept that as better than nothing. Or you can keep pushing.
Without legal help, however, you might not be able to do much. And if you do enlist the help of an attorney, you will lower the amount of compensation that you receive (the attorney may take as much as 33% for their fee). In the end, you may end up spending more in legal fees than if you were to accept a settlement.
Recoup after an Accident with Big Sky Collision
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we make sure to expertly train our technicians on the proper methods of repairing a vehicle. This means our shop has more certifications than any other in a five state area; you get a vehicle that is repaired the right way every time.
Why settle for less than the best? Bring your vehicle to Big Sky Collision.