Join Date: May 2016
Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Ahhh, another accident. Sorry to hear and I'm glad you're okay. My four-month old sGT was rear-ended on the freeway so hard that I was pushed into the car in front of mine. They accepted full liability and their insurance company, Liberty Mutual, estimated $3500 in damages and offered $1200 for diminished value. I took the car to a trusted body shop that got the final damage estimate to $6500. The car was fixed to my liking. (Well, at first the bumpers didn't paint match correctly but they re-did it to my approval.)
I took the car to the dealer I bought it from to get a trade-in value and they were willing to take it back for about $4500 less than "new." I also used Edmunds or cars dot com estimator to value the car brand new vs fair condition and printed out the results. And I printed out for sale ads for similar lightly used s GT's. Lastly, and most importantly, I paid a professional appraiser $280 to provide a diminished value report and he estimated loss of DV at $4500. I also got a lawyer to take care of personal injury and "pain and suffering."
With the DV report and my other "evidence," LM offered a compromise of $2200 for DV. Even a fourth grader can tell that's not a true compromise. They also lied to me telling me that their appraiser spoke to my appraiser to come up with this "fair" offer. That never happened. They stopped responding to my emails and voicemails after this. My appraiser recommended a separate lawyer (my PI lawyer is from VA and the accident occurred in MD so my PI lawyer couldn't assist me with the DV) who advised me to sue the defendant in small claims court. "Nine out of ten times the defendant will call his insurance company and say 'wtf, I thought you took care of this?' and they increase their offer." That's EXACTLY what happened. After a month of silence and letting the process work itself out (the defendants getting served court papers unexpectedly), they came back with an offer of $3500 which I accepted and subsequently dismissed the case.
So DV depends on the insurance company and your persistence and research. Luckily, LM is one of the better ones as most don't even offer or discuss DV with you. Your appraiser will have great insight on this if he/she is good. My advice is to lawyer up and get it professionally appraised if you think you're being low-balled. Lawyers who do PI usually do DV and auto repair as part of the PI case, ie they shouldn't charge a fee for anything you get back from DV. I definitely got lucky too though. Good luck! (I tried to keep it short. Really, I did.)
2016 Mazda3s GT 5-door : soul red/almond/MT (DD)
1993 RX-7 Touring
2004 Mazda6s GT 4-door (traded in)
1994 Protege (totaled)