FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
NOTE: Some of the information contained in these answers relate to general principles of insurance and damage recovery. It should not be construed as legal advice nor relied upon as such, and you should ALWAYS consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state and knowledgeable as to the issues presented. For more information, please read the Terms and Conditions for using this website.
I was just involved in an accident. Has my car been inherently diminished in value?
Very likely; however, inherent diminished value is not guaranteed to occur every time a vehicle has suffered collision damage. Whether a vehicle suffers inherent diminished value depends on many factors, including the type and severity of damage, make, model, year, mileage, options, and prior history.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Every individual state has their own "Statutes of Limitations" however, most states honor a minimum of two (2) years from the date of loss.
How long has Vehicle Information Services been providing Expert Reports of Inherent Loss?
We have been providing Expert Reports of Inherent Loss to the legal community, consumers and Insurance Companies since 1999.
Does it matter where the accident happened?
NO. Our services are available anywhere in North America including Hawaii.
Does it matter if I still own or sold my vehicle?
No. All casualty property loss payments are based strictly by the date of loss.
How much does the Expert Report Summary cost?
The initial assessment is free. The cost of the Expert Report Summary can be included with the difference in market value for recovery from the insurer or itemized on your tax return.
I leased my vehicle am I still entitled to the market value difference?
- When a vehicle gets damaged if it has any Factory Warranty left, normally the Franchise dealer service department will Void or Restrict the balance of the warranty. You no longer have a portable warranty. Please consult your owner's manual.
- You are entitled to the market difference as the vehicles "Lease Buy Out" or residual value is less as the market value has changed.
- Upon lease termination you may be contractually held responsible for the difference in value and condition.
Does Vehicle Information Services need to do a physical inspection of my vehicle to make their determination of loss in value?
No, Inherent loss is the difference in market value based on the vehicle's tainted pedigree and mandatory industry disclosures reducing its merchantability. Additionally, on the required repair estimate the vehicle's physical inspection was performed.
If my vehicle was totaled am I entitled to any Inherent loss payment?
No you have received the vehicles "total value."
Does my ability to recover inherent diminished value depend on whether I was at- fault for the accident?
Usually, it does. There are two entirely different grounds for recovering the loss in value which apply depending on your status as either a first party or a third party. First parties are usually asking their own insurers to pay for the decrease in value and whether the insurer pays for that decrease is driven by the terms of the insurance policy. Third parties usually ask the at-fault driver's insurer to pay for the decrease in value as part of the property damage caused by the company's insured. (Several of the posted articles explain the inherenet diminished value issues in greater detail.)
I live in a "no fault" state. Does that make a difference?
Yes. Your ability to collect the inherent diminished value depends on the terms of your insurance policy and the public policies of the state. However the report can document your loss in value that may be written off your taxes (please consult your tax accoutant.)
What can I do if the insurer refuses to pay my inherent diminished value?
- Inherent loss is a casualty loss and the entire amount may be able to be deducted from your federal taxes. ( Please consult your tax advisor)
- You can always file a law suit against the insurer or the driver at fault in the accident.
- Contact your states Department of Insurance
I submitted a third party demand for payment of my car's inherent diminished value, but the insurance claims representative told me that inherent diminished value is not recoverable in this state. Is that true?
Almost certainly not. The claims representative is likely misapplying the principles of an insured's recovery to you as a third party.
Are first parties entitled to recover inherent diminished value?
In the State of Georgia, absolutely. In a decision rendered in November of 2001, the Georgia Supreme Court announced that insurance companies are responsible for returning an insured's vehicle to its "pre-loss" condition in terms of both operation and value. Additionally, in the decision it was decided that you do not have to accept the offer from the insurer and in fact you can hire a private entity for a private assessment. The insurer has to reimburse you for this cost of the report.
Several other states presented with the question of whether the at-fault driver can demand inherent diminished value payment from his/her own insurer have said, "No."