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Diminished Value Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Model S' started by mathman, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. mathman

    mathman Member

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    Hi folks,

    My four month old S85 was damaged a couple of weeks ago in a rear end accident. The damage was "cosmetic" but still required repairs to the tune of almost $4,000. Since I was hit, I'm dealing with the other insured's company rather than my own, and it's been nothing short of a nightmare. The adjuster didn't want to pay the rates of the only Tesla Certified shop in the area, and they held everything up for almost a week. Now that this has been resolved, the diminished value claim isn't going well either.

    I paid just over $90,000 for my S85. It has 6,500 miles on it, and I took delivery at the beginning of December. The adjuster is offering $2,500 in diminished value because he said that the damage was only cosmetic. I argued that since this is a very high end car and has a limited market that nobody would pay nearly the same value just by virtue of it being in an accident. The adjuster said that they will not pay for nor consider a report from a independent adjuster on diminished value and that this is their final offer.

    Am I being unreasonable? Should I take the offer and move on with my life?

    Thanks,

    MM
    image4.JPG
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    It's unfortunate this happened to you, and to a new car at that. Are those just scratches on the surface, or is there a dent too? Also, what does the Tesla certified center say as to the exact repairs that will be needed?
     
  3. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    One option is an independent appraisal from a company like St. Lucie Appraisals which you would start by providing to the other party's insurance company and, if they reject it, do a simple small claims court filing. Liability is not at issue so it would be expert against expert where yours does not have a vested interest. It sucks because you actually have to file the action against the other driver and not the insurance company although the insurance company is the one that responds. It is good in that the amount you are seeking likely will not exceed small claims limits ($5K in Florida I think). If you are thinking higher than small claims limits then you are basically hosed as the cost to file exceeds any reasonable return and there is no guarantee of fees (actually, there are very few mechanisms to even seek fees).
     
  4. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Great point. Something like this (but in Texas) might be worth investigating too: Scratch Wizard Inc.
     
  5. kennybobby

    kennybobby Member

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    Why is your insurance company not making you whole here--that's why you paid the premiums? Other option is to get one of the auto accident specialist lawyers to go to bat for you, they do this all the time and are experts at getting the maximum possible. Trying to do this yourself is difficult.
     
  6. mathman

    mathman Member

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    The bumper had to be replaced because it was dented as well as the rebar and balancer underneath the bumper due to damage. The total cost including parts and labor was just shy of $4,000.

    Like I said before, the insurance company won't budge on the $2,500 offer for DV. Small claims maximum in Texas is $10,000. What I'm wondering is if anybody has experience with this personally, and what did you get for DV for a "minor" accident?

    I'm not going the lawyer route because of the fees and difficulty of getting attorneys involved.

    Thanks!
     
  7. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    I believe I just spelled out my experience with two DM issues :)

    Get an independent assessment of DM. Provide to insurance company with the understanding that you are trying to avoid litigation. Go small claims if they do not budge.
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    As I understand it, if you pursue a claim through your own insurance company when the other party is at-fault you waive any diminished value claims.

    DV is a tricky thing. I'm not terribly surprised the insurance company has balked at a DV claim that likely exceeds the actual cost to repair the vehicle. Which is not to say I think it's inappropriate, it may be, but it seems pretty certain to set off some red flags.

    If it were me, I'd get an independent DV appraisal ASAP and decide if the delta between that and the $2500 is worth the effort of a small claims case.
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    did they give you the $4k in repairs too? So you're saying their offer is $4k in repairs plus another $2.5k in diminished value for a total reimbursement of $6.5k, right?
     
  10. EMP40

    EMP40 Member

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    Who is the offending insurance company? If you have to go to court drag as many people in via subpoena as possible and they will soon see the cost of showing up is more then just fixing it.
     
  11. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's how it works. You can't claim diminished value against your own policy (with the exception that you can claim it on your own policy if the other person is uninsured), but you can claim it against the "at-fault" person's policy. So I think you can have your car repaired under your own policy and still submit a diminished claim against the other persons policy. The only downside to this is that you're out your deductible vs having the repairs paid for by the at-fault person's insurance company.
     
  12. tri335

    tri335 Member

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    Hi. I did a DV with my ICE car (BMW) a few months ago. Similar issue, the other party was at fault 100% since she backed up into my car while I was turning...oh and she was backing up on a major road against traffic. in any case the other group was found to be at complete fault and so I only worked with the other party's insurance. The only contact I had with my own was to let them know the accident happend but all the pay out came from the other party due the 100% liability determination. I learned a few things.

    My car was fixed and was about 2000 bucks of cosmetic damage.
    1) you have to fix your car first before they assess DV
    2) each state has different DV process and maxes, etc. so I would look that up if you can
    3) DV you deal only with the other party and should be more straight forward if the other group was determined to be 100% at fault.
    4) you can then file for DV by doing it yourself, hiring a "specialist." I chose to do it myself. The specialist would often charge (250-600 dollars at least when I got a few quotes) and they never guranteed a result..just a bill. Also, I figured by my estimates my DV would be about 2000 dollars based on looking around online, etc.
    5) to do it myself I made a document explaining the situation and then tables quoting various quotes of my car BEFORE the accident then AFTER the accident. I used LOTS of different sources from online autotrader (registering the accident in some quoets and then in others leaving it as perfect condition)...also I did one or two dealers in person or carmax as well. In general I found math wise the average DV was about 1800-2400. I put out 2K as a fair and reasonable number ot make me whole.
    6) 3 days after sumbitting the DV claim by email to the other party they agree to givine me 500. I laughed on the phone. they always make the argument that its cosmetic and its redone and its like new. I agree the fix is really good (Because I chose a great body shop) but I said that the value of a BMW prior was higher since its now in an accident AND at carmax and a dealer for trade in quotes they were able to notice the differnce in clear coat depth due to paint job (this is normal and can't be seen by our eyes but can be detected). So after I said this they said 1,000 (took 2 minutes to explain). I argued that I gave them a fair nubmer and my quote was higher at 2400 at the upper limit. They came back and said $1500 and had to agree ( it hink is standard) to not being able to legally follow up wiht the insruance group or the other party at fault any more. I accepted 1500 since i was tired and din't want to do any more work. Probalby lower than what I expected but not totally screwed. your milage may vary.
    7) what helped me the most probably was that BMW 3 series have been around and there is a predictiable market and large volume. I would think Tesla is much harder to do and estimate since its a new car, new tech, no real used market or resale market yet. That may hurt you but I hope it does not.

    I hope that helps. there's a lot of websites/forums to help with DV. Its wroth going after but it also depends on your time,how much you expect and if you want to keep going with this frustrating process.

    I'm sorry your car was hit and I hope the repair was awesome and you get some large percentage of your DV back since it was not your fault.
     
  13. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Keep fighting! Don't give up! They hit you, they need to make you whole. That's the only input I have, sorry. Their whole process is to slow you down and make it a hassle, so that you do give up. I'm telling you, don't.
     
  14. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Threaten to lawyer-up. That will get their attention. It does actually work.

    Jerks.
     
  15. rickgt

    rickgt Enthusiast owner/member

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    Insurance companies will always try to stone wall you to start. They also use time on their side to wear you down... Why aren't you dealing with your insurance company and have them fight for you?

    Stay strong and don't let them wear you down.

     
  16. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Do not threaten what you are not willing to do (if I were you and that is the approach I took).
    It is near impossible to have a lawyer pay for themselves with this set of facts.
     

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