If you’ve been in an accident, your car may be worth less than it was before the accident. The amount you’ve lost is the Diminished Value. In Arizona, you can make this claim against the driver who caused this loss.
To file a claim, write a letter to the insurance company of the driver who caused the damages requesting an offer for your diminished value. Include the language that you are “attempting in good faith to amicably resolve the diminished value claim against your insured in a timely fashion.” This makes clear that the letter is a good faith attempt to resolve the claim. Timeliness and good faith are required by law.
In your letter, be sure to remind the insurance company of Arizona law:
Arizona case law and the Restatement (Second) of Torts allow diminished value compensation for a negligently damaged vehicle separate from the cost of repairs and loss of use. The Arizona Supreme Court stated in Anderson v. Alabam Freight Lines, “The measure of damages for injuries to personal property less than its destruction is the difference in the value of the property immediately before and immediately after the injuries.”
Max Of Switzerland, Inc., V. Allright Corporation Of Delaware held that “In Arizona, property damage claims for a negligently damaged vehicle include compensation for the cost of repair, residual diminution in fair market value, and loss of use.”
The second part of the letter should ask for documentation supporting their diminished value offer. The insurance company is required to provide evidence showing how they arrived at the amount of their offer. In most cases, if the offer is too low, you will find that their documentation is faulty and doesn’t fairly reflect the value of your vehicle. After you have verified that their information is faulty, you can then use that fact to ask for a better diminished value offer.
Make sure to remind the insurance company of the applicable Arizona law:
The Arizona Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act requires the insurance company to provide you with the documentation forming the basis of their settlement offer.
Request that the insurance company respond to your letter within ten working days.
This is all that’s required for you to request a diminished value offer from the insurance company. Now, they must respond to your letter within ten days with a diminished value offer. Hopefully, you’ll get a satisfactory offer in response. If not, there are other steps you can take to encourage the insurance company to give you a fair offer in compensation for your diminished value loss.
If you need help resolving your diminished value claim, a Car Crash Kit can provide you with form letters that include relevant Arizona case law and statutes. Also, included in your Car Crash Kit will be directions, suggestions on how to respond to common insurance company arguments, and how to settle your diminished value claim after you receive a fair settlement offer. The cost for Car Crash Solo is only $19 and it can help you recover hundreds to thousands of dollars more in compensation.
To see if your property damage qualifies for diminished value compensation just take our Free Quiz below.
Legal Disclaimer: This article provides general information and should not be taken as legal advice. This article is an advertisement.