Filing an insurance claim correctly could mean the difference between being made whole again or losing money due to your accident.
Who Can File
Only you as the policyholder can file a diminished value claim, either with your own insurance provider or with third-party car insurance.3 However, it makes sense to file only if you were not at fault in the accident.
When to File (And How to Get the Most Money)
File your claim after your vehicle has been appraised and repaired. Assuming the other party has insurance, you’ll file a third-party claim and request compensation using the documentation your appraiser provided. From there, they can negotiate to help you get the most compensation. Look for an appraiser, consumer advocate, diminished value company, or your own adjuster.4
Do Companies Have to Pay Diminished Value Claims?
If you caused a car accident, your insurance company does not have to pay for your car’s diminished value, only its repairs under collision coverage (minus your collision deductible).
However, if the accident was not your fault, the other party’s insurer must make you whole again through either the other driver’s liability insurance or, if they lack insurance, your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. That said, you have to prove diminished value, probably by using a third-party appraisal company.5