One main factor that most insurance companies look at when determining the value of diminished value claims in Florida is whether or not a vehicle has been involved in any prior accidents. If it has, then almost all insurance companies will significantly decrease the value of your diminished value claim and some insurance companies (such as Allstate) will even deny your diminished value claim outright. The reason for this is as follows: You will argue that your car sustained a loss in value because it now has an accident history that is likely to show up on a Carfax report. But the insurance company’s response to this argument is that your car ALREADY had an accident history, so a big part of your argument has been defeated. Furthermore, the insurance companies will claim that if your car lost value, it did so after the first accident, not the second accident.
Diminished Value Claims in Florida – Able to Pursue with Previous Accident?
So the question becomes whether or not you are still able to pursue a diminished value claim in Florida even if your car was involved in a prior accident? It is ridiculous to suggest that just because a car lost value following a first accident, that it does not lose further value after a second accident. But in order to determine if it is worth pursuing a diminished value claim for the second accident, you need to look at the extent of the damages sustained to the vehicle from both accidents. If your car sustained a lot of damage from the second accident and only minor damage in the first accident, then yes, you still have a diminished value claim that is worth pursuing. But if the damage to the car from the first accident was extensive, then it is probably not worth pursuing a diminished value for the second accident.
It should be noted that when presented with a diminished value claim in Florida, insurance adjusters tend to be very good at doing their homework and finding out whether your vehicle has been involved in any prior accidents. They do this usually by one of two ways. First, they may pull a Carfax report for your vehicle and any prior accidents will probably be identified in this report. Second, insurance adjusters may look at the internal claims database that is shared by most insurance companies, and this database usually reveals any prior accidents involving you or your vehicle. This claims database tends to be more accurate and comprehensive then Carfax, since not all accidents are reported to Carfax.
In summary, insurance companies look for any reason to deny a claim or to make you a low ball offer and having a prior accident is one of these reasons. But just because the insurance company says that your car didn’t lose value from the second accident doesn’t mean that it’s true. If you are not sure whether you have a diminished value claim in Florida, call The Collision Law Center. We will be able to tell you if your diminished value claim in Florida is worth pursuing.