Monday, December 16, 2013

DIMINISHED VALUE AFTER A WRECK IN A TESLA S - COMPARING IT TO BMW, MERCEDES-BENZ, PORSCHE, PREVIA, VOLVO AND THE REST

DIMINISHED VALUE AFTER A WRECK IN A TESLA S

Discussion groups can be enlightening but they also have a tendency to mislead. It isn't uncommon for contributors who know next to nothing about a subject like automobile diminished value to offer their "expert" opinions. Recently I participated in a Teslamotorsclub forum about diminished value after collision repairs on a Tesla S. Not unlike owners of high-end cars such as Porsche, yuppie cars such as Volvo and semi-ergonomic vehicles like Toyota Previa, Tesla buyers perusing the used car market tend to avoid previously repaired vehicles like the plague. New car dealers, naturally, are just as hesitant to take them in trade. Hence, diminished value on certain vehicles tends to be greater than for others.

To the Teslamotorsclub forum I wrote "The Original Poster is correct when he writes that not many Teslas have been damaged, therefore, establishing an accurate diminution of value after accident repairs is going to be as difficult as preparing a DV report for a high-end Ferrari." Correction - much more difficult! I did have occasion to speak to a Tesla owner who was seeking info regarding a diminished value appraisal but he turned out to be a tire-kicker. He also turned out to be the moderator of the forum because after getting his panties in a bunch he promptly erased my post and banned me from his little fiefdom.

Another contributor commented that a 10% DV might apply to the Tesla S. I can tell you that diminished value of some cars such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Porsche can reach as high as 50% of their fair market value. I had a Jeep dealer tell me that 50% was even low on a repaired 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4DR SUV SRT8 Vapor because a crossmember was replaced and that he'd forsake the auctions and probably have to sell the car overseas. Tesla buyers are every bit as discriminating as Porsche buyers and the like.

There are three methods that appraisers use to establish diminished value.

1) By a formula such as State Farm's notorious Rule 17-C which assigns points, known as modifiers, to different items such as whether there was unibody damage, air bag deployment, towing, etc.

Believe it or not, the color of the car can enter into how much less a dealer (or private party) will pay for a vehicle. I have never prepared a DV report for a Tesla (* see  note below) but I'm sure that owners of these cars are as particular as Porsche buyers - very apt to pass on any vehicle that was involved in a prior collision. So, a formulaic approach seems unlikely to qualify as a proper way to assess diminished value for a Tesla with a bad Carfax.

2) By using auto auction results. There are many inherent drawbacks to this type of approach that I won't go into here but regarding a Tesla, not many of them, either with or without prior damage histories have gone through the auction lanes so employing that method isn't an option.

3) Obtaining dealer quotes is how I formulate diminished value. This method allows me to query new car dealers by providing complete info on the subject vehicle right down to the options and color as well as the repairs that were done to the car.

So which method suits the unfortunate Tesla owner who was rear-ended and now has a car that's worth a good deal less after completion of repairs? I speak to sales managers at all types of dealerships every day but haven't had the opportunity of calling any Tesla dealers to ask their opinions about the diminished value of one of their vehicles. I am wondering whether even the dealers themselves would be able to provide accurate feedback at this point in time?

NOTE: Since writing this article, I have had occasion to perform a diminished value appraisal on a 2013 Tesla S and can report the following: The sales people at almost all Tesla dealerships are as knowledgeable about the automobile market as I am in nuclear physics. If you can imagine what a blank stare translates to over the telephone - that is what it is like trying to discuss diminished value with a Tesla salesman.

With diligence and determination, I eventually found the right people and was able to complete my DV report. Long story short, the 2013 Tesla S that had $4,600.00 in collision damage to the front, no air bag deployment or frame/unibody had a diminished value of just over $7,000.00.

The discussion touched on diminished value in California and how poorly auto owners are treated by large insurers like Allstate and State Farm, among others. My remarks noted the absence of punitive damage awards in California.

Another contributor wrote "I have discussed the California laws regarding punitive damages with an attorney who represents people in diminished value cases and learned that what you say is true. It is unfortunate, almost criminal, that insurance companies, not to mention other types of large corporations, can make uninitiated, just plain regular folks have to jump through hoops simply to get fair treatment. Insurers have no reason not to jerk you around, there's no real penalty for doing so."
Methods of dealing with claimants vary from state to state with many insurers - many of the things that insurers do in California differ from their practices in other states. It seems that California is the testing ground for insurers and its citizens are their lab rats.
One contributor wrote "I'm a former insurance adjuster for one of the top 5 insurance companies in the US. As mentioned in other posts, I don't know of any insurance carrier in California that pays out DV for first party (insured) claims. 3rd party is possible, but most of the time it gets denied due to lack of proof. And even then, it almost never will make it to arbitration as 95% of people back down from the insurance company. I find it insane that it's allowed to continue on like this, but not enough people file Department of Insurance complaints about this. My go-to insurance move was always to threaten to call the commissioner, which triggers a fine with any call. That usually improved the level of phone response."

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company is a licensed firm that provides automobile diminished value appraisals in all 50 states. It is important for vehicle owners to not only know their rights but also to be represented by an appraiser of unparalleled excellence in the field. Soon enough we'll know how poorly Tesla's stack up against the other cars that used-car buyers turn their noses up at. If any Tesla owners wish to weigh in on the subject of diminished value, please feel free to contact me.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for a Tesla Motors Automobile Diminished Value Report is $350.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

Monday, November 18, 2013

DIMINISHED VALUE - THE APPRAISER IS JUST THE FIRST STEP

DIMINISHED VALUE - THE APPRAISER IS JUST THE FIRST STEP  

"Automobile insurance policy" means a policy providing third-party coverage for property damage liability. "Diminished value" means the actual or perceived loss in market value or resale value which results from a direct or accidental loss. Diminished value is an element of property damage under an automobile insurance policy for third party claims. If a release or full payment of a claim involving a repair to a motor vehicle is executed by an automobile insurance policy claimant, it should not bar the right of the claimant to promptly assert a claim for diminished value if the diminished value was directly caused by the accident and the diminished value could not be determined or known until after the repair or attempted repair of the motor vehicle. This first step is to obtain an automobile diminished value appraisal from a licensed appraiser. As the quality of diminished value appraisals can vary greatly, the state of licensure is unimportant. The vehicle owner should be afforded the opportunity of obtaining the best possible report from a properly credentialed appraiser.. A state-issued appraisers or insurance adjusters license provides credibility to the appraisal report. Other certifications from private companies, associations or organizations do not signify expertise or fiduciary responsibility as they are merely pay-for-credentials concerns.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company is a licensed firm that provides automobile diminished value appraisals in all 50 states. It is important for vehicle owners to not only know their rights but also to be represented by an appraiser of unparalleled excellence in the field.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 


 
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Updated 01-28-2014

Keywords for this article: appraisal, appraiser, diminished value. automobile, licensed, adjuster, insurance, licensed, car, claim, third party, licensed, expert

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MERCEDES-BENZ AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL - BEST METHODOLOGY FOR ACCURATE REPORTING

MERCEDES-BENZ AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL - BEST METHODOLOGY FOR ACCURATE REPORTING

FORT PIERCE, Florida - Mercedes-Benz owners are a discriminating lot. The typical buyer of a used Mercedes-Benz is looking for a car that is in pristine condition. Cars that have undergone repairs for collision damages do not fall into this category. These bad Carfax Mercedes suffer diminished value far in excess of most other cars; a fact that most insurance companies fail to recognize. In order to properly appraise the exact loss of value, The St. Lucie Appraisal Company's method of obtaining dealer quotes to formulate that amount is the best methodology for obtaining accuracy. There are numerous appraisers who have jumped onto the automobile diminished value bandwagon. Unfortunately, the majority of these firms use either formulas or auction results to obtain their figures. Neither approach is satisfactory as they fail to address how significantly high-end cars lose value once they've been damaged in collisions. A competent, state licensed diminished value appraiser should obtain real world quotes from Porsche dealers when trying to establish the amount of the loss. The dealer must be made aware of the year, make, model, mileage, color and options of the subject vehicle as well as the exact nature of the damages that were repaired. Armed with this information, the dealer can accurately quote exactly how much less he would pay for the repaired car vs. a previously unmolested one.

Diminished value appraisal figures should represent what the vehicle will encounter in the real world of used cars. It is the used car managers at dealerships who provide the most realistic assessment of values because Mercedes-Benz dealers are the ones purchasing and re-selling the vehicles. An automobile diminished value appraisal that is compiled in this manner, listing each dealer, their estimation of how much less they would pay because of the bad CARFAX and any pertinent comments such as how different variables may have affected their decisions, carries the most weight. Although it is more time consuming than using a formulaic approach or an auction printout, it is the most valid method by which accuracy can be obtained.

When hiring an automobile diminished value appraiser to evaluate your loss, steer clear of companies who use formulas or auction results. Insist that your report be done strictly on the basis of dealer quotes. Why give insurance companies anything else but irrefutable evidence that will stand up in any court of law? Have a Mercedes-Benz that was wrecked in a collision? After repairs, call The St. Lucie Appraisal Company for the best and most effective automobile diminished value appraisal you can get.


The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISER- WE DO NOT WORK FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES

WE DO NOT WORK FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES

If you have read any of our articles it is evident that The St. Lucie Appraisal Company prepares its automobile diminished value reports based on new car dealer's opinions of how much value your car has lost due to undergoing collision repairs. YOUR CAR - not a group of similar vehicles that were sold at auctions. In addition, we've cautioned you to make sure that whatever automobile diminished value appraiser you employ uses the same method. This way, insurance companies cannot downgrade the appraisal for any legitimate reason such as their refusal to accept random formulas or auction results that don't address your specific car or the exact amount of damages that were repaired. This article is in response to many of the appraisals we've seen that were done by independent appraisal firms on behalf of Allstate, American Family, Farmers, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers, USAA and other insurance companies. These appraisals are, in a word, crap. Employing formulas such as the disputed Rule 17-C and auction results, their reports produce lower diminished value amounts that are in no way relevant to real world diminished value. Yes, we've been asked by a number of insurers and insurance defense attorneys to prepare DV reports on their behalf with the caveat that we change our methodology to obtain lower settlement figures. Each of these insurers has been shown the door. The St. Lucie Appraisal Company works for you, not insurance companies. So, in addition to advising you to make sure that your licensed independent appraiser uses strictly dealer quotes to prepare their reports, we should add that you ascertain whether they also work for insurance companies. If so, it's a red flag.

Automobile Diminished Value has officially become an entry in the lexicon of insurance terminology. It reflects a car’s quantifiable loss in fair market value subsequent to being repaired after a collision. Determining just how much value was lost takes a lot of effort, not simply plugging in a formula or scanning recent auto auction results. The St. Lucie Appraisal Company does not work for insurance companies simply because they have no interest in offering fair settlement amounts. Make sure that your independent appraiser is licensed and is 100% committed to doing what's right for you - instead of for whoever is throwing them a bone.


The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 


 
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Updated 01-28-2014

Keywords for this article: adjuster, Allstate, American Family, appraisal, automobile, diminished value. appraiser, Farmers, GEICO, independent, insurance, Liberty Mutual, nationwide, Progressive, Rule 17C, ST. LUCIE APPRAISAL, Travelers, USAA,car

Monday, September 16, 2013

PORSCHE AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL - 2013 PORSCHE 911 - BEST METHODOLOGY FOR ACCURATE REPORTING

AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL - 2013 PORSCHE 911
FORT PIERCE, Florida - Porsche owners are a discriminating lot. The typical buyer of a used Porsche is looking for a car that is in pristine condition. Cars that have undergone repairs for collision damages do not fall into this category. These bad Carfax Porsches suffer diminished value far in excess of most other cars; a fact that most insurance companies fail to recognize. In order to properly appraise the exact loss of value, The St. Lucie Appraisal Company's method of obtaining dealer quotes to formulate that amount is the best methodology for obtaining accuracy. There are numerous appraisers who have jumped onto the automobile diminished value bandwagon. Unfortunately, the majority of these firms use either formulas or auction results to obtain their figures. Neither approach is satisfactory as they fail to address how significantly high-end cars lose value once they've been damaged in collisions. A competent diminished value appraiser should obtain real world quotes from Porsche dealers when trying to establish the amount of the loss. The dealer must be made aware of the year, make, model, mileage, color and options of the subject vehicle as well as the exact nature of the damages that were repaired. Armed with this information, the dealer can accurately quote exactly how much less he would pay for the repaired car vs. a previously unmolested one.

A recent appraisal of a 2013 Porsche 911 AWD H6 Coupe with 5,000 miles that was wrecked in a collision. The vehicle suffered right side damages in the amount of $8,500.00 - not a particularly high amount. The subject vehicle was silver and was fully optioned. Trade-in value for this car was $100,000.00 but in light of the bad Carfax, Porsche dealers queried said they would only pay from sixty-thousand dollars to seventy-five thousand dollars for the car. Most dealers cited low buyer interest. Taking an average of the six dealer quotes, the amount of diminished value was $30,666.00. The insurer hired an independent appraiser who used a formula showing the diminished value to be only $5,000.00. The case was scheduled for trial when the insurance company conceded that the formulaic approach would not stand up to scrutiny. They paid the full diminished value amount plus the claimant's appraisal and attorney fees.

Diminished value appraisal figures should represent what the vehicle will encounter in the real world of used cars. It is the used car managers at dealerships who provide the most realistic assessment of values because automobile dealers are the ones purchasing and re-selling the vehicles. An automobile diminished value appraisal that is compiled in this manner, listing each dealer, their estimation of how much less they would pay because of the bad CARFAX and any pertinent comments such as how different variables may have affected their decisions, carries the most weight. Although it is more time consuming than using a formulaic approach or an auction printout, it is the most valid method by which accuracy can be obtained.

When hiring an automobile diminished value appraiser to evaluate your loss, steer clear of companies who use formulas or auction results. Insist that your report be done strictly on the basis of dealer quotes. Why give insurance companies anything else but irrefutable evidence that will stand up in any court of law? Have a Porsche that was wrecked in a collision? After repairs, call The St. Lucie Appraisal Company for the best and most effective automobile diminished value appraisal you can get.


The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 


 
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Updated 01-28-2014
Image courtesy of http://pleasediscuss.com

Keywords for this article: 911, appraisal, appraise, appraiser, automobile, best, carfax, diminished value, methodology, Porsche, The St. Lucie Appraisal Company, car

Thursday, September 5, 2013

AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE - GET AN APPRAISAL - THEN PREPARE FOR BATTLE

AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE - GET AN APPRAISAL - THEN PREPARE FOR BATTLE
FORT PIERCE, Florida - If only it were as simple as hiring a licensed appraiser and submitting their automobile diminished value report to the insurance company. When prospective clients call us with questions, after they hear the answers, most of them disappear - never to be heard from again. St Lucie Appraisal prepares the best auto diminished value appraisal that can be obtained in any of the 50 states. We hate to turn away business but the cold hard truth is, regardless of the fact that you'll be submitting irrefutable evidence of how much value your car has lost after collision repairs, companies like Allstate, American Family, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers and USAA will still offer settlements representing a fraction the actual diminished value.  Where do these people vanish to? Perhaps other independent appraisal companies promise huge settlements or maybe people become frustrated and meekly accept these lowball payouts but being dishonest about our customers' prospects is no way to do business. A more reasonable reality is that you'll need to make a formal complaint to your state's insurance department for unfair claims practices and, perhaps, go so far as hiring an attorney. But in the event your complaint escalates into a courtroom battle, you'll be asking for compensation for appraisal and attorney fees on top of your diminished value and there's a good chance you'll win! Why? Read on.

The automobile diminished value report you receive from St. Lucie Appraisal is based entirely on the opinions of used car managers at automobile dealerships. Was your Honda wrecked and repaired? Our report provides six quotes from Honda dealerships that specifically address your actual vehicle and the exact amount and severity of damage that was repaired. When people trade their cars in, those are the guys who buy them so their opinions are valid. Other appraisal companies providing diminished value reports may use formulas such as the inappropriate (as ruled by The Georgia Supreme Court) Rule 17-C or collect data from auto auctions to formulate their figures. I'm not guaranteeing success if you march into court with this type of appraisal. Insurers can successfully argue that they do not address your specific car or the damages it incurred.

The Georgia Supreme Court's ruling on the inequity of Rule 17-C laid the foundation for fair automobile diminished value settlements in all 50 states.  Formulas such as State Farm's Rule 17-C severely shortchanged vehicle owners and, in doing so, provided themselves and other insurers using formulas to determine diminished value with unjust enrichment.

Subsequent to your accident, the adjuster from the responsible driver's insurance company will offer you a settlement for diminished value. If you ask them how they came up with the figure they will either point to a formula, a "certified" appraiser's report or simply refuse to explain their process altogether. I have seen the diminished value reports prepared by independent appraisers hired by insurers and they are a joke. They contain no reasonable facts to back up their assumptions. Most of them are not licensed in any state. Note that "certified" appraisers belong to pay-to-be-certified organizations, not unlike the Better Business Bureau and should not be confused with "licensed" appraisers. A number of insurance company attorneys have contacted St. Lucie Appraisal in the past to inquire about hiring us. Once they learned about our process of using dealer quotes, however, their interest faded quickly as they realized that our reports would result in higher (translation: fair) diminished value settlements. In front of a magistrate or mediator, these types of reports provide actual evidence of how much less your car is worth in the real world. Appraisals based on formulas or auction results can not compare. And insurance company diminished value estimates made up out of thin air (yes, they do exist) will certainly be looked upon as unfair at best and possibly fraudulent in the eyes of a judge.

Face it, even your own insurance agent or broker hasn't informed you of your right to collect diminished value from the insurer of the responsible driver. Regardless of the fact that the settlement isn't even costing your own insurer a dime, agents are mum on the subject altogether. Automobile diminished value is the newest thorn in the insurance companies' side. Their mission is to keep it a secret and their hope is that it will go away.



The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net



AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISERS IN ALL 50 STATES


Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals nationwide including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington West Virginia and Wisconsin.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 


 
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Keywords for this article: auto, automobile, diminished value, appraisal, appraiser, insurance, St. Lucie Appraisal, attorney, complaint, State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, Farmers, USAA, independent, certified, licensed, agent, broker

Sunday, July 28, 2013

CALIFORNIA AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE AND STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY - HIRE A GOOD LAWYER

CALIFORNIA AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE AND STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY

NOTE: Since this article appeared and after many conversations with claim supervisors at State Farm Insurance Company in California, the insurance company no longer requires mandatory physical inspections of vehicles in order to make claims for inherent diminished value.


ALTURAS, California - Our company prepares automobile diminished value reports in all 50 states. Inherent diminished value, as many people know, simply means that, as a result of previous repairs to a motor vehicle and the resultant bad Carfax report, the vehicle is worth less than a similar vehicle that was never involved in a collision. Insurance companies have resisted paying diminished value claims but, due to prevailing case law in most states, they have all grudgingly accepted their responsibility to do so. State Farm Insurance Company is included in that group, however, in California, that insurer has recently added yet another obstacle to vehicle owners receiving fair compensation for diminished value. Even though inherent diminished value assumes that vehicles were properly repaired, State Farm in California now refuses to honor diminished value claims unless your independent appraiser physically inspects your repaired vehicle. Translated, if you live in an area like Alturas, California - where there are no licensed auto appraisers for miles - and have a diminished value claim, unless you drive hundreds of miles to where you can find a qualified appraiser, you're out of luck. Similarly, if you wish to employ a highly-rated appraiser like St. Lucie Appraisal that is from a different state , again, you're out of luck. These both amount to an unfair claim practices. With it's stricter food safety and auto emissions standards, isn't California the one state you'd expect would protect it's citizens from being held hostage by insurance companies?

I called State Farm to ask why they would implement such an arbitrary and capricious procedure, contrary to how their company handles diminished value claims in the other 49 states. After some wrangling, I managed to speak to a claims representative, Alex Svetich, who kept robotically informing me that all third-party diminished value claims in California, regardless of the fact that claimants had no issues with repair quality, necessitated an inspection by the claimant's independent appraiser. Upon hearing my reasons why this amounted to unfair claims practice and was illogical in every sense of the word, Mr. Svetich simply kept repeating that it was "company policy." My request to speak with a supervisor was denied.

As I mentioned, the vehicle owner who called me for a diminished value appraisal lives in Alturas, California which is about as remote an area as you'll find. State Farm's policy not only forces that person to drive hundreds of miles to get an appraisal, it limits his ability to seek out the best appraiser. The largest of the independent auto diminished value appraisers in the US are from Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona. State Farm has effectively shut them out of the California diminished value market - a clear restriction of trade.

Hiring an aggressive attorney who specializes in auto diminished value cases would seem to be the only answer if you live in California and are pursuing a claim against a State Farm-insured driver. Perhaps suing the negligent driver personally will convince State Farm to take a more equitable approach to it's handling of automobile diminished value claims in California.

paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

AUTOMOBILE APPRAISAL FACTS - BANKRUPTCY, ESTATE DISSOLUTION, FINANCING, A CHARITABLE DONATION, INSURANCE AND DIMINISHED VALUE

AUTOMOBILE APPRAISAL FACTS - BANKRUPTCY, ESTATE DISSOLUTION, FINANCING, A CHARITABLE DONATION, INSURANCE AND DIMINISHED VALUE

MIAMI, Florida - The many different types of vehicles we appraise for bankruptcy, estate dissolution, financing,  charitable donations for tax deductions, insurance, valuation disputes, purchase & sale and diminished value have made the process so much easier for vehicle owners, prospective buyers, attorneys and executors of estates. They include antique, exotic, custom and modified cars as well as regular commuter cars. You can hire us to appraise a heavy truck, luxury RV, customized motorcycle, boat, farm machinery and construction equipment. Not only does our experience assure expert reporting, at St. Lucie Appraisal, we recognize that each situation calls for a different type of appraisal.

In bankruptcies, court-appointed trustees typically assign a Black Book value to your car or truck. Taking into consideration the various damages and necessary repairs to the body, mechanics and interior of some vehicles, they are worth far less. A Fair Market Value appraisal assures that bankruptcy filers can keep their vital transportation for a realistic price. This fact is even more critical when evaluating larger and more valuable vehicles.

Estates are not only comprised of real estate and tangible personal property - there are usually motor vehicles involved. Appraising Fair Market Value of a classic car, RV or boat is important both for satisfying beneficiaries and to facilitate a timely disposal of the items.

Banks often require an appraisal for financing a custom car or other exotic vehicle where book values aren't readily available. Many modified cars have undergone extensive and costly rebuilds, fabrications, entertainment system upgrades and power enhancements. Restorations of antique cars are similarly expensive. These things don't always translate into enhanced value but when they do, it needs to be reflected on the appraisal.

Donating a car, truck or RV to a charity or non-profit organization requires an appraiser who makes certain the full Fair Market Value is reflected and, above all, that his comparables are rock-solid. Always check to see that an appraiser has not been disqualified by the IRS.

Many small insurers take on risk without adequate information but the larger insurance companies usually require an appraisal before writing policies on antique and customized vehicles. Examples are high-performance modified cars, restored high-end antique cars and choppers. Also, RVs and used construction equipment are types of vehicles typically requiring Actual Cash Value appraisals before insurance coverage is provided. Insurance valuation disputes are common. St. Lucie Appraisal can help to reach a fair compromise before arbitration or litigation becomes necessary.

Americans are becoming more and more aware of Automobile Diminished Value and how much less their cars are worth as a result of undergoing accident repairs. There is a good chance that your insurance agent or adjuster hasn't made you aware of your right to receive compensation for that lost value from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Hire an appraiser who at least possesses an adjuster's or appraiser's license from one of the 50 states in order to provide a credible Automobile Diminished Value Report.



The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net


Service in St. Lucie County, Martin County, Indian River County, Brevard County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Vero Beach, Melbourne, Sebastian, Palm Bay, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Haverhill, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Hypoluxo, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Margate, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Dania Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale, Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami, Opa Locka, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, Cutler Bay and Homestead.


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Diminished Value appraisals available in all 50 states


Our rates for services are as follows:

Auto Appraisals (Donations, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Insurance Disputes) $125.00

Stated Value Appraisals (Antique & Classic Cars, Street Rods, Motorcycles, RVs, Trucks) $175.00

Auto/Truck/RV Condition Reports $225.00 and Up

Diminished Value Appraisals (Determines how much less your car is worth after accident repairs) $225.00

Personal Property Appraisals (Contents, Collectibles, Art, Antiques) $225.00 and Up

All other services and additional time when necessary  $75/Hr.

Expert Witness - Court Appearances, Depositions, Mediation $225/Hr.

You may obtain appraisals for Financing, Charitable Donation Tax Credits, Collateral, Damage Claims, Equitable Distribution, Bankruptcy, Estates, Insurance Stated Value, Purchase & Sale and Diminished Value.

Appraisals of Personal Property, Art, Boats, Classic & Custom Autos, Antiques, Collectibles & Memorabilia, Electronics, Machinery, Motorcycles & Choppers, Furnishings, RVs, Trucks & Heavy Equipment.


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Keywords for this article: automobile, appraisal, appraiser, bankruptcy, estate, financing, charitable donation, insurance, diminished value, antique, custom, exotic, truck, RV, motorcycle, boat, St. Lucie Appraisal, fair market value, Miami, Florida

Updated 01-21-2014

Thursday, May 23, 2013

STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY AND AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE

STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANY AND AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE

FORT PIERCE, Florida - Do you own a late model car that was damaged in a collision that was a result of someone else's carelessness? Of course most of us are aware that, even though our automobiles were repaired to perfection, that they are now worth a lot less because of the bad Carfax and other Vehicle History Reports that are now permanently attached to them. When you call The St. Lucie Appraisal Co. for an automobile diminished value report, you have questions. But that's not all - most of you also have some astonishing tales to tell. And it's hard not to share your outrage after hearing some of these stories. In this article we'll look more closely into some recent State Farm Insurance Company claim practices that certainly got my attention.
In the first instance, a claimant in Florida filed an automobile diminished value claim against State Farm after her 2010 Nissan Versa was repaired. The vehicle had a pre-accident trade-in value of $8,750.00, repairs were approximately $5,600.00 and State Farm's file handler offered the claimant $700.00 for diminished value. The offer was based on a report compiled by an independent appraisal company hired by State Farm to evaluate the claim. St. Lucie Appraisal's automobile diminished value report, based entirely on verifiable dealer quotes, resulted in a loss of value of $2,400.00. State Farm's file handler told the claimant that automobile diminished value settlement figures over $2,000.00 were typically for Porsches and BMWs.
Two things became apparent after further examination of their document; that State Farm hired an unlicensed appraiser to prepare their report and that the appraiser's diminished value figure of $700.00 was based on nothing at all. At least nothing that was visible on his report. There were no quotes from auto dealers, no auction results, not even a formula that would explain how he arrived at the figure.
Florida Statutes 626.855 defines a “RESIDENT INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER” as any person who is self-employed or is associated with or employed by an independent adjusting firm or other independent adjuster, and who undertakes on behalf of an insurer to ascertain and determine to amount of the claim, loss, or damage payable under an insurance contract or undertakes to effect settlement of such claim, loss or damage. A 5-20 All Lines Adjuster's license is a requirement for appraisers who perform such tasks as obtaining agreed repair prices and diminished value settlement amounts. What would possess State Farm to make such a questionable choice? During my conversation with State Farm's file handler, I asked him to explain how his independent appraiser arrived at the $700.00 figure. After perusing the report, he had to concede that he didn't know. I also took the liberty of correcting his statement to the claimant, as if he wasn't already aware, that Porsche and BMW diminished value figures reach well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The second instance involves a different unlicensed appraiser. A claimant in Florida brought her damaged vehicle, a 2011 Honda Pilot, to a State Farm-approved auto body shop that is part of a Honda dealership. The vehicle had a pre-accident trade-in value of $27,500.00, repairs were approximately $10,500.00 and State Farm's file handler offered the claimant $900.00 for diminished value based on a report from the same appraisal company referenced above. Our automobile diminished value report, again based entirely on verifiable dealer quotes, resulted in a loss of value of $5,600.00.
The body shop manager, who ostensibly represents State Farm, gave the claimant's contact information to yet another independent appraiser who called the claimant and offered to work on their behalf preparing an automobile diminished value report. Even after the claimant refused his solicitations, he continued to call. Why would a vehicle owner rely on his impartiality, having been recommended by a representative of the insurer? Once again, the appraiser in this case is not properly licensed in the State of Florida.
A question of collusion exists in this scenario and raises questions about how State Farm approaches automobile diminished value claims in general. Similar scenarios are being played out in all 50 states. Every insurance company is concerned with cost containment both in claim payments and claim handling expenses. How inexpensively can appraisers prepare automobile diminished value reports that show no research data? If what I saw is all there is, St. Lucie Appraisal could churn out hundreds of them every day for about twenty dollars apiece. The sad fact is that car owners faced with huge losses after collision repairs are playing against a stacked deck. Misinformation and low-ball appraisals from unqualified vendors seem to be the rule of thumb at State Farm but at least the situation has improved from when the insurer refused to recognize the existence of diminished value at all.


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL. 
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