Tuesday, January 28, 2014

AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE - FALSE PROMISES BY INDEPENDENT APPRAISERS


FORT PIERCE, Florida - When we speak to a customer about their automobile diminished value claim, at no time do we make promises in order to obtain their business. Frequently, we are called upon to perform a diminished value appraisal after other independent appraisers already did so. The stories are familiar - such and such appraisal company told us that the diminished value of our car would be over $10K but their report only came in at $2K. Or, so and so appraisal company assured me that the insurance company would pay the full amount but, instead, the insurance adjuster low balled me. The worst ones are those who say "I should have listened to you" after their diminished value appraisals were rejected because they were prepared based on formulas or auto auction results instead of actual dealer quotes. The St. Lucie Appraisal Company does not offer money back guarantees. What we do - contacting numerous new car dealers and obtaining their opinions of your car's diminished value - requires a great deal of time. We don't simply concoct a formulaic appraisal or run off pages and pages of auction results. But most of all, we don't make promises that we can't keep. Below is a page that was taken from a Better Business Bureau complaint involving an independent automobile diminished value appraiser. We omitted the name of the company for obvious reasons but the content will illuminate some of the scenarios that people seeking diminished value appraisals face.

Complaint about XYZ DV Appraisers: Company refuses to give me back my money. Despite their money back guarantee.
I contacted **** in regards to a DV claim. I inquired about what the claim specifically entails and was told by ****** ***** that the "mission here at **** is to help you collect the settlement you deserve". This was unclear to me so I called. I spoke with ******* ***** who told me I'd be paying for a claim to get financial compensation from an insurance company. I asked what happens if the company says "no" and she laughed at me. She told me she's never seen a company just say no, they HAVE to pay you. Based on her word, I paid for **** services. I was denied twice by the insurance company, the last time the insurance company cited a supreme court case in ** that dismissed the notion of diminished value. When I asked what was next a man named **** ****** said he wasn't a lawyer so he couldn't comment and advised me to find an attorney and take the case to small claims court. No one ever said anything about lawyers or court. I then demanded my money back. I was basically told that I was lying about what I was told, that *** ***** never told me the company had to pay me. I was told I could only get my money back if I signed a contract stating that **** "acted in good faith and provided a quality product" - which they did not, and I must promise "not leave any feedback, comments or testimonials about the provider's services or appraisal practices and remove any content already submitted against the provider, electronic or otherwise."


I will not sign my name to a document that is false, nor to a document that prohibits me from speaking my mind. I told the company this and they have ignored me.
Initial Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ******************
A REFUND WAS ISSUED - THIS DEMAND IS WARRANTLESS. Additionally, we don't have a money back guarantee on the product she ordered (only on local appraisals).

Since, in good faith, a refund was issued yesterday, this matter should be dismissed and the case closed. Thank you so much.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
This company is a fraud.
A person making an automobile diminished value claim has enough to contend with in light of the fact that there are unscrupulous insurance companies that practically force you to take them to court. You don't need to be defrauded by your own independent appraiser as well.


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: automobile, diminished value, independent, appraiser, claim, appraisal, insurance company, low ball, dealer, quote, The St. Lucie Appraisal Company, money back guarantee, Better Business Bureau  

Updated 02-13-2014


Saturday, January 4, 2014

PROVING AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE. WHAT CONSTITUTES PROOF?


PROVING AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE. WHAT CONSTITUTES PROOF?

FORT PIERCE, Florida - It is the responsibility of the auto owner filing  a diminished value claim to determine which type of appraiser to hire to prepare their report. Due diligence will reveal a number of different methods employed by independent appraisers to arrive at their conclusions. Briefly, there are just three of them - an appraisal in which a formula is used to arrive at a conclusion, the type of appraisal that relies on automobile auction results and the appraisal in which actual dealer quotes make up the body of proof that shows exactly how much value a car has lost as a result of having undergone collision repairs.  Finding the appraisal firm that will be successful in proving that the car has, indeed, suffered a diminution of value requires more than just opening a local telephone directory. Insurance companies, like any other business, can range from responsible to unscrupulous and even predatory. Should an auto owner become a victim of unfair claim practices, a logical progression might place them in front of a magistrate or mediator. Their appraiser should be able to present himself as an expert witness and his diminished value report must stand up to any type of scrutiny.

The methodology used by The St. Lucie Appraisal Company goes beyond being generally accepted. It is, in fact, precise because we obtain six dealer quotes that are based on the specific vehicle involved and the exact nature and amount of repairs that were done. Should an auto owner need to hire an attorney, that person will scrutinize the diminished value appraisal carefully. A good lawyer will know whether or not the report is acceptable proof of actual diminished value. Will an appraisal that relies on a formula to determine the vehicle's loss of value make sense to a judge? Does the sort of appraisal that relies on auction results of similar types of cars serve as adequate evidence? The independent appraiser who has taken the time to describe the exact car in question to six dealers and asked them how the specific repairs that were done impacts the car's fair market value provides common sense answers in proving that actual diminished value has occurred.

Looking at automobile diminished value from an insurance company's point of view is helpful in deciding which type of appraisal suits your needs. Independent appraisals based on formulas tend to be less expensive but insurers have their own formulas which will likely be at odds with yours. The variety of appraisals based on generic auto auction results, which, for some reason tend to be the most expensive, are routinely rejected by insurance adjusters as being non-specific. But before pronouncing The St. Lucie Appraisal's method of providing six dealer quotes the gold standard in diminished value reports, even our appraisals have been questioned by insurance companies.  The following quote comes from an insurance company adjuster. "Car dealers have an institutional conflict of interest that hardly should make them the arbiter of whether a vehicle loses value if it is involved in an accident. It is in a car dealer’s interest to pay as little as possible for vehicles."  It had to be pointed out to the adjuster that none of the six dealers, in this case, Honda dealers, were under the impression that they would be buying the vehicle in question nor would they be taking it in trade. Their opinions were completely unbiased and that detail served to resolve the conflict. If a vehicle owner believes that their claim has been wrongfully denied or rejected, they may have the matter reviewed by their Department of Insurance. Automobile diminished value after collision repairs is recognizable but that doesn't  stop insurance companies from saying that is doesn't exist. When all is said and done, the burden of proof lies with the auto owner so it is critical to provide irrefutable evidence that there is a discernible difference in how much a used car buyer will pay for a previously repaired car versus one never having been involved in a collision.



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.