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Discussion Starter #1
Early last week some lizard drove into me as I was stopped and letting him thru at a T-intersection. His insurance is estimating the repair at around $3500, but it will likely be over $5000 as his insurance, Progressive, has decided to provide an estimate where the torn front bumper cover is not replaced, but repaired somehow along with other poor decisions by the estimator.

Anyway, the thread is about me making a diminished value claim with Progressive. I've read varied opinions online and this is what I found:

1. These claims are most difficult in NYS. Is this true? Have any of you heard of anyone in NYS be successful with a claim? The claims is that there is a lot of fraud in NYC so they make it more difficult. I'm not sure if the comments I read pertain to strictly NYC or NYS entirely. I'm not in NYC but nearby.
2. That I need to use an independent estimator company, and that body shop estimates will not be considered. Is this true and if so, who is a trusted source in the NYC area to get this done? Basically estimate value pre and post accident.
3. There is more success in getting diminished value with luxury marques. I have a M3 valued at around $40k after nearly 6 years.

Is this something that is worthwhile to pursue?
Can I pursue this before the car is repaired? It'll be 3 weeks until it is...

Lastly, depending on the responses here, should I consult a lawyer about this or just write my own strongly worded letter ? I have read good example letters here in the past and would like just copy the verbiage if I wrote/sent my own.

What are your opinions?

Thanks,
 

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I tried that a few years back when I had my 135i and an MTA truck rear ended me, but was promptly told to pound sand, so I don't know what to tell you
 

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Is there any reason that you aren't using your insurance? They should repair the car and then subrogate with the at-fault party's insurance. You'll most likely have more leverage in that situation.

If you're in a situation where you must use the at-fault party's insurance, you should be able to choose your body shop. Once the car is repaired, inspect it carefully, and if anything doesn't look 100 percent, don't accept the car. Make them return the car to the condition it was before the accident. If you have pictures of your car in pre-accident condition, keep them on hand and ready to show to the body shop/adjuster.

In Texas you have to get a third party appraisal from a vehicle appraiser, much like you have to do from what you've said. You have to determine if the cost of the appraisal is worth it when pursuing a DV clam.
 

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Diminished value is not an acceptable loss/claim in NYS. Unless the vehicle is an appreciating asset. Source: I work in the insurance/auto collision field and have investigated many of these. If you pm me i can give you some more info
 

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his insurance, Progressive, has decided to provide an estimate where the torn front bumper cover is not replaced, but repaired somehow along with other poor decisions by the estimator.

Anyway, the thread is about me making a diminished value claim with Progressive.
No sarcasm, good luck with that. Fought Progressive when a teen backed into my Boxster at a traffic light (Progressive was the insurer on both sides), and my own policy claim didn’t include replacing the bumper cover. The cover had been stretched and looked wavy, with the adjuster basically slandering me to the body shop that I only wanted it replaced due to damage underneath from a curb (which couldn’t even be seen unless under the car).

Getting the repairs done wasn’t smooth, and they were prepared to litigate the diminished value claim against the other driver. In the end i got about half of my claim demand, bumper cover fully replaced, and then washed my hands of that company.
 

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If it were me, although none of those factors would individually push me to a lawyer, the combination of them seeking a torn bumper cover "repair", a mid-four-figure estimate, and the desire for diminished value, I would just lawyer up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone.

The dealer repairing this will fight them on the bumper cover and on using a remanufactured headlight versus new. No sense in lawyering unless they say no to doing these two properly. Car won't be in shop for 1.5 weeks so I won't get an answer til then.

If I were to lawyer it'd be for dimished value but after originally posting this thread, I found a bunch of threads over at bimmerpost about how such a small collision is basically not worth it and that there's been little success with such small collisions. Seems like people have had luck with $15k+ collisions however.
 

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I tried that a few years back when I had my 135i and an MTA truck rear ended me, but was promptly told to pound sand, so I don't know what to tell you
Same. Got hit a while back and yea... my agent was like "a WHAT claim?" Looked into it and was basically like yea GLHF.
 

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Hopefully I can provide some real tangible experience here:

Granted - this happened in IL, so YMMV for NYS.

I was rear ended in my 997 2 years ago. The damage wasn't significant really, but it was being rear ended in a 911 nonetheless. The only exterior damage was the rear bumper cover. But beauty is only skin deep?

The bumper support underneath had to be replaced, and the exhaust was bent, as well as the bar that connects the two frame rails. That might constitute as "frame damage" but I didn't take it as such. They were willing to bend it back or cut it and replace it. I opted for the latter.

Anyway, it was a ~$20k repair on a ~$45k car. It got fixed, car wasn't totalled and all was fine? Well I went after the other insurance company for diminished value... because of course a rear ended 911 wouldn't hold the same value as a completely clean car to the average buyer. To me it didn't make a difference as the car was thoroughly fixed.

I brought DV up to the other insurance company and they waffled, and said ok sure - we can offer you $250. I politely but firmly said that this was ridiculous and wouldn't even cover an oil change at the dealer, and said I'd be hiring professionals to address this. They said sure, go ahead.

So I hired an appraisal company to look at the car and appraise it before/after the repairs. In their appraisal they noted the DV to be ~$7k, which was a very clean cut 20% chunk off the pre-accident value of the car which they... wait for it, based off KBB, which was in itself off by about $15k what the car could fetch private party.

I then went on a long witch hunt to get MMR (manheim) values, private party sales (asked for actual sale values on the forums for comparable cars, and then did analysis of existing for sale cars and asking prices. For each of these I was able to extrapolate an equation which showed what the value of my car should be, which was way off the lagging KBB numbers.

I presented this to the appraisal company (which is ironic, they're supposed to be helping me - not the ones I should be fighting) and I was told to pound sand. They essentially said because that this is their business they fully stand behind their methodology and mine was from a "hobbyist" perspective.

So I had no options to present the $7k number to the insurance company who was like, uhm ok... well let us take that information to one department, then another one, and another one. Months had passed since I presented this info and I simply said, if I don't have an answer within a week you'd hear from my attorney.

Now suddenly some "head" of claims reached out to me and said they could make me an offer. That still ended up being in the $4K range which I said was BS. I stood my ground and said that I would escalate further if they didn't budge. They then offered something in the $6k range and essentially said "the difference of the repair values and the maximum of the insured's liability coverage is what we can give you" anything beyond that would have to be recouped in small claims court directly from the insured. Meaning: heaven forbid you get hit in your $50k car with someone who has only coverage for $20k, because the rest will be on you to recoup.

I took the payout and while I knew I was still about $3k short, it was better than nothing. This entire process took about 7 months to resolve.

Good luck. You will need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hopefully I can provide some real tangible experience here:

Granted - this happened in IL, so YMMV for NYS.

I was rear ended in my 997 2 years ago. The damage wasn't significant really, but it was being rear ended in a 911 nonetheless. The only exterior damage was the rear bumper cover. But beauty is only skin deep?

The bumper support underneath had to be replaced, and the exhaust was bent, as well as the bar that connects the two frame rails. That might constitute as "frame damage" but I didn't take it as such. They were willing to bend it back or cut it and replace it. I opted for the latter.

Anyway, it was a ~$20k repair on a ~$45k car. It got fixed, car wasn't totalled and all was fine? Well I went after the other insurance company for diminished value... because of course a rear ended 911 wouldn't hold the same value as a completely clean car to the average buyer. To me it didn't make a difference as the car was thoroughly fixed.

I brought DV up to the other insurance company and they waffled, and said ok sure - we can offer you $250. I politely but firmly said that this was ridiculous and wouldn't even cover an oil change at the dealer, and said I'd be hiring professionals to address this. They said sure, go ahead.

So I hired an appraisal company to look at the car and appraise it before/after the repairs. In their appraisal they noted the DV to be ~$7k, which was a very clean cut 20% chunk off the pre-accident value of the car which they... wait for it, based off KBB, which was in itself off by about $15k what the car could fetch private party.

I then went on a long witch hunt to get MMR (manheim) values, private party sales (asked for actual sale values on the forums for comparable cars, and then did analysis of existing for sale cars and asking prices. For each of these I was able to extrapolate an equation which showed what the value of my car should be, which was way off the lagging KBB numbers.

I presented this to the appraisal company (which is ironic, they're supposed to be helping me - not the ones I should be fighting) and I was told to pound sand. They essentially said because that this is their business they fully stand behind their methodology and mine was from a "hobbyist" perspective.

So I had no options to present the $7k number to the insurance company who was like, uhm ok... well let us take that information to one department, then another one, and another one. Months had passed since I presented this info and I simply said, if I don't have an answer within a week you'd hear from my attorney.

Now suddenly some "head" of claims reached out to me and said they could make me an offer. That still ended up being in the $4K range which I said was BS. I stood my ground and said that I would escalate further if they didn't budge. They then offered something in the $6k range and essentially said "the difference of the repair values and the maximum of the insured's liability coverage is what we can give you" anything beyond that would have to be recouped in small claims court directly from the insured. Meaning: heaven forbid you get hit in your $50k car with someone who has only coverage for $20k, because the rest will be on you to recoup.

I took the payout and while I knew I was still about $3k short, it was better than nothing. This entire process took about 7 months to resolve.

Good luck. You will need it.
Which insurance company did you go after?

And you say you threatened lawyers so I assume you never used one. You're saying you dealt with the insurance on your own and got them to come up that much?

Which appraisal company did you use? A local or national one?
 
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