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Auto Insurance Claims/Diminished value of stolen and wrecked car


Hi Richard,

My 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS was recently stolen.  Eight days later the police attempted to pull over the driver and a short chase ensued.  This resulted in the vehicle crashing, causing $6,400 in damages per the insurance adjusters initial appraisal.  He explained that the costs of repairs could go as high as $8-9,000, depending on unforeseen damages.

This vehicle was purchased brand new in November of 2013, and had an odometer reading of 6,900 miles at the time it was stolen.  I am concerned as to whether the repairs will void any manufacturer warranties on the vehicle, as well as the diminished value of the vehicle once repairs are made.  I am a resident of California and would appreciate any insight and/or suggestions concerning my dilemma.  Thank you!

Hi Ed,

I'm sorry this has happened to you.

Unfortunately, in the state of California, you can not make a claim for diminished value against your own insurance policy. So although your vehicle will suffer a loss in value due to the damage you are not able to be compensated through your insurance policy.

Although it is a long shot, you may check with the district attorneys office to see if there will be a restitution order against the person who stole your car. If so, you may be able to have the diminished value added to that. Although it will likely be several years to collect if at all.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh


Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.


I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

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My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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