Auto Insurance Claims/DV

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Question
Hi-
I was in an accident in January of this year.  I owned my 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 Bighorn Cummins for 2 weeks.  The other driver was at fault. There was $31,000 in damage to my new truck.  Invoice was $58,000.  The insurance companies did not want to total it and so it was repaired. 2 months later I have my truck back.  We received a letter from the driver's insurance company that they would not be granting our diminished value. They stated that it does not become diminished until the vehicle is traded or sold.  It also stated that the state of California may bar our claim if we do not present it within the applicable statute of limitations. Our insurance company forwarded our request to the driver at faults insurance.  Do we need to go back to our insurance or directly after the owner of the vehicle?  The driver of the vehicle was not the owner but a roommate.

Answer
Hello.  It does not matter that the roommate was driving.  Your insurer will not handle the DV claim for you.  You will need to pursue it with the at fault insurer, assuming you can by CA law.  Unfortunately, I am on the other side of the country so i do not know CA law.  But I'm sure your insurer has claim reps that can explain how to make a DV claim in California.  Or if you even can do so before selling it.  So call and ask the claim rep assigned to your claim.  If he/she does not know the answer, ask him/her to find someone who can explain it to you.  Worst case scenario, call the California department of insurance and ask for advice.

The reference to the statutue of limitations is just a regulatory requirement - they neeed to mention it.  Also ask your claim rep what the statute of limitations is for property damage in California.  Make sure you do not let it pass without either filing a lawsuit or settling the claim.  It will probably be at least 2 years from the date of accident.

I suspect that their requirement that you sell the vehicle before making a DV claim is wrong or deceptive.  I'm not certain, as i do not know CA law, but it sounds questionable to me.

Your DV claim is probably worth a good amount of money, because your truck had a large price tag.  Assuming you can make the claim, the value will be the difference between the retauil market value the minute before it was damaged and the retail market value now.  You may wish to hire an appraiser to document this value for you.  This usually costs about $200-$500.  You can find someone on the internet who will do this for a fee.  or you can call a few dealers, write down their namaes, phone #'s, and their opinion re the DV claim.  Then take an average.

Hope this helps.  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Claims Guy

Expertise

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer......I can answer questions related to any aspect of Automobile insurance claims and coverages. I can provide an inside look at how insurers operate. I always treat my customers fairly and want to help make sure you are treated fairly. However, please keep in mind that being treated fairly according to the law does not guarantee that you will get what you want. I can also answer some questions regarding Homeowner's and other types of insurance claims. I have handled all types of auto insurance claims and coverages. I am NOT an automotive repair expert but can give advice re how insurers handle complex repair issues. Please keep in mind that every state has its own set of laws pertaining to rules of the road, liability, and insurance. No one is an expert on every state. I am most familiar with laws in Maryland, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia, but will attempt to answer questions for other states. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Experience

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Organizations
CPCU Society. Adjusters license in multiple states. International Association of Specal Investigators

Education/Credentials
I have a B.S. in Finance and have completed the AIC and CPCU designations.

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