A Basic Overview
|Is there a statutory basis controlling diminished value claims ?||
|Is there favorable Reported case law for Diminished Value Claims ?||
|Can my Collision Coverage cover the Diminished Value of my vehicle ?||
|Can my Uninsured Motorist cover my Diminished Value ?||
|What is the small claims court authority limit ?||
|What is the Statute of Limitations to recover my diminished value ?||
|Are “iCan” appraisals accepted into evidence ?||
An Objective Overview of
Diminished Value Laws
in Minnesota as reviewed by
J. D. Howard
MINNESOTA IS AN EVOLVING DIMINISHED VALUE RECOVERY STATE …
There is an over-abundance of Diminished Value appraisal services being promoted on internet search engines. Sadly, too many of those sites are run by unqualified hustlers out for a quick buck. There are only a hand full of qualified service providers that know what they’re doing and can be relied upon to tell the truth. This web site is among that hand full.
As noted above, Minnesota is an Evolving Diminished Value Recovery State. Apparently Minnesota has chosen to Lead from Behind. Although Minnesota has NO statute recognizing Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value, nor do they have any Reported case law precedent recognizing an accident victim’s right of Full Recovery, all is not lost. Fortunately, more-and-more Lower Courts are beginning to recognize an accident victims rights as expressed in the Legal Treatise “Restatement Second of Torts §928 (a)(b)”.
Whenever a Lower Court finds in favor of an accident victim, on the issue of Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value, the insurance company defending the at-Fault insured, chooses to Not Appeal the Lower Court decision. If the insurance company were to Appeal the Lower Court decision, and the Appellate Court were to uphold the Lower Court decision, it would set a Reportable precedent that could be cited in all future Post-Repair Residual Diminished Value cases. Such a precedent would Not work to the financial benefit of the insurance industry.
As noted above, it is also true that the Uninsured Motorist coverage, on Minnesota personal auto insurance policies, do Not include protection for the vehicle insured on the policy. Minnesota has again chosen to Lead from (waaay) Behind.
NOTE: IF you itemize your deductions, on your income tax, you may (operative word “may”) be able to deduct your Post-Repair Residual Diminish Value as an “Uncompensated Casualty Loss”. Check with your tax adviser !
If You Don’t Stand for Something . . . You Could Fall for ANYTHING !
Notwithstanding what other web sites may have you believe, there are only 3 (yes, only 3) general categories of Diminished Value that impact consumers …
- Immediate / Inherent Diminished Value is the Loss of Value of a damaged vehicle immediately upon infliction of the damage.
- Post-Repair Residual Inherent Diminished Value is, as the title implies, that portion of the Inherent Diminished Value that was Not restored through the repair process.
- Repair-Related Diminished Value is that portion of a vehicle’s Loss of Value that is directly related to a less-than-optimal repair work product. Repair-Related Diminished Value is Not owed by the at-fault party. After all, it is not their fault that repairs to your vehicle were defective. UNLESS …
- The insurer of the at-fault party directed the repairs to a specific repair facility (or influenced your selection of repair facility). At that point, the insurance company is on-the-hook for repair defects and it becomes more of a Repair Warranty claim than a Diminished Value claim.
- A Repair Warranty claim would require physical inspection of the repaired vehicle. We may be able to recommend a local resource to help you facilitate your Repair Warranty claim.
FYI . . . DRP Agreements . . .
DRP (Direct Referral Program) Agreements do exist (in writing). Under the terms of a DRP agreement, a body shop surrenders virtual control of their facility, to an insurance company, in exchange for that insurance company’s promise to promote that body shop to their insureds and claimants. All decisions as to method of repair and parts to be used are dictated by the insurance company. We’ve actually read DRP agreements that stated “the vehicle owner shall remain ‘Blind’ as to any difference of opinion that may arise between [insurance company] and [this] shop”.