A recent caller to The St. Lucie Appraisal Company asked about our services in the state of California. She had a few questions pertaining to an automobile diminished value claim that she was bringing against the insurance company of the at-fault driver who rear-ended her SUV. Everyone wants to find the best diminished value appraiser. It has become well known that your car is worth less after it was wrecked and repaired. It is also now common knowledge that car owners who were not at fault can be reimbursed for that loss in value, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars. Before answering her queries I asked who recommended us. Her answer was “I’d rather not say.”
That caller later became a client for whom we prepared a diminished value appraisal which she presented to GEICO, the company that insured the at-fault driver. We generally do not hear back after sending out diminished value appraisals but after receiving a fair settlement, our client called to say thank you.
Our client told me that she had followed the suggestions we gave her on how to proceed which yielded positive results. I then remembered she was the one hesitant to tell me who recommended us when we first spoke so I asked her again. This time she answered my question. Turns out that one of her best friends is a claims supervisor with a State Farm Insurance unit that looks at diminished value appraisals every day. There are perhaps fifty independent appraisal companies, most of which use a formula or “algorithm” derivative of the discredited Rule 17c. Some appraisers simply make up a number based on their years of experience in the field. These types of diminished value appraisals typically aren’t well-regarded by insurers.
FINDING THE BEST DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISER
Our methodology is more painstaking. To arrive at a fair diminished value amount we call multiple dealerships to obtain six unbiased, expert opinions from sales managers as to how much value your car has lost. Her friend, the claims supervisor, reportedly said “Diminished value appraisals from The St. Lucie Appraisal Company are works of art by comparison.”
When insurance company claims personnel start recommending The St. Lucie Appraisal Company to their friends and family, it is a strong indication that our diminished value reports carry some weight. The best automobile diminished value appraisals are taken seriously by insurance companies. In most cases you’ll need to push them but in the end its quality that counts. Call us. We’ll treat you like family. And get you some respect.
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