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Diminished Value in Virginia

What is a Diminished Value Claim?

Virginia Code §46.2-1600 defines “diminished value compensation” as the amount of compensation that an insurance company pays to a third-party vehicle owner, in addition to the cost of repairs, for the reduced value of a vehicle due to damage.

In a diminished value claim, where the property can be restored by repairs and the repairs would be less than the diminution in value because of the damages, the amount recoverable is the reasonable cost of restoring the property to its former condition. In other words, you can recover the loss of value of your repaired vehicle and the cost of repairs after an accident.

Am I Eligible for Diminished Value Claim?

Diminished value claims in Virginia only apply to liability claims, where the vehicle damage was caused by someone else’s negligence, and not to first-party “collision” claims, where the damage was the result of the owner’s negligence or by somebody the owner allowed to drive the vehicle.

To prevail on a diminished value claim, you must retain and provide the necessary documentation, including: photographs of damages, photographs of the vehicle prior to the accident, photographs of the vehicle following repairs, and a written appraisal completed by a certified appraiser documenting the vehicle’s condition after repairs and the loss of value.

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