Estimating your property damage losses after a car crash can be a real challenge. You will likely need to have a professional look at your vehicle, and if you don’t have a mechanic you trust, you may need to arrange to tow your car to a second shot to get a second estimate.
The whole process can be very expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. Drivers who have their vehicles declared a total loss after a crash are among those who may struggle to get adequate compensation, as many policies have just $15,000 in coverage.
Property damage coverage on some insurance policies might not be enough to replace brand-new vehicles or even repair expensive imports. Sometimes, even those in need of repairs might underestimate what the crash will cause in property damage expenses.
Repairs are only part of the expense
The cost to fix your vehicle is a good starting point when calculating your property damage expenses. However, that is only the first component of your total property damage losses. You also have to think about what the crash will mean for the long-term resale value of your vehicle.
A preview collision on your vehicle’s title history will likely diminish what buyers would offer for your vehicle on the second-hand market or what dealerships would pay for it if you would have to trade it in when buying a different vehicle. Depending on how much your vehicle is worth, the diminished resale value could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.
Typically, if there is still property damage insurance coverage not used to repair your vehicle after a crash, you might be able to ask the insurance company to cover the diminished value of your vehicle as well.
In scenarios involving insufficient insurance, those trying to repair or replace their vehicles could potentially consider a civil lawsuit against the driver at fault for the wreck. When someone causes financial hardship for others through their misconduct or negligence, the civil courts may award the affected party compensation.
Determining the true financial impact of your recent car crash will help you make better choices as you ask for compensation for your losses.