Do I have to keep my car while I wait to settle a diminished value claim?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 17, 2011

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Insurance Question from Deltona, FL

Asked on 12/17/2011

Do I have to keep my car while I wait to settle a diminished value claim? I am submitting a diminished value claim to the at-fault driver's insurance company. My car has been repaired but I don't want to keep it; I want to trade it in. Do I have to wait for the claim to resolve first?

Answer given on December 19, 2011

It is possible to get a trade in offer on the car and use that in your claim for diminished value…that is, if you plan to tell the trade in dealer that the car was wrecked (which will surely drop your value). Read our article on Diminished Value and Car Insurance. It may help you with your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Each insurance company’s claim process is a little different. Getting rid of the car may negate you from claiming diminished value.  Ask them how long will it take to determine the validity of your diminished value claim.  It should not take long at all.  If a week or so.  I would wait it out and then sell the car. 


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