DIMINISHED VALUE                                                December 1998
 

We were assigned a file by a well known insurance carrier to provide a nonpartisan analysis to determine if there may be a case in Ohio for diminished value.

It was a confusing issue do to the attorney indicating he was not intending to sue on the bases of Tort Law but, on contract law.
 

The Attorney stated his case was based on the fact his client was bound by Ohio Law to reveal the fact this vehicle had sustained damage in excess of $10,000.00, in the event he was to trade this vehicle in, purchasing a Like-Kind replacement.

The local dealer provided an estimate of their bid, which was infect $9,000.00 less then a retail replacement.  However, they did not actually have a replacement vehicle, nor would they provide this document on their letter head.

     Note: This document was not signed by the Sales Manager, but the Business Manager and it was hand written, no typed.

Our contacting this dealer revealed them to be very reluctant to get involved or even provide a copy of this document, which was finally faxed to us by the attorney.

Our research did reveal there were two schools of thought discovered on the internet and one through our research as follows;
 

ON THE INTERNET

         1.  In Reply to: Diminished value posted by XXXXX on March 16, 1998 at 18:08:58:

Yes you can collect the loss in value before you sell the car because you have already suffered the loss in value of your asset.  Your net worth is now lower.  There are millions of people who have collected loss in value.  Every insurer out there has paid loss in value claims.  They just don't want you to know about it!  An insurer cannot make you fix the car before it pays your claim.  They can't make you buy another car before they pay you for your total loss, and they can't make you sell your car in order to collect diminished value.

      Note: There were some Follow Ups that you might view for yourself at;

 http://www.goldcar.com/consumer/board/messags2/447.html

Our research revealed, this document is not supported by any State or Federal Laws that we could find any where on the web nor, by contacting several attorneys and other adjustment firms located in Ohio.
 
 

                    . 2.  Ohio Revised Code - Section 3903.36                       Page 1 of 2

     Note:  The following document does not actually address diminished value, but based on this claim's  date of loss, could be sited in a case concerning a claim being presented months after the occurrence.
 
 

Section 3903.36 General Assembly: 114. Bill Number: Amended Sub.  House Bill 830 Effective Date: 03/07/83
(A) Proof of claim shall consist of a statement signed by the claimant that includes all of the following that are applicable:

 (1) The particulars of the claim including the consideration given for it;

 (2) The identity and amount of the security on the claim;

 (3) The payments made on the debt, if any;

 (4) That the sum claimed is justly owing and that there is no setoff, counterclaim, or defense to the claim;

 (5) Any right of priority of payment or other specific right asserted by the claimants;

 (6) A copy of any written instrument which is the foundation of the claim;

 (7) The name and address of the claimant and the attorney who represents him , if any.

 (B) No claim need be considered or allowed if it does not contain all the information in division (A) of
this section which may be applicable.  The liquidator may require that a prescribed form be used, and may require that other information and documents be included.

(C) At any time the liquidator may request the claimant to present information or evidence supplementary to that required under division (A) of this section and may take testimony under oath, require production of affidavits or depositions, or otherwise obtain additional information or evidence.

(D) No judgment or order against an insured or the insurer entered after the date of filing of a successful complaint for liquidation, and no judgment or order against an insured or the insurer entered at any time by default or by collusion, need be considered as evidence of liability or of quantum of damages.  No judgment or order against an insured or the insurer entered within four months before the filing of the complaint need be considered as evidence of liability or of the quantum of damages.

(E) All claims of a guaranty association or foreign guaranty association shall be in such form and contain such substantiation as may be agreed to by the association and the liquidator.
 
 

  Note:   Other then the date of loss verses the date of this diminished value claim I am not sure this actually addresses the issue but, you can judge for yourself.

You can find this document and others on the internet at:

http://orc.avv.com/title-39/sec-3903/sec-3903.36.htm                                  10/27/98




  3.  In some other States we discovered diminished value to be determined by a percentage of the appraised damage (10%).

Based on our research (#3) In this claim, in some states, the claimant would be entitled to collect $1,000.00 of diminished value.

      Note: No documentation was available.
 

DISCLAIMER:
    Items #1 and #2, above were scanned in to this document, no verbiage has be changed or altered in any way.  We take no responsibility for it's accuracy, spelling or grammar.
 
 
 

OUR REPORT:
 
 

INSURED:                XXXXXXXX                        CLAIMANT:  XXXXXXXXXXX
DATE OF LOSS:     February 9, 1998                CLAIM#:
TYPE OF LOSS:     Property                             TLC#:  1019XX2137
 

IDENTIFICATION OF VEHICLE

We viewed a 1996 Chevrolet Utility Blazer four door bearing V.I.N. 1GNEK13R4TJXXXXXX and showing 38,547 miles on the odometer, rust brown in color, in average condition, for diminished value as a result of collision damage involved in the above-mentioned file.

An Old Damage Appraisal was completed in the amount of $615.07 of normal wear and tear items.  There was not evidence to support there had been prior damage.  The attorney revealed his client is satisfied with the repair completed by the claimant's chose of shop in Coshocton, Ohio.

EVALUATION

Our Vehicle and Salvage Evaluation Report containing average book and dealer values depicted this unit to be worth, as of October 1998 as shown below.  No replacement vehicles of Like, Kind and Quality were located.

 Book Value:     $28,435.00              Dealer Value:     $24,975.00          Trade In Value:     $20,750.00

these values represent an average of the 2 books used and 4 dealers contacted


The Dealer values were obtained in the area of the claimant's residence, according the UNFAIR PROPERTY/CASUALTY CLAIMS SETTLEMENT PRACTICES ACT of 1993  (Which you may find a copy of on our home page, under "Need a Form", or Click Here To It)    and were as follows;

RETAIL VALUES                                        TRADE IN VALUES

1.  $22,000.00                                               $19,000.00
2.  $28,900.00                                               $22,000.00
3.  $26,000.00                                               $23,000.00
4.  $23,000.00                                               $19,000.00

Note:  The four dealers contacted suggested the reason for a variance of value between dealerships are a result of managers using a variety of available Used Car Guides and a soft or hard market.

All of the dealers surveyed (after revealing prior collision damage) indicated this vehicle's value after suffering collision damages resulting in a repair of ten thousand dollars (if provided that information, at the time of trade) would be appraised at $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 less, even if the repairs were not apparent.  Do to Ohio law requires them to disclose any known prior defects.

  Note:  All of the dealers indicated they would normally not be advised of this type of prior damage.

However, if you could tell there had been this much damage (the frame showing signs of repair or damage or paint on the moldings or whatever), there could be a problem even after the sell.

  Note: There was nothing to suggest prior damage or that it had received major repairs.  The Body Shop had done an excellent  job performing their service.
 

OUR RESEARCH

Our research discovered (in the State of Ohio), diminished value is normally determined by the amount of a repair appraisal.  Once repairs are properly completed there is no diminished value.

As far as this attorney bringing suite on the bases of "Contract Law";  Only "Tort Law"  gives raise to a claim.  A claimant is not normally part of an insurance policy, therefore there is no contract to satisfy once damages are properly repaired.

We were unsuccessful discovering any authority or case history concerning diminished value.

The claimant's attorney agreed to provide any authority he could locate to support his argument.
 

      Note: To our present knowledge (two months after this report) the attorney has not offered any type of supporting documentation to support his claim for diminished value.
 

DIMINISHED VALUE

It is our opinion, diminished value based on Ohio Tort Law should not be a part of this loss.
 

As for any future suite being brought based on contract law, it is our opinion, if this person wants to enter in to a contract months after the fact, lessening the value of his assets, that is his business and should not be reflected in this report or a part of this file.


As this was a specific assignment to determine diminished value, this should conclude our part in this file.

Provided by TLC Publications