A TikToker recently revealed how insured drivers can receive a check for some of the value lost on their car due to damage after an accident—on top of repair money.
The information came from Trevor Abney (@itstrevorabney), a TikToker who specializes in rants about a variety of topics. He’s recently been featured in the Daily Dot for a video warning people to get dash cameras to protect themselves from a trend where people intentionally get struck by cars for insurance money. Abney’s newest video has already received 4 million views as of the publication of this story.
“I recently got in a car wreck, and I found something out that everyone needs to be aware of,” Abney began.
Abney said he had gotten into a wreck in his 2016 Dodge Charger. Luckily, he said his insurance fully covered the cost of repairs, during which he learned about a little-known car insurance secret—a diminished value claim.
He said that, to his shocked delight, the mechanic revealed that insured drivers can request a check to cover the loss of value caused by a wreck. “The guy at the body shop told me as I was walking out the door, ‘Don’t forget to call your insurance and ask for a [diminished] value,'” Abney said.
“You do not get a check in the full amount,” Abney continued. “My car depreciated $8,000, and they sent me a check for $5,000. Still, insurance does not want you to know this, and I know it for a fact ’cause they never told me about it.”
Several self-identified insurance workers added their thoughts in the comments section.
“They’ll get their money back by increasing your rates at renewal, agent here,” one warned.
“As an insurance adjuster, you can’t get diminished value from your own insurance, only someone else’s. Your car also needs to actually be worth something so newer, low mileage, no prior damages,” a second said.
“Insurance adjuster here. No such thing as ‘full coverage’ as well as this is usually only if you file under the other parties insurance not your own,” a third added.
Others shared their own experiences with diminished value claims.
“I did this after someone rear ended me. About $12k worth of damage. I got $142 for my diminished value claim,” a viewer said.
“This is true and my insurance company sent me a check after fixing my car,” another claimed.
According to Forbes, there are three types of diminished value claims. Firstly, there is the immediate diminished value claim, which allows owners to recoup some of their losses in resale value directly after an accident. The second is an inherent diminished value claim. This claim allows owners to file for the difference between the current value of their repaired car and the value before the accident. Finally, there’s the repair-related diminished value claim. This claim allows owners to file for a loss of value if repairs were made with low-quality parts.
Unfortunately, insurance companies have their own rules regarding these diminished value claims. According to ValuePenguin, most will not accept them if you are at fault. Owners must also have a high-value vehicle and meet title requirements. Another snag to filing these claims is that the laws differ from state to state.
The Daily Dot reached out to Abney via email for further comment.