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New Website Helps Consumers Calculate "Diminished Value" After Auto Insurance Claim

Published on CNBC.com, Dec 01, 2010

Just in time for winter, TheyWroteOffMyCar.com Inc. announced today the launch of a new website called MyCarIsWorthLess.com (Worth - Less, not worthless) to help consumers calculate the reduced, or diminished, value of their vehicle after an insurance repair claim.

"Approximately 15% of vehicles on the road are involved in a vehicle damage claim annually," claims Viraf Baliwalla, President of TheyWroteOffMyCar.com.

"About 10% of those claims result in a total loss. But 90% are repaired and have a claim registered against their history and therefore incur 'diminished value' which amounts to billions of dollars nationwide annually." Imagine you're driving along in your new car, minding your own business, and out of the blue someone rear-ends you. You take down their information, call the police, then your insurance company and take your car to the nearest bodyshop where it is repaired so well you can't tell it was ever hit. The insurance company pays for the repair as well as your deductible, so you haven't lost a cent. Or have you? "Even if a vehicle is repaired properly by the insurance company, the vehicle still has an inherent decrease in value just because of a claim being registered against it," states Baliwalla. "Try to sell that car or trade it in and be ready for a rude awakening, anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars." It is not the insurance company's responsibility to inform you of your eligibility for diminished value or to educate you on how it works. Plus, you have to be able to demonstrate that you have incurred the amount of loss you are claiming.

"Most people don't know they are eligible to claim for diminished value and therefore don't ask for it. Nor do they know how to calculate or demonstrate their loss," says Baliwalla.

And if you don't ask for it, they don't typically have to pay it. One of the challenges for both policyholder and insurer has been that both sides have a vested interest but neither have expertise in pricing vehicles. That's where MyCarIsWorthLess.com comes in.

"This is the first completely neutral online tool that we know about designed by experts in both the car and insurance business that delivers a fair and reasonable result instantly," claims Baliwalla.

The credibility and science behind the numbers comes from two chief architects of the software that powers MyCarIsWorthLess.com. Together, they have 30+ years of expertise in vehicle buying and insurance auto appraisals.

The cost to generate an online diminished value report is $39, however members of the media can get a special Promo ID to evaluate it for free.

TheyWroteOffMyCar.com is a helpline for consumers whose vehicles have been deemed a total loss by their insurance company. With the addition of MyCarIsWorthLess.com, they expand their reach to repaired vehicles as well.