Insurers Using Consumer Portal For Diminished Value

Published on InsuranceNewsNet, Feb. 16, 2011

When the developers of came up with the idea of an online diminished value calculator, it was for the purpose of helping consumers get fairly compensated after an insurance repair claim. To their surprise, some insurance companies found success using this tool to assist them with settlement.

Jim McBreen, an independent adjuster from Florida, was working on a claim for a 2009 Aston Martin for one of his insurance company clients. When the issue of diminished value arose, a supervisor at the insurance company suggested Jim check out to arrive at a value. The diminished value for this $211,000 vehicle worked out to $38,955.

"The web site was very easy to use, inexpensive and gave me an instant value which makes settlement a lot faster", says McBreen. "I thought the value computed was very fair and realistic".

Laura, a company adjuster for a Kansas insurer who asked not to be identified, ran a report and sent it to their policyholder who settled right away.

"It's one more tool in our toolchest to help us do our jobs faster and make our lives easier" said Laura.

"Diminished value has previously been a challenge because it is very hard to quantify" claims Viraf Baliwalla, President of, the owner of the website. "Further, insurers are experts in insurance, not vehicle pricing. So they have to rely on the policyholder to demonstrate the amount of their loss which can result in very exaggerated numbers".

Joseph Troise, a professional independent appraiser from California, ran his own appraisal for a client's 2010 Honda Odyssey and compared it to's online calculator.

"I was quite surprised at the accuracy of the calculation" said Troise. "It gives me one more independent, expert research source to support the value when I represent my clients".

Some insurers claim that a vehicle does not sustain diminished value so long as it is repaired properly. "That is a completely unreasonable assumption", says Baliwalla who also has an auto dealer's license. Baliwalla recently bought a 2009 Lexus ES350 from the auction. Two weeks prior, the same vehicle had run through the auction and sold for $31,000 to another dealer. There had been an accident on it which had not been disclosed. As per auction arbitration rules, the vehicle was returned. Two weeks later, it ran again. After disclosure, Baliwalla was able to buy it for $25,250 because of diminished value.

"Once a vehicle has a claim registered against it, the value of the vehicle drops substantially", claims Baliwalla. is a helpline for consumers whose vehicles have been deemed a total loss by their insurance company. With the addition of, they expand their offerings to repaired vehicles as well.