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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased our 2019 Blue Odyssey Elite for $42,200 (price+destination) on June 1, 2019. On July 8, 2019, an 85 year old man with Parkinson's disease runs a stop sign and we collide with his 2003 Toyota Corolla. Thank goodness no one in the van got hurt, including my pregnant wife and 6 year old son. The collision mitigation stuff worked as advertised and the van was slowing down even before I even saw the other car which probably slowed us down enough so that the speed at impacted was reduced enough so the airbags didn't deploy. The van had 969 miles on it and sustained $21,000 in damage. We still don't have the van back but should be getting it in a couple of days. The other driver admitted fault and his insurance (Liberty Mutual) is covering everything. I am in a state that allows for filing for diminished value and Liberty Mutual just offered $3,500. Any opinions, suggestions, and/or questions are welcomed. Anyone with any experience with diminished value claims? Does the offer sound fair?
 

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Nope. Not fair at all.

Would you buy a car that had a major accident like that? It took half it's price to fix it!
 

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The tough part of diminished value is it will be a declining number as the van ages. If your were to immediately sell or trade the van with 969 miles on it you would probably experience that $3,500 or more, but wait 3 years and the van now has 50K miles on it and there's a good chance it's less, say $2K or so. So while it is impossible to predict exactly how much you will experience in the future I think it's fair to say that with 969 miles on it they would have paid the full cost of a new van if it were totaled. If it was me I wouldn't want that van back, so tell them you want a new one and whatever the best deal they can work out with the dealer is what you want.
 

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Go to your dealer and ask what they would knock off your value if you traded it for a '20 Ody. If it is to your advantage try to get it in writing and send it to the insurance company.
 

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Less than 1000 miles on it and $20,000 damage sounds to me like they need to buy you a new van. Tell them if they can sell it and put you into a new van for only $3300 then they are welcome to do it, if not then you want proper compensation.

I highly recommend getting a lawyer involved. I’ve always come out much better with a lawyer when dealing with insurance companies. They play the game every day and will walk all over the common folk who don’t know what is fair compensation.


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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for replying. After doing some more research and talking to a friend who’s in the auto insurance business, apparently my state has a max payout for diminished value claims. It caps out 10% of the value of the vehicle before the accident. So if car is valued at 35,000 then max payout is 3,500. I’m contemplating getting a lawyer but I question how much it will cost for representation vs the increased amount I’d receive. Anymore thoughts out there?


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You're being a Nice Guy about this; I wouldn't be.
Did the $21k repair costs cover structural damage to the chassis, side pillars, etc.?
If so, I would hire a lawyer and go after Liberty Mutual for a new replacement Ody because there's no way I would drive or have my wife drive that repaired van with that type of damage. Much less put my grandchildren in there.
 

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I’d definitely consult an attorney (consultations I believe are normally free). See if they could fight for a replacement van for you. We can kick and stamp our feet on your behalf here for you but I don’t think we’re qualified enough to know what’s reasonable under the law.

If a new van isn’t feasible, ask them about that cap as that $3.5k payout might be your only option. Attorneys aren’t cheap. My experience with lemon law attorneys are $2-$3k depending on how far your case needs to be taken.
 

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Forget about diminished value and insist on full replacement. There is no such thing as a 1,000 mile 2019 van identical to yours unless it is a dealer demo which is still sold as new. Hurry up and grab a '19 while there are still new ones to be had. You paid $42K and less than 1,000 miles later the replacement cost is $35K? Total BS. Tell them if you have to get a lawyer involved you will pursue his costs in addition to being properly compensated. The first rule of insurance is that they have to make you whole as if it had never happened. You had a 900 mile van and those can't be found used. The only way to make you whole is to get a new van.
 

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Cap... That sucks.

Get an independent review of the repairs to include a full 4 wheel alignment check. Make sure every seam and gasket are fitting properly. Stick to your guns until the repair is perfect or they give you a replacement.

Again talk to your dealer and get them to say the damage is more than the compensation. If you can get them to also weigh in on the repair quality that would be good too.

Family member accepted a poor quality repair job because the instant cash windfall sounded like a great deal. Cost them dearly in the end when they had to sell the car because of un-repaired and poorly repaired issues and took a bath.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spoke to a lawyer friend and he states it’s not worth the time or the money on both ends (lawyer and myself) for the amount of money that’s involved. Van diminishes in value as soon as you drive off the lot. Some on the forum have spoke about the first year depreciation as being the worst.

Spoke to dealer and best they could do is 32,000 for the trade, 42,000 for a new 2019 Elite. They said even if there wasn’t an accident the best they could give me for a trade is 35,000. So if I take the 3,500 I’m at 35,500. That’s a loss of 6,500 plus tax and title. I happen to be in a high tax area. So basically a 10,000 loss if I trade. I’m a civil servant who can’t take a hit like that.

When the accident occurred the van was towed back to the dealer and the dealer sent it to their body shop. Reviews online and word of mouth reviews are excellent. No damage to the frame and according to the estimate nothing was repaired. All parts OEM and replaced. Didn’t realize that each headlight was over $1000 dollars and that big H on the grill is not just a big H. Lol. They say they will guarantee the work as long as I own the car and the dealer will honor the manufacturer warranty since their shop did the work.

Guess It is what it is. I know there are a lot of keyboard tough guys out there that will say I’m an idiot but based on research I’ve done on my own and comments made here I think this is the best it’s going to get.

My plan now is keep the van, see how she fairs after this incident. If there’s a doubt in my mind of my family’s safety I will take the hit. I’m going to try to be optimistic and hope they do a great job with the repairs.

Thanks again for the input and I still welcome any options or advice not already given.


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In the end you are the one that has to be happy and from that respect I hope it works out OK. The math seems to work according to your dealers numbers, but I can't help but think you still come out on the short end. You have $3,500 in your pocket, but no longer have a 900 mile van that hasn't been in a major accident. If given the choice would you choose the $3,500 over an unwrecked van? Hypothetical question of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Of course I’d take the the van over the money. I could probably could take a 5,000 loss and be okay with it. Lol


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I'm sure your wife and 6 year old would've received some money for injuries sustained and maybe just add it on towards trading the van. But in my opinion, if there weren't any damages to the engine and other main parts, I'd keep it and whatever money you get in compensation.
 

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I purchased our 2019 Blue Odyssey Elite for $42,200 (price+destination) on June 1, 2019. On July 8, 2019, an 85 year old man with Parkinson's disease runs a stop sign and we collide with his 2003 Toyota Corolla. Thank goodness no one in the van got hurt, including my pregnant wife and 6 year old son. The collision mitigation stuff worked as advertised and the van was slowing down even before I even saw the other car which probably slowed us down enough so that the speed at impacted was reduced enough so the airbags didn't deploy. The van had 969 miles on it and sustained $21,000 in damage. We still don't have the van back but should be getting it in a couple of days. The other driver admitted fault and his insurance (Liberty Mutual) is covering everything. I am in a state that allows for filing for diminished value and Liberty Mutual just offered $3,500. Any opinions, suggestions, and/or questions are welcomed. Anyone with any experience with diminished value claims? Does the offer sound fair?
I was hit while in my 2014 Odyssey waiting for a light to change, The car was one year old and the driver of the other car was insured by Liberty Mutual. Damage was over $11,000. I am surprised Lib Mut offered $3500. At one point Lib Mut told me when the car is fixed there is no loss in value. They even gave me a hard time about renting a car as the repairs took over 30 days. I didn't even rent another van, but should have as the vans are more expensive to rent.

I took Liberty Mutual to small claims court, however you have to take their insured person to court. The road to small claims court is long and sometimes confusing, but you will NEVER get a fair settlement from Liberty Mutual. My biggest help was Clark Howard's website. He will tell you where to go in your state to start the process. In Oregon you need a state certified evaluator [$300.00], and many trips to the county courthouse to set the process in motion.

Don't give up. Start the proceedings as soon as you can. Look up Clark Howard's website and your state's rules for loss of value. It is a lot of work on your end but worth it. Lib Mut will act a lot differently at the small claims court when you do your homework. They will attempt to bully you with false, insulting statements about loss of value. Hang in there.
jjedro
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm sure your wife and 6 year old would've received some money for injuries sustained and maybe just add it on towards trading the van. But in my opinion, if there weren't any damages to the engine and other main parts, I'd keep it and whatever money you get in compensation.
No one in the van sustained any injuries. As far as I’m concerned the Odyssey did exactly what it was supposed to do and minimized and mitigated what it could and took the brunt of the force.


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I was hit while in my 2014 Odyssey waiting for a light to change, The car was one year old and the driver of the other car was insured by Liberty Mutual. Damage was over $11,000. I am surprised Lib Mut offered $3500. At one point Lib Mut told me when the car is fixed there is no loss in value. They even gave me a hard time about renting a car as the repairs took over 30 days. I didn't even rent another van, but should have as the vans are more expensive to rent.

I took Liberty Mutual to small claims court, however you have to take their insured person to court. The road to small claims court is long and sometimes confusing, but you will NEVER get a fair settlement from Liberty Mutual. My biggest help was Clark Howard's website. He will tell you where to go in your state to start the process. In Oregon you need a state certified evaluator [$300.00], and many trips to the county courthouse to set the process in motion.

Don't give up. Start the proceedings as soon as you can. Look up Clark Howard's website and your state's rules for loss of value. It is a lot of work on your end but worth it. Lib Mut will act a lot differently at the small claims court when you do your homework. They will attempt to bully you with false, insulting statements about loss of value. Hang in there.
jjedro
Thank you for the info. What was your end result if I may ask.


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Was there any structural damage or is it all cosmetic stuff. Body panels, lights, wiring harnesses, airbags, etc, all add up quick and with cost of labour added in it can total half the vans value in no time at all. If there was ANY damage to the frame or unibody structure then I would get rid of it as quickly as possible and get into something new.

Metal can bend back into position and be made to look right but it work hardens as it bends and in many cases weakens. They pull the frame until certain target measurements are achieved. After that the repair is considered complete. The metal won’t bend the same the second time, and that alters the way it behaves in the next crash which may be different from design. In short, it may not protect you next time like it’s designed to because the way it’s designed to crumple and bend may not happen properly.


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Thank you for the info. What was your end result if I may ask.


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My loss of value was $7000. I settled for $5000. Your loss of value is $11000... I'd insist on $11000 plus expenses and settle for $9000. You won't get anywhere near that unless you are in small claims court. Negotiating directly with them is a joke.
 

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No one in the van sustained any injuries. As far as I’m concerned the Odyssey did exactly what it was supposed to do and minimized and mitigated what it could and took the brunt of the force.


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My concern would be can it sustain a second major collision and perform in a crash as intended. I hope you never have to find out.
 
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