How to File a Diminished Value Claim in Florida

Filing a diminished value claim in Florida can help you reclaim your losses after an auto accident—but it’s not always a straightforward process.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by R.E. Fulton
Whether your vehicle suffers a minor fender bender or more serious damage has occurred, your car will lose value after any accident. Luckily, you can file a diminished value claim in the state of
with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to help you recoup your losses.
  • Florida is a diminished value state, meaning that drivers can file diminished value claims after an accident to reclaim their vehicle’s loss in value.
  • As a Florida resident, you can file for 3 types of diminished value claims—repair, immediate, or inherent. 
  • To file a diminished value claim on your insurance policy, you need to determine your eligibility, and then reach out to the at-fault party’s auto insurance provider for further compensation.
  • You can’t file a diminished value claim if you were at fault in the accident. 
  • Car insurance companies may not accept your diminished value claim, but you have a better chance if your vehicle is rare or had a high initial value. 

What is a diminished value claim in Florida?

In the event of a car accident, your car’s value will deplete, even if it is repaired or restored by a licensed mechanic. As a result, Florida residents can file a diminished value claim against the at-fault party’s insurance to help recover from the loss in resale value, should the vehicle owner ever
transfer their title
There are three different types of diminished value claims in Florida: 
  • Repair-related diminished value: Applies when the diminished value of your vehicle is due to improper or low-quality repairs.
  • Immediate diminished value: Applies when damages immediately decrease the value of the vehicle, whether they have been repaired or not.
  • Inherent diminished value: Applies when you’ve made repairs to the vehicle but still have a loss of value. This is the most common type of claim filed and refers to the idea that an accident report on a vehicle’s history decreases its value. 
It’s worth noting that although Florida is considered a no-fault state—due to
personal injury protection
coverage—drivers are still considered ‘at fault’ if they are responsible for causing the accident. If you are considered at fault, you cannot file for a diminished value claim.

Am I eligible for a diminished value claim?

Filing a diminished value claim in Florida isn’t much different from
filing any other type of insurance claim
—but it’s important to ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements before you do. 
In Florida, compensation from a diminished value claim depends on the following factors: 
  • Fault and history: According to Florida law, you can only file a DV claim if you were not at fault for the accident, and if your vehicle doesn’t have a previous accident history where the damage was substantial. 
  • Time limitations: Most states have a
    time limit
    for how long you have to file a claim after an accident. In the Sunshine State, the statute of limitations dictate that drivers have up to four years from the accident to file a claim on a vehicle less than 7 years old.
  • Appraisals: To file a diminished value claim, you must provide an accurate appraisal of the value of your car before and after the accident. While there are online calculators to help determine your market value, it’s still recommended drivers take their vehicles to a professional appraiser for further assistance. 
  • Evidence: Lastly, all Florida driver’s filing for a diminished value claim must prove the loss in value of a vehicle with proper documentation. This could include work orders for an improperly repaired vehicle, photos of aesthetic difference during or after the accident, or other motor vehicle evidence showing further depletion of the car’s value.

Determining diminished market value 

If you’re trying to estimate the diminished value of your vehicle post-accident, follow what the experts do and use the 17c formula. While the calculations won’t always provide exact accuracy, it can be a helpful tool in determining whether it’s worth it to pursue a claim.
The first value you’ll need for the formula is the pre-accident value of the vehicle based on its make, model, age, mileage, and condition.
Kelley Blue Book
is a helpful resource if you're unsure about its value. 
Once you have your value, multiply it by .10 (or 10%) to find the base loss value
Now that you have the base loss value, you can apply two different multipliers based on your car’s damage and mileage to find the diminished value.
For damage, use the following multipliers
  • 1 if the car has structural damage
  • 0.75 if the car has major panel or structural damage
  • 0.5 if the car has moderate panel or structural damage
  • 0.25 if the car has minor panel or structural damage
  • 0 if the car has no structural damage
Take the resulting number and multiply it by one of the following mileage numbers
  • 1 if your mileage is between 0 and 19,999
  • 0.80 if your mileage is between 20,000 and 39,999
  • 0.60 if your mileage is between 40,000 and 59,999
  • 0.40 if your mileage is between 60,000 and 79,999
  • 0.20 if your mileage is between 80,000 and 99,999
  • 0 if your mileage is above 100,000.
Keep in mind: The 17c formula doesn’t take into consideration vehicle class or negative negotiations, which may have an impact on your overall diminished value. For confirmation on your numbers, visit an appraiser for a free consultation.

How to file a Florida diminished value claim 

When you have everything ready, you can file a diminished value claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider using these steps: 
  1. Receive an appraisal: First, you will need to get an appraisal from a certified motor vehicle appraiser. Without an appraisal to show the pre-accident value of your car, you will not be able to file a claim. 
  2. Contact a legal representative/law firm: In some cases, you may need to contact a car accident lawyer. Having an attorney can help in the negotiation stages, as well as ensuring that you are compensated fairly. 
  3. Contact at-fault party’s insurance company: During this call, you will want to ask about their current diminished value claims options and motorist coverage. Then, you—alongside your car accident attorney—can file for a diminished value claim. 
It’s worth noting that the average diminished value payout in Florida will vary depending on your vehicle’s total appraisal amount. 


Depreciation refers to a vehicle’s inevitable loss in value over time after continued use, while diminished value refers to the immediate drop in a vehicle’s value due to an accident. 
Think of it this way: If you’re in the market for a used car, you’ll be more inclined to purchase a 2012
Chevrolet Camaro
with 80,000 miles and no accidents, than a 2012 Camaro with 80,000 miles with a history of accidents. 
Yes. In the state of Florida, you can legally sue the at-fault driver for diminution. However, be aware that taking matters to court with experienced attorneys may result in more fees than if you simply filed a diminished value claim report—or filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s property damage liability.  
When a vehicle is in an accident, most cars experience a loss of 40-70% resale or trade in value. Even with auto repairs, the entire pre-accident value might not return.
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