Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is diminished value?
Diminished value is a perceived loss defined by the variance in the final sale price of a repaired vehicle in a retail environment, as compared to the final sale price of an identical, undamaged vehicle in the same or similar environment. There are three types of diminished value claims:
  1. Inherent diminished value: refers only to the fact that the vehicle has sustained collision damage.
  2. Repair related diminished value: refers to non industry repairs or faulty workmanship that will require corrective action.
  3. Insurance related diminished value: refers to damage that resulted from the initial collision, but was not addressed by the insurance company or the repair facility.
What Factors effect diminished value?
There are several factors that can effect diminished value. Following is a list of the most significant factors contributing to the diminished value. All of these factors are considered in our calculations
  • date of loss
  • vehicle age
  • type of vehicle
  • mileage at the time of loss
  • condition and the fair market value of the vehicle prior to the loss
  • type and extent of physical damage
  • type of parts used in the repair process
What is the intent of the report?
The intent of our report is threefold:
  1. To analyze the type and extent of damage sustained in the documented loss attached to this report.
  2. To subsequently measure the degree to which the integrity of the vehicle has been compromised by the damage incurred.
  3. To calculate the depreciation in value that occurred after the loss, without the actual sale of the vehicle.
How does Reed Appraisers calculate diminished value?
The first step in our appraisal process is to analyze the condition and the fair market value of your vehicle prior to the loss.  This is most often completed by a local market survey, coupled with official, time appropriate, independent sales data published by multiple, well established and well recognized industry sources including NADA, Kelley Blue Book and Black Book price guides.  Once the vehicle's pre-loss value has been determined, the analysis of the collision damage is initiated.  The method we employ to analyze the collision repair is a thorough line by line approach, extracting repair operations that may have caused the vehicle to be compromised.  Several repair operations are given varying degrees of importance with respect to the amount by which they would affect the vehicles' integrity, and the results are then factored into our analysis.  After completion of the collision analysis portion of our report, the post-loss condition rating of your vehicle can then be determined by the appraiser.  The appraiser will then measure the change in the fair market pre-loss and fair market post-loss values based on the change in condition rating.  The result is an accurate fair market vehicle valuation, backed by our extensive experience in vehicle valuations, performed completely our own ASE and I-CAR certified appraisers, and fully supported by actual, independently verifiable sales data, specific to your vehicle. 

What is Reed Appraisers experience with diminished value claims?

Reed Appraisers, established in 1986, is based in the Washington DC metro area. We originally began as an independent auto damage appraisal company focusing on providing repair estimates and appraisals for auto damage claims to insurance companies, attorneys, and the general public.

In 1996, as the demand arose for a comprehensive and fair system to calculate diminished value losses due to collision damage, we recognized this need and expanded our service to include diminished value calculations for all of our clients. After years of researching the issue and monitoring the effects of collision damage on the retail sales, we developed the V-CAR software. V-CAR software assists in our analysis by comparing and contrasting relevant sales data and by weighing each repair performed on your car proportionately, based on the degree to which the damage and the subsequent repair have effected the vehicle's integrity.   Multiple factors have been considered in assigning the selected values and variables, which are ultimately employed by the appraiser to assist in determining your vehicles post-loss value. In use since 2000, the V-CAR software has assisted our appraisers in calculating losses for thousands of diminished value claims for private clients, attorneys, and insurance carriers.

Today, Reed Appraisers is one of the most well respected names regarding diminished value claims, providing fair and equitable service to all parties that are involved in the claims process. That is because our methodology stays the same no matter the client. As a result, we have had the privilege to provide our services directly to thousands of private owners, hundreds of private attorneys offices located in Maryland, DC and Virginia, multiple automobile dealerships representing over 15 different manufacturers, as well as gain recognition from several major insurance carriers.  Our senior appraiser and the company owner, Michael Wigmore, has qualified and testified as an expert witness in over 65 trials in both District and Circuit Courts in Maryland and Virginia, U.S.District Court,  as well as at the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA).  In those 65+ cases, approximately 50% of the testimony provided was in support of the plaintiff's position and 50% of the testimony was in support of the defense's position, so you can rest assured that we are truly independent appraisers, with only accurate and well documented vehicle valuation appraisals as our ultimate goal.

Our Clients:

  • Thousands of private owners
  • Hundreds of private attorneys offices located in Maryland, DC and Virginia
  • Multiple automobile dealerships representing over 15 different manufacturers
  • Several local fleet auto accounts, including rental car companies and other private based industries
  • Several state and local governments, municipalities and local utility providers
  • Several local and national insurance carriers

Our Experience:

  • Proudly serving the Maryland, Virginia and DC Metro area since 1986
  • ASE Master Certified and I-CAR Platinum Pro-Level 3 Certified Auto Physical Damage Appraiser and Technician
  • Completed 50,000 + vehicle valuations, including collision damage estimates, vehicle valuations and diminished value claims
  • Currently serve as an expert consultant to multiple local automobile dealerships, rental car companies, and other fleet accounts
  • Have provided expert witness testimony in over 65 trials in both District and Circuit Courts in Maryland and Virginia, U.S.District Court, as well as the MIA